The Wizard of Oz is one of the most well known movie classics of all time. Almost everyone has seen it, so of course there are bound to be rumors. One, in particular, is the hanging theory -- the urban legend that either a midget or stagehand hanged themselves on film. The question is, what really happened? While most agree that it is in fact false, some still argue that the hanging was real.
The suicide scene allegedly takes place when Dorothy, the Scarecrow, and the Tin Man head down the yellow brick road, on their way to Emerald City (after the Wicked Witch leaves). Deep in the background, a dark figure can be seen.
Some say that a distraught munchkin hanged himself. The story says that he was upset because the female munchkin that he loved didn’t feel the same way for him. He then decided to kill himself right on set. Others say that it was a clumsy stagehand who accidentally fell out of a prop tree onto the set, getting caught in a cable of some sort, and was strangled to death.
Legend has it that the figure in the forest clearly takes a wooden block, stands on it, hangs himself, and then kicks the block out from underneath. On the other hand, critics argue that it was an exotic bird which was placed on set to give the movie a natural and realistic atmosphere. The moving figure was simply a bird, most likely a crane, flapping its wings and pecking at the ground.
The rumor started after the movie came out on VHS tape, which enabled people to replay the scene over and over. On the small screen, things appear much differently. With the picture being so small, the image wasn’t clear and this lead people to start the rumors. Supposedly, on the big screen it is undeniably a bird.
If it really was a suicide, why would they keep it on the final movie? Why not just redo the scene? Some conclude that it was too expensive and they were short on money. And why wouldn’t someone notice what had happened? After all, the three actors didn’t react to it or even seem to notice what happened.
Before you come to any conclusions, watch the video below. It should put to rest any doubt as to whether or not a munchkin committed suicide on the set of the Wizard of Oz.