Wizard of Oz Trivia You May Not Know

  • Actor Buddy Ebsen was initially cast to play the Tin Man. However, Ebsen suffered a severe allergic reaction to the silver make-up and was released from the movie.
    • Jack Haley replaced Ebsen as the Tin Man. Buddy Ebsen shot a substantial amount of scenes before he was released from the film. Ebsen’s vocals can still be heard in the song, “We’re off to see the Wizard”. Even though Ebsen left the film, his vocals for the song can also be heard on the movie’s soundtrack.
    • Margaret Hamilton was supposed to have more screen time as The Wicked Witch of the West. However, Hamilton was so convincing as an evil witch, that the directors decided to cut some of her scenes. The powers that be, felt that The Wicked Witch of the West was too ghoulish and scary for viewers.
    • The actors that played the munchkins in the The Wizard of Oz were paid $50 a week. Their work week consisted of 6 full days. Dorothy’s dog Toto received $125 per week.
    • The colored horses in Emerald City weren’t achieved with special effects or paint. The horses’ vibrant colors were due to Jell-O crystals. The horse scenes were filmed as quickly as possible in an effort to stop the horses from licking the Jell-O off of their skin.
    • In the scene where The Wicked Witch tries to steal Dorothy’s ruby red slippers, a spark of fire strikes her hand. Many viewers didn’t realize that the flame was not actually fire. Even though the spark looked like fire, it was actually dark apple juice. The producers rigged Dorothy’s shoes to spew apple juice when the witch touched them. The scene was then sped up in order to create a fire illusion.
    • As The Wicked Witch of the West, Margaret Hamilton had to wear a thick layer of green make-up. The Wicked Witch would often disappear in a cloud of smoke. Hamilton was injured on the set, when her make-up heated up during one of the vanishing scenes. As a result of this incident, Margaret Hamilton suffered third-degree burns to her face and hands.
    • Judy Garland was 16 years old when she played Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. Since Dorothy is supposed to be a child, Garland had to alter her appearance. The role required Garland to wear a tight corset throughout the entire movie. The corset made Garland appear as though she was flat-chested.
    • Bert Lahr’s played the role of the Cowardly Lion. The Cowardly Lion’s costume weighed over 50 pounds. Lahr’s costume was so hot and heavy, that the studio’s doors had to be left open periodically. Jack Haley’s Tin Man costume was stiff and uncomfortable. Haley couldn’t sit down in between breaks like the rest of the cast. While the cast sat comfortably, Haley would prop himself up against a board. Margaret Hamilton had to eat sandwiches wrapped in wax paper. The wax paper was used to protect both her food and her make-up.
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