We lift the curtain on the original set to reveal the madness that went on with the Munchkins!!
Behind the magic that is The Wizard of Oz film lies real-life romps that would shame even today’s pop stars. Strange stories abound as to what went on during the filming of the Wizard of Oz and it is the Munchkins whose antics amaze most.
The Munchkins earned between $300 and $800 per week in 1939 money – and they had giant appetites for partying!
Tales of drunken love fests and an “unholy assembly of pimps, hookers and gamblers” emerged from the Culver Hotel where the Muchkins lodged during filming.
Mervyn LeRoy, one of the film;s producers, goes on record to say: “…they had orgies in the hotel and we had to have police on about every floor.”
By the time filming finished, Judy Garland had had enough of the Munchkins’ raucous antics and remarked that they were total drunks who got hammered every night and then the police would scoop them up in butterfly nets.
One German midget had to be rescued from drowning in a toilet bowl. They crew had heard crying from the men’s bathroom. The midget had gotten drunk during lunch, fallen into the toilet bowl and could not get out.
Other staff remarked that many Munchkins made their living by pimping, begging and whoring.
For more information about the wizard of oz munchkins check out this wikipedia article here.
Wizard of Oz Munchkins Hanging Captured on Film
Perhaps the most well known of the Munchkin legends was the urban myth of the hanging munchkin who committed suicide on the move set. The “munchkin suicide” scene happens at the very end of the Tin Woodsman scene, as Dorothy, the Scarecrow, and the Tin man head down the road to the Emerald City. In the center of the shot, just above the characters, it appears that a figure is seen hanging from a tree branch. Did this really happen?
This seen was shot entirely indoors but to give the set a more realistic, outdoors look a bunch of birds were brought in from the local zoo and allowed to roam freely around the set. Towards the end of this infamous scene, as the three main characters start to walk/skip down the road and away from the camera, one of the larger birds standing at the back of the set can be observed moving around and even spreads its wings. Or so that’s the official story.
Watch the video below uploaded in 2011 and you may begin to question this version. Really creepy – watch the video below to make up your own mind – it looks like something is hanging and swinging back and fourth to me.