The Wizard of Oz

Trivia: "Over the Rainbow", which the American Film Institute recently named the greatest movie song of all time, was nearly cut from the film.

Trivia: The "tornado" was a thirty-five foot long muslin stocking, photographed with miniatures of a Kansas farm and fields.

rabid anarchist

Trivia: According to lead Munchkin Jerry Maren, the "little people" on the set were paid $50 per week for a 6-day work week, while Toto received $125 per week.

rabid anarchist

Trivia: During filming, Toto was accidentally stepped on by one of the Witch's guards, and had to be replaced for several days with a look-alike. Other on-set accidents included two winged monkey actors who fell when their support wires snapped, and Margaret Hamilton being severely burned when the elevated platform that made her disappear from Munchkinland in a puff of smoke malfunctioned.

Jean G

Trivia: The "oil" that was used to lubricate the Tin Man was not really oil. It was discovered that oil would not photograph well, so they used chocolate syrup instead.

wizard_of_gore

Trivia: The horses in Emerald City palace were colored with Jell-O crystals. The relevant scenes had to be shot quickly, before the horses started to lick it off.

rabid anarchist

Trivia: The coat that Frank Morgan wears as Professor Marvel was bought second-hand for the film. It was only discovered later that it once belonged to L. Frank Baum, the creator of the Oz stories. The name sewn into the garment was shown to his widow, who confirmed that the coat did indeed once belong to the author.

Macalou

Trivia: Margaret Hamilton, who plays the Wicked Witch of the West, was a kindergarten teacher before becoming an actress.

Krista

Trivia: In the original book by L. Frank Baum, Dorothy's slippers were not Ruby but Silver. The color was changed in the movie for Technicolor purposes.

Trivia: Margaret Hamilton proved too authentic as the wicked witch as it was reported that mothers throughout the country had to carry their children out of movie theaters because the children were horrified by her make up.

Leonard Hassen

Trivia: Buddy Ebsen, the original actor hired to play the Tin Man, became very ill from the metallic makeup and was not able to appear in the movie, but his voice can still be heard singing "We're off to see the wizard," when Dorothy and her friends are dancing down the yellow brick road after the forest scene.

Trivia: In L. Frank Baum's books, Dorothy was actually about 11 years old. As Judy Garland was in her mid-teens when she was cast, MGM pulled out all the stops to make her look as young as possible. Already on a chicken soup-only diet and appetite suppressants (as she was a little too chubby for the studio's liking), MGM upped her dosage and had a corset made to flatten any signs of a womanly figure. Garland had to have special lessons on how to walk, talk and dance normally as the corset was so tight. The costume department dressed her in a childish pinafore dress and gave her little girl plaits too. Even with these efforts it's still clear to see that Garland looks older than 11 in the film.

Lucy Reeves

Trivia: The Scarecrow was unable to say the correct Pythagorean Theorem (right after he got his brains), so after multiple attempts, the director simply selected the best take and used it.

Trivia: The method used to make the house fall: Paint the sky on the floor, hold a toy house up against the camera which is elevated over the floor, film the house falling, then reverse the film. Voila.

Trivia: Some of the more minor mistakes in the film may have been left in because there was no time to shoot more accurate takes. This picture wasn't expected to be as big of a hit as it was, and when it went over-budget and took longer than expected to shoot, a lot of pressure was put on the crew and director to finish it. MGM wanted to put Judy Garland in a film with Mickey Rooney, as he was a bigger star than she was (and the studio thought starring with him would help her career), so the crew of the film had to rush to get it all shot and edited so Garland could be released. There was also pressure as every Technicolor camera in existence at the time was needed for Gone with the Wind, which had already started filming.

Lucy Reeves

Trivia: The steam shooting from the Tin Man's cap startles Toto, who runs out of the shot.

rabid anarchist

Trivia: Originally, the Wicked Witch of the West recorded a lot more scenes. Most of these scenes were cut because the director thought it would scare the children too much. You can see evidence of this when the foursome are surrounded by her guards and the witch comes and says something like Ring around the Rosie and it cuts to a different scene with her in it. (01:28:00)

Trivia: Judy Garland was 16 when she did the film and under California law she was a minor. She could only work four hours a day and had to go to school on the lot every day.

bobmcdow4984

Revealing mistake: When the Wicked Witch scares the Munchkins in Munchkinland, where Dorothy lands, she disappears into a cloud of smoke she creates. But you can see her sneak down into a trap door below. [As a sidenote to this entry, Margaret Hamilton was hospitalized for severe burns after a take of this shot (not the final one used) when the stage elevator got stuck and the explosion went off.] (00:30:45)

More mistakes in The Wizard of Oz

Dorothy: How can you talk if you haven't got a brain?
Scarecrow: I don't know. But some people without brains do an awful lot of talking, don't they?

More quotes from The Wizard of Oz

Question: At the very end of the movie after Dorothy says "Oh, Auntie Em, there's no place like home," normally, it fades out to the credits, but once - and only once - when I was very young, I thought I remembered seeing the camera pan away from her face and down to the foot of the bed where you see the ruby slippers tucked underneath the bed, then a fade to the credits. It is obviously a black-and-white shot, but there were the glittering shoes. Has anyone else seen this version of the ending?

Macalou

Chosen answer: Yes. I'm sure I've seen that version. It shows that Dorothy didn't just dream about Oz and makes for a more satisfying conclusion. This version was original but edited out because it didn't follow the book's storyline for "Return to Oz" and the other long series of Oz books. The sequel pertains that she loses the slippers in transit back to her home and falls to the gnome king who destroys Oz which in turn causes Dorothy to return. So seeing the slippers at the end of the bed, while more satisfying, wouldn't really stay true to the Oz series.

I absolutely remember that version with the shoes at her bedside, but nobody I know remembers it.

Thank you! I remember that too but everyone I know thinks I'm nuts.

I remember that too - and I've asked so many people and they said no, I must have dreamed it. Thank you.

I saw that version once when I was a little kid too! I remember it vividly. Now I know I'm not crazy.

Answer: Another fine example of the Mandela Effect. None of the "making of" books reference this alternate ending. The original book ends with Dorothy losing the slippers on her journey back to Kansas.

wizard_of_gore

Answer: This seems to be one of those mass examples of people remembering something that never happened. There are also other variations, like people claiming to remember the film switching to color as the shot pans down to her slipper-clad feet, or the slippers being in color against the sepia-toned B&W footage. But sadly, it seems no officially released version of the film has had such an ending. It's similar to how everyone thinks Darth Vader says "Luke, I am your father," or how everyone thinks Humphrey Bogart says "Play it again, Sam!", even though neither of those lines are real, and people are merely incorrectly remembering them. The film is so ingrained in pop-culture, that people think they know it forwards-and-back, and false memories are created.

TedStixon

I agree that people think they remember things that never happened, but usually for things like this, remembering a scene wrong misquoting a movie lines, it comes from parody versions and people are (correctly) remembering the parody. I've never seen "Silence of the Lambs", but I know the line "Hello, Clarice" from films like "Cable Guy" and not from a false memory of the film.

Bishop73

Answer: I and a friend of mine remember seeing the ruby slippers under Dorthy's bed at the end of the movie. Glad to know we didn't imagine it.

Answer: I remember this being part of a special that was hosted by Angela Lansbury in 1990 and they showed that this ending was considered for the movie. For many years I couldn't remember why I remembered that ending and Angela Lansbury until I looked it up. I wish that it had been left like that. Kids always want their dreams to come true.

More questions & answers from The Wizard of Oz

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