Oscars to Fete 75 Years of ‘The Wizard of Oz’

The memory of Dorothy, Toto, Scarecrow, the Tin Man, that cuddly Cowardly Lion and Her Melted Evilness the Wicked Witch of the West as well as Miss Good Witch Glinda and of course The Wizard of Oz will rain down from over the rainbow onto the 86th Academy Awards in March, many decades after scooping up a half dozen Oscar nominations including Best Picture, harkening back to a golden era of Hollywood. The film is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year.

[Related: 86th Oscars: The Full List of Nominees

Oscar organizers said they will honor the Victor Fleming-directed MGM classic The Wizard of Oz at the Academy Awards. The trip down yellow brick memory lane will take place at the Oscar telecast March 2 in Hollywood.

Though the classic received multiple nominations, Oscar did not enchant Oz beyond two actual wins for Original Score and Original Song (for Over the Rainbow). Best Picture that year went to another behemoth of movie classic titles, Gone With the Wind.

Seventy-five years on, it's hard to imagine that The Wizard of Oz, starring Judy Garland, was anything other than a hit, but its initial release failed to recoup MGM's investment (its most expensive production up to that time). Subsequent telecasts beginning in 1956, however, won over audiences, cementing it as one of the most famous films ever. Library of Congress said it is the "most viewed motion picture in television history."

"We are delighted to celebrate the birthday of one of the most beloved movies of all time at this year's Oscars," said show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron about the film's 75th anniversary. Details about how the film will be honored are apparently a secret.

The 86th Academy Awards honoring films from 2013 will be presented on Oscar Sunday, March 2, in Hollywood, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres and televised live on the ABC Television Network.

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