Hidden Playbook

Shocking Secrets From the Filming of the Wizard of Oz

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The Wizard of Oz was released in 1939 and is the story of a girl who visits a fantasy land very different from her home in Kansas. There are some secrets from the filming of the movie that you won’t believe.
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Iron Lung

The original Tin Man was covered in aluminum powder to give him his color. Unfortunately, after breathing it in for a few days, Buddy Ebsen became critically ill and had to recover in an iron lung. Jack Haley replaced him, minus the powder.
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The Second Version

It turns out that a 13-minute silent film version of The Wizard of Oz was produced in 1910.
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Poor Toto

The dog that played Toto suffered a broken paw during filming when a guard stepped on his foot.
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Pro-Nazi

Many reports from actors and actresses of the movie say that Victor Fleming, the director, was a pro-Nazi sympathizer.
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Midget Elevator

Because the Wizard of Oz features dwarves who play the Munchkins, a person was hired solely to lift them on and off of items that were designed for people of average height.
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Burned Wicked Witch

When Margaret Hamilton appeared in a cloud of smoke as the Wicked Witch, some of the special effects went crazy and her makeup caught fire, burning her hands and face.
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Dorothy was Slapped

When Judy Garland giggled at the lion when he arrived on set, Fleming reportedly slapped her to get her back on track.
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Jell-O for the Horses

During the famous “horse of a different color” scene, Jell-O was used to give the horses their bright colors.
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Pay Day

According to reports, actors and actresses playing the Munchkins were paid $50 per week during filming. Toto was paid $125 per week.
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Scary Midgets

According to many of the actors in the movie, including Judy Garland, the actors and actresses playing the Munchkins were drunks who got into trouble all the time.
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