A screen-worn Dorothy dress from The Wizard of Oz sold big at an auction in New York City earlier this week. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the dress sold on Monday during the Bonhams’ Treasures from the Dream Factory sale for $1.56 million. An anonymous buyer called in with the winning bid.
The Wizard of Oz is a classic film, and it is a part of a Thanksgiving tradition. There is always at least one network that airs the classic film starring Judy Garland during the week of Thanksgiving. This year, NBC is bringing the story of Oz back to the small screen with a new live version musical of The Wiz.
That is set to air on NBC on December 3, but fans of Oz will receive a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the live musical on Wednesday night, the night before Thanksgiving.
According to People Magazine, Ne-Yo, who stars in the new live musical, said that this new version of The Wiz is not trying to be better than the film starring Michael Jackson and Diana Ross.
He said, “We aren’t going to get better than what was, because that’s not what this is about. This is about bringing the story to the next generation.”
For this production, Shanice Williams has taken on the role of Dorothy Gale, and she will not be wearing a blue and white checkered dress. That costume choice is left for The Wizard of Oz. Both The Wiz and The Wizard of Oz tell the story of Dorothy Gale, but they have different ways of telling the story.
As for the auction and the sale of the Dorothy dress, this sale beat out previous estimates. It was estimated before the auction that the dress would sell for between $800,000 and $1.2 million. The dress actually sold for $300,000 more than that estimate. The fact that the dress was actually once worn on-screen by Judy Garland during the production of the classic film could have something to do with the higher selling price.
— Playbill (@playbill) November 25, 2015
The Hollywood Reporter shared more about the history of the dress in its report.
“The dress comes with a storied pedigree. Kent Warner, the costume collector hired to help MGM conduct its legendary 1970 prop and costume catalog (because corporate raider Kirk Kerkorian was trying to milk every dollar out of the studio), cherry-picked many of the best pieces for his personal collection, including this dress and a pair of ruby red slippers. Both were then sold at Christie’s big 1981 auction. Warner’s pair of ruby reds are now owned by the Academy for display in its future museum.”
Other items from The Wizard of Oz have recently brought in big money at auctions. A pair of Dorothy’s Ruby Red slippers sold at auction for $2 million, and a Cowardly Lion costume sold for $3.1 million at auction. This dress sale is the lowest of the three, but it is higher than previous auctions for Dorothy dresses from The Wizard of Oz. According to a 2012 Inquisitr report, a “test” Dorothy dress from the film sold for $480,000.
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) November 24, 2015
Hollywood auctions are big business these days. People love to collect items from their favorite films. A huge auction of movie memorabilia that included several items from the Star Wars franchise brought in a lot of money this summer. During that auction, People Magazine reported that a Princess Leia gold bikini from Return of the Jedi sold for $96,000.
What do you think of Dorothy’s dress from The Wizard of Oz selling for so much? Is there a piece of movie memorabilia you would be willing to pay big bucks for if you had the chance?
[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]