Week of February 13 – Wizard of Oz trivia

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Several actors playing Winged Monkeys were injured when the piano wires holding them up snapped during a shoot on the haunted forest scene.

Reports suggest each Munchkin earned $50 per week, while Toto bagged $125 per week.

So frightening was Margaret Hamilton’s performance as the  Wicked Witch of The West that most of her scenes were heavily edited or cut entirely.

The running time is 101 minutes, but the original cut was 112 minutes – only audiences at test screenings have seen the additional 11 minutes.

The fire that engulfs the Witch’s hands as she’s trying to remove the ruby slippers is actually apple juice spewing out of the shoes – the film was then sped up to make it look more like fire.

A Cairn terrier called Terry played the role of the dog Toto.

The tornado was a 35-foot-long muslin stocking, spun around among miniatures of a Kansas farm and fields in a dusty atmosphere.

So scary were the costumes worn by Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr  (his costume weighed 90 pounds) and Jack Haley that they had to eat meals in their dressing rooms, lest they alarm other diners in the MGM cafeteria.

MGM head Louis B Mayer had the idea of changing the colour of the slippers from silver to ruby.

Jell-O crystals were stuck over all the horses in the Emerald City palace to lend them their colour. The scenes were shot speedily, before the horses began to lick them off.

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