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Questions and Answers about Judy Garland's ruby slippers

Questions and Answers about Judy Garland's ruby slippers

We have compiled the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions about Judy Garland's ruby slippers and you might find what you need here, or even learn a thing or two.

If you have a specific question that is not covered here, feel free to send them and we will answer your question via email. Selected questions and answers will be published on our website so please keep an eye out.

Why did MGM make more than one pair of ruby slippers for Judy Garland?

It took 6 months for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) to film The Wizard of Oz, and like any costume the ruby slippers were at risk for wear and tear when worn on a daily basis. Therefore the wardrobe department at MGM made several pairs of ruby slippers to be used in filming, rather than relying on a single pair for the entire duration of the shooting.

Having other backup pairs of ruby slippers for Judy Garland saves valuable time because it means that if one pair got damaged, the studio had other pairs to use and they wouldn't need to temporarily suspend filming for up to a month, or possibly two months to construct a new pair for her.

Why did MGM make different sizes of ruby slippers for Judy Garland?

That's a good question. It's a known fact that the ruby slippers are between size 5 and 6, varying between B and D widths. The reason why each ruby slippers were made in different sizes and widths is because Judy Garland worked long hours for rehearsals and filming and therefore costume designer Gilbert Adrian had to consider that Judy Garland's feet might swell during a long day from walking, skipping, dancing, running, touching, tapping and from the hot temperature caused by the stage lights. Also, she was a young girl still growing and her feet grew half a shoe size during production.

A pair of ruby slippers were also made for Judy Garland's on-screen stand-in and stunt double in Bobbie Koshay who had slightly larger feet than the superstar singer-actress. Judy Garland also wore Bobbie Koshay's pair during filming and for publicity photos.

Another unknown girl called Caren Marsh Doll, who also played a minor role off-camera for Judy Garland while the crew tried to get the camera angles and the lighting and exposures right on the set, had to dress like Judy Garland as well. Caren Marsh Doll wore the same shoe size as Judy Garland, so both girls shared the ruby slippers.

Why aren't the ruby slippers for Judy Garland made of real rubies?

None of the jewels on Judy Garland's ruby slippers are real and there are a number of reasons for this. It would be expensive to buy real rubies to cover the entire shoes, and considering that about 5 to 10 pairs of ruby slippers needed to be made, it would have stretched MGM's budget when the film was already expensive to produce as it is.

The other reason is that a pair of ruby slippers made from real rubies would be too heavy for Judy Garland to walk in, let alone run in. Sequins are light and it does the job like rubies by sparkling vividly in Technicolor.

The bows contain light glass stones and beads which doesn't put too much weight on the shoes too.

Where are Judy Garland's ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz located today?

Four ruby slippers from the 1939 classic film The Wizard of Oz are known to survive, although more pairs may still exist privately. The locations of 3 of the 4 ruby slippers are known, and they have continued to change hands to new owners since they were discovered by Kent Warner at MGM's Culver City studios in 1970.

What we do know is that David Elkouby from Los Angeles owns a pair, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. owns a pair, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles owns a pair, and one pair belonging to Michael Shaw was stolen in a targeted burglary from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, which is Judy Garland's birth place.

The whereabouts of Shaw's pair is unknown, and it may never be recovered since it vanished from the museum in 2005. The Arabian Test Shoes, which is not counted with the ruby slippers, was once owned by actress Debbie Reynolds.

Is any of Judy Garland's ruby slippers more precious than others?

Well, all the ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland are precious but there's one pair that really stands out. The four pairs of ruby slippers known to exist are in sizes 6B, 5B, 5C and 5.5.

The stolen pair from the Judy Garland Museum is size 5.5. Kent Warner, the costume designer who found the ruby slippers in 1970 kept the size 5B and he sold the others. This pair that Warner kept for himself for 11 years before selling them to a private collector is considered the best pair of ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland as Dorothy.

These days, the size 5B pair is in the collection of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences thanks largely to the financial assistance of actor Leonardo DiCaprio and film director in Steven Spielberg.

The reason why size 5B is the best pair is because it's believed they are the pair used during close-ups of Judy Garland's feet, as well as the ones shown on the feet of the Wicked Witch of the East while sticking out from under the house in Munchkinland. This pair known as the "Witch's Shoes" was made more sexier than the other pairs in that the heels are a bit higher and thinner, and the toes are more pointy.

These are some of our growing collection of ruby slipper bows

Hand-sewn bows for Judy Garland's ruby slippers

Beautiful high quality Judy Garland's ruby slippers

Beautiful high quality Judy Garland's ruby slippers

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