The Wizard of Oz

Trivia: When the Wizard is getting ready to take off in the balloon, while most people watch Dorothy climb out of the basket and go after Toto, the Tin Man is unravelling the thing holding the hot air balloon down, then he "accidentally" lets go. (01:34:55)

Trivia: When The Witch tries to get off the Ruby Slippers, fire strikes her hands. This "fire" was actually dark apple juice spewing out of the shoes. The film was sped up to make it look like fire.

rabid anarchist

Trivia: The falling snow in the poppy field was actually made from industrial grade chrysotile asbestos, despite the health hazards already being known at the time. While none of the main actors died from asbestos-related illnesses, the son of Jack Haley (Tin Man) died of respiratory failure age 67, which some have wondered might have been mesothelioma, caused by his father bringing asbestos dust home back from filming.

Trivia: A Russian writer adapted "The Wizard of Oz" for Russian children. Dorothy was re-named Allie, and Toto could talk. He later wrote 5 more books about the adventures of Allie, her sister Annie, Toto, Scarecrow, Tinman and Lion. The book is titled "The Wizard of the Emerald City", by Alexander Volkov. It has been translated into English along with the sequels.

Trivia: The album "Dark side of the moon" by Pink Floyd seems to be in sync (by accident or design) with the Wizard of Oz if you start it right after the MGM lion roars the third time. Examples: the smoke turns black and blue when they are visiting the wizard as the words "black and blue" are sung. When the tone of the movie changes as Dorothy falls in the pigpen, the music picks up, becoming somewhat "panicky." When Auntie Em is "gripping" at the Uncles, the music has a nagging woman's voice that matches Auntie Em perfectly. The Tin Man's dance to a track called Speak to Me/Breathe. This has to be done with DVD/CD, and bear in mind that PAL format DVDs play back 4% faster due to differing frame rates, so for a 101 minute film like this it'll be 4 minutes apart from the NTSC version by the end, potentially messing up any synchronisation.

Trivia: At least eleven pairs of ruby slippers were removed from the Wizard of Oz movie set. One of them is now displayed in the Smithsonian Museum.


Trivia: Early in pre-production, Shirley Temple was considered for the role of Dorothy, who would have been on loan out from 20th Century Fox, but the truth as to why she did not get the part remains uncertain. One reason offered is that MGM's head of production, Mervyn LeRoy, was under pressure to cast Shirley (who was a popular child star at the time), but during an unofficial audition he decided that her singing was not what he envisioned for Dorothy and wanted an actress with a different style. Another reason is that they thought it to be too big a role for such a young actress (she was 11 at the time). Yet another possible reason is that 20th Century Fox studio head Darryl F. Zanuck was offered double Shirley's salary to star her in the film, but Zanuck declined, and the offer was raised to MGM's budget limit that the film could afford, but once again Zanuck declined. In addition, a rumored story exists that there was a deal that MGM's Jean Harlow and Clark Gable were going to be on loan to 20th Century Fox in return for Shirley's loan out to MGM, but after Harlow's death (from uremic poisoning brought on by acute nephritis) in 1937 the deal ended. However, Harlow died in 1937, which was before MGM had even purchased the rights to the story.

Trivia: Buddy Ebsen was originally slated to play the Scarecrow, with Ray Bolger originally the Tin Woodman; Bolger asked to switch places since his dancing style was much closer to how a scarecrow would dance than to a tin woodsman.

Trivia: The original head of Oz that appeared in front of the columns was a flat piece of painted plywood for the actors to look at during filming. It is visible as such in an often-published studio still. For the film version, they filmed Frank Morgan in the large head make-up and superimposed it on the footage of the empty set.

Leonard Hassen

Trivia: One of the most popular quotes from the movie is "Fly, My Pretties, Fly" which Wicked Witch of West tells Winged Monkeys when she sends them for our heroes. There is one problem with this - this line DOESN'T exist in the movie. What Wicked Witch actually says, and it is very well obviously heard, is "Fly, Fly, Fly".


Trivia: Although in the film the main characters get on well, the actors who played the Scarecrow, the Tinman and the Lion actually resented Judy Garland as they were convinced that she was trying to up-stage them. This wasn't true, but Garland had a very hard time when making the film as she was only friendly with Margaret Hamilton and her musical director, Roger Edens. Actually at the time, Garland was on a much lower salary than most of the stars. She received $500 a month, with $200 of that for her mother Ethel's services.

Lucy Reeves

Trivia: In the beginning of the movie you can see an umbrella across the handlebars of the bike Almira Gulch is riding. This is a nod to the witch in the original book who carries a umbrella around to keep dry but never flew around on a broomstick.

Trivia: More than a dozen writers worked on various versions of the Oz script. Some of their "original" ideas that were (thankfully) scrapped: an opera-singing Princess Betty of Oz; a stupid son for the Wicked Witch with ambitions to be King of Oz; and a budding romance between Dorothy and one of the farmhands. For a while, the Wicked Witch was to be glamorous (a la Disney's witch in Snow White), but fortunately, saner heads prevailed and kept her as L. Frank Baum had originally written her.

Jean G

Trivia: Contrary to common belief, "The Wizard of Oz" is not based on Populism (a mostly rural movement in the 1890s that challenged the interests of the railroads and big business) and its ideals. This myth originated from the fact that writer L. Frank Baum had been the editor of a Populist newspaper in Kansas prior to writing the Oz books.


Trivia: The Wicked Witch of the West appears for only 12 minutes in the entire film.

Trivia: Several actresses screened for the Wicked Witch of the West, but none had the right chemistry the directors wanted opposite of Judy and Billie (Burke). The role went to Lady Margaret Hamilton, at a perfect time, being a single, divorced mom raising a young son, and had just bought a house.


Revealing mistake: When the Lion runs out of the Wizard's room, the group disappears because it is an obvious backdrop.


More mistakes in The Wizard of Oz

Wicked Witch: Ohhh... You cursed brat! Look what you've DONE! I'm melting! Melting! Oh... What a world, what a world! Who would have thought a good little girl like you could destroy my beautiful wickedness?!

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?


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.


I also remember this scene; however, I remember it in a television movie, and it was at the beginning, not the end, of an entirely different movie.

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 version and after that I expected to see the same ending but no I never saw that ending again. I got the response that no-one I know saw that ending of the movie where the ruby slippers being on her feet in her bed. Thank you for that answer. This was a long time mystery.

I absolutely remember that scene.

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: 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.


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.


Answer: This website gives some confirmation it's one of those myths that spread around and get mixed up in people's memories to being convinced they have seen it despite no evidence of it existing. In a film as big as the Wizard of Oz where die hard fans have collected original scripts, notes, and "lost" imagery over the years; we certainly would have something to back this up other than eye witness memory. Especially if it supposedly made it to the final print for viewing audiences as the original Wizard of Oz footage has been carefully preserved, as it's considered one of the most important films of all time. This footage wouldn't be completely lost if it made it to final showing print. Surely somebody would have posted it by now on YouTube. It is possible somebody made a skit or parody of this though contributing to the idea that it was actually in a print of the real movie.

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.

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.

More questions & answers from The Wizard of Oz

Join the mailing list

Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.