Old Wives' Tales
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Claim: A second-hand coat selected as part of the costume for Professor Marvel in the film vesion of The Wizard of Oz was later discovered to have been owned by Oz author
Origins: Actor Frank Morgan played five different roles in The Wizard of Oz: In the Emerald City, he was the cabby who drove the Horse-of-a-Different-Color, a guard at the entrance to the Wizard's palace, the doorkeeper at the Wizard's palace, and the Great and Powerful Oz himself; in the Kansas sequences that opened the film, Morgan portrayed the disreputable Professor
Nearly all of the makeup and costume designs used in The Wizard of Oz went through numerous revisions and changes before
The story behind the jacket selected for this second shot (and ultimately used in the film itself) is one of the most curious of all Oz anecdotes. Published only once before (as "an example of the lies press agents are willing to tell in order to get a story in print"), the story was retold by Aljean Harmetz in her book The Making of The Wizard of Oz:
What definitely did occur on The Wizard of OzLast updated: 17 August 2007
The coat fitted Morgan and had the right look of shabby gentility, and one hot afternoon Frank Morgan turned out the pocket. Inside was the name
"We wired the tailor in Chicago," says Mary Mayer, "and sent pictures. And the tailor sent back a notarized letter saying that the coat had been made for Frank Baum. Baum's widow identified the coat, too, and after the picture was finished we presented it to her. But I could never get anyone to believe the story."
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