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Director Jan De Bont knew there was no place like home.

'Twister' pays homage to the grandaddy of all tornado movies, 'The Wizard of Oz.' The most obvious reference is the team's research device, nicknamed Dorothy, which was based on an actual machine called TOTO, developed by the government organization NOAA in the 1980s. De Bont also wanted to call the dog in the opening scene Toto after Dorothy’s beloved pup. But as he explains on the DVD commentary, he wasn’t legally allowed to, so he settled for "Toby."

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11 Things You Didn't Know About 'Twister'

August 9, 2014

This weekend's thriller 'Into the Storm' tracks one of the nastiest weapons in Mother Nature's arsenal: a tornado, as it rips through a small town and haunts the storm chasers who go to insane lengths to capture footage of it. In honor of the cyclone-centric new release, we’re taking a look back at the 1996 hit 'Twister,' starring Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton as death-defying weather researchers and directed by Jan De Bont of 'Speed' fame. Here's a very windy walk down tornado alley. (Gifs created by Lisa Aileen Dragani)