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Wizard of Oz, The - Wicked Witch Exit
In Munchkin land; after Dorothy has received the ruby slippers from Glinda the Good, the Wicked Witch supposedly disappears in a huge cloud of smoke. But if you watch the ground, carefully, you will see a trap-door open!
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Video-tape of the movie
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JoyK on 10-01-1999
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Morgan writes:
Yes, there was a trap door, and that caused a serious problem once. During one of the shoots, the door didn't release entirely, and the actress playing the Wicked Witch was very badly burned by the fire and smoke covering her exit.
22 of 23 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Lina writes:
OK, first of all, the movie was made in 1939! What can you expect?! There was obviously a trap door! She can't really just poof away in a cloud of smoke. I mean come on, for a movie that was made over 60 years ago, it was pretty darn good. They should have more room for error compared to movies nowadays. The Wizard of Oz is my favorite movie of all time, and I've been a collector of Wizard of OZ memorabilia for over 13years. Give them credit for all of the wonderful stuff they did do OK!
25 of 40 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
jbickfor writes:
The witch doesn't scream; it is one of the munchkins. The trap door doesn't appear obvious in the DVD version (perhaps due to remastering); in any event, that part of the ground appears to be made up of blocks of slate that are all slightly different shades (perhaps precisely done to disguise the trap door?). THe opening of the door is quite apparent, as it seems the area below the door was already filled with smoke and the smoke was forced up as the door opened--making the shape and edges of the aperture very visible. The witch does not writhe--she merely (visibly) drops straight down. I just verified all this with a careful, repeated, slow-motion watching of the scene on the DVD
11 of 13 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Matthew writes:
Actually, that is not her screaming in the movie. That is actually one of the munchkins. She did not know that she was burnt until the man took her away. I saw the show on the Making of the Wizard of Oz. That wasn't her screaming.
9 of 10 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
shorekid writes:
Do you know why Maragret Hamilton went down the trapdoor so fast? Because it was not a trapdoor! It was an elevator box that she stepped on and she travelled down on. By the way Margaret Hamilton did finish the movie after being burned!!
7 of 7 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
darcy_monkey writes:
I have also noticed in this part that there is some of the smoke that the bad witch supposedly disappears in starts to appear before the witch leaves. She has to run over to the smoke to get into the trapdoor, witch is what you others were talking about.
5 of 5 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
ash writes:
Yes, you can see the trap door, even on the DVD. I have this movie on both VHS and DVD. She returned to the movie 6 weeks later to finish filming. She had 2nd degree burn on her face, and 3rd degree on her hands.
4 of 4 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
rangeviper writes:
And if you look at the ground where the wicked witch eventually exits, you can see that the trap door is a different color than the rest of the ground. They tried to match the original color of the ground, but didn't do a very good job.
4 of 5 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
RobNich writes:
The accident was documented in the actress' biography (Margaret Hamilton). She was badly burned and it took a few weeks before they could put the copper make-up on her face again.
4 of 5 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Ne0-MATRIX-Trinity writes:
Evlpigeon is right. She does scream and wiggle around, but if you notice the effect is more dramatic because she burns. If you compare the pyrotechnic to the others in the movie, this one has a huge fireball, while the others are just brightly colored smoke. This happened because she was wearing the flammable makeup, and it made flames rise up. By the way, this is one of my favorite movies, and it has been since I first saw it. I am always eager to learn new behind-the-scenes facts about it and hope to continue for a very long time.
6 of 9 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Ozma3412 writes:
Yeah like what they said above, when she fell through the trap door she was immediatly rushed to the first aid area so she could get her flammable makeup off. If the stage hand hadn't helped her, she would have seriously burned her face or done worse damage.
3 of 4 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
BEX writes:
Don't forget this film was made in 1939 lightyears ahead of it's time! At that time there was no other way to have a character disappear into thin air except through a trap door. In those days special effects were basic and there are bound to be a few slips ups but in those days poeple didn't notice that the sets would wobble and the lion was actually a man in a costume!!!!!
3 of 4 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
evlpigeon writes:
if you listen and watch closely you can hear her scream and she writhes around a bit before disappearing.
6 of 11 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
leahlove525 writes:
No, the witch doesn't scream. That is correct. Because the actress that was actually burned was replaced. She couldn't finish the movie after she burned. She was not the only one replaced, either. Shirley Temple was the first choice for Dorothy, and Buddy Epsen was supposed to be the Tin Man, etc. He was allergic to the make-up. If you've ever watched any specials on this movie, then everything would be much clearer.
5 of 12 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
SlipUpSmilera writes:
I heard that after she was on fire they made the scene continue a little longer so they could put it in the movie and the movie would have great effects. Hey... they used to burn witches anyway.
4 of 11 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes

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