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A Scene Deleted From THE WIZARD OF OZ?

I recently purchased The Wizard of Oz and was disappointed that it was edited. After Dorothy kills the Witch by throwing water on her, the guards and the monkeys are supposed to sing. This part is missing from my tape!

This, unlike the Hanging Munchkin Mystery, is a misunderstanding that can be cleared up right here and now. THE WIZARD OF OZ is complete and intact on every single television and home video release, including the presently available THX versions. What Sherri is referring to is the reprise of the 'Ding Dong the Witch is Dead' song, sung earlier by the Munchkins, a scene that indeed was filmed for the movie. The song was begun by the Witch's guards (called Winkies, by the way) after they give Dorothy the Witch's broomstick. The song continued across a dissolve, sung by a group of Emerald City citizens as they escort Dorothy and her merry party of Witch assassins to the Wizard's door.

All of this information is from THE ULTIMATE OZ, a tape and laser release that comes with an exhaustive treasure of visual and audio extras. In reading the original shooting script of OZ, we see not only the reference to the deleted reprise, but also a number of Wicked Witch dialogue lines that were dropped after previews of the film in 1939 evoked too much fright from the moppets in the audience. The 'Ding Dong reprise' apparently was previewed as well, but was cut out of the film before release. It was never in the film after that point.

If it was never in the film, where are these sincere letters coming from? If these people are so disappointed, they must have seen it, right?

Well, no. These people have seen and heard the "Ding Dong reprise", only not in the movie itself. A snippet of the scene shows up in the theatrical trailer for OZ, a short clip that has been used in many promos and commercial breaks during TV showings of the film over the years. And a portion of the song was included on a Decca kiddie record that's been popular for decades, edited seamlessly with the other songs and selected dialogue into a digest audio version of OZ. I had the record myself (until my mother hid it because I played it too much) and I remember it from there. Because the experts are adamant about there being no variant versions of this film, I have to conclude that the memory of the record and/or the scene from the trailer in TV promos have sparked a number of memory misunderstandings.

DVD Savant Text © Copyright 2007 Glenn Erickson

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