One of classic Hollywood’s most iconic movies, The Wizard of Oz
is also one of its most storied. Though he received solo credit for his efforts, Fleming was actually one of several directors involved in the project produced by Mervyn LeRoy. Initially, Norman Taurog was slated to direct, but he only got as far as the Technicolor test shoots before being replaced by Richard Thorpe. Thorpe pushed the film into production, 10 days in original Tin Man, Buddy Ebsen, had a serious reaction to his aluminum powder makeup. With production on hold, LeRoy replaced Ebsen with Jack Haley and Thorpe with George Cukor
, who helped reorganize the shoot before moving onto direct Gone With the Wind
. That's when Fleming stepped in and he wound up shooting most of The Wizard of Oz
. In an ironic twist, Fleming left to take over for Cukor on Gone With the Wind
, leaving the sepia-toned Kansas scenes in the hands of King Vidor. While many chefs in the kitchen tend to spoil the pot, this was one rare instance where several minds came together to create a singularly extraordinary film, one that was a bit of a financial dud
upon release but has since become one of Hollywood’s most enduring films.