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Lot 205: Judy Garland "Dorothy" early test dress by Adrian for The Wizard of Oz.

Hollywood Auction

Platinum House

by Profiles in History

December 21, 2013

Calabasas Hills, CA, USA

Live Auction
  • Judy Garland
  • Judy Garland
  • Judy Garland
  • Judy Garland
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Judy Garland “Dorothy” early test dress by Adrian for The Wizard of Oz. (MGM, 1939) Judy Garland “Dorothy Gale” solid blue cotton test dress by Adrian from The Wizard of Oz - This costume was worn by Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale and was tested during the October 31, 1938 wardrobe tests after George Cukor had replaced Richard Thorpe as director for the film. Producer Mervyn LeRoy fired Thorpe after viewing the “rushes” of the first two weeks of filming, being completely dissatisfied with the direction the film was taking. Cukor started by making the much needed changes to Judy Garland’s hair, makeup and Dorothy costume. He wanted to “simplify” Judy’s appearance to better represent a Kansas farm girl. Costume designer Gilbert Adrian created an entirely new costume which was based on the original drawings of Dorothy as found in the original children’s book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum. It was during this period that Cukor instructed Judy Garland to remember that she was portraying a Kansas farm girl and that she would only need to be herself to be convincing and believable. Under Thorpe’s direction her performance was, at best, “over the top” and “too fanciful.” The outfit consists of a solid blue cotton fabric (the exact same fabric used in the original Richard Thorpe test costume). Sewn directly to the dress is an off-white, light cotton blouse with blue rick-rack trim (the exact blouse design that would later appear on the final screen-used Dorothy costume). The dress closes in the back with several small snaps and a hook and eye closure at the waist. Interior handwritten label reads, “Judy Garland 4208.” Also attached is an M-G-M cleaning tag. After making adjustments and revisions to Garland’s Ruby Slippers, hair, makeup, costume and performance, Cukor decided to depart from the film and was replaced by Victor Fleming. Originally acquired from 1970 MGM Auction and After Auction Sale. A key piece in the development of Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz. Included an 8 in. x 10 in. color photograph of Judy Garland wearing this costume.

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