The Wizard of Oz is so old and iconic, it's impossible to imagine that it could have been any different. Also, the whole thing is so bizarre and surreal that you just assume that the madman who came up with the story was dictating exactly what the voices in his head told him. But the reality is that it was like any other big-budget Hollywood blockbuster: It went through lots of notes, rewrites, and last-minute changes before the cameras rolled, some of which would have resulted in a film that bears no resemblance to the classic you know and love.
Changes proved necessary following legal action from the real-life Lollipop Guild.
The Missing Scenes:
The first full treatment of the movie came from screenwriter Noel Langley and contained lots of little bits that never made it into the finished film. For example, Langley wanted the Wizard to be revealed as a fraud early on in the story and travel with Dorothy for a bit. He also threw in a scene where Auntie Em wanted to get rid of Toto, which raised serious questions about Dorothy wanting to return to her Kansas home.
"We're not in Kansas anymore" = "Shit, guess I'm stuck with you for now."
But maybe the weirdest sequence penned by Langley concerned the Cowardly Lion. The way Langley originally wrote the character, the Lion was a cursed prince named Florizel who had been magically turned into a lion and only joined Dorothy's party to free his lost love, Sylvia, from the Wicked Witch.
So in Langley's script, Florizel and Sylvia get together and his curse is broken thanks to the power of love, right? Not exactly. Florizel had to fight and defeat an actual, live lion to free himself from the curse, which would have been a great addition for everyone who thought the film had too much family fun and not enough boss battles. There was also that one bit where Florizel kills the Wicked Witch (or, in later rewrites, a dragon) in a midair duel.
They couldn't even wait to finish filming before scripting the gritty reboot.
As you've probably guessed, all of that was eventually thrown out in favor of a plot that was closer to the books and that Langley considered "so cutesy and oozy that I could have vomited." In fact, after finally seeing the movie and realizing what the studio had done to his script, Langley admitted to breaking down and crying like a baby.
"Nobody's going to pay to see this turd!"
Ryan Menezes is a writer and layout editor here at Cracked. He broke down and made a Twitter page just for his Cracked fans. Please follow Jacopo on Twitter and check out this slick website for his upcoming novel, THE GREAT ABRAHAM LINCOLN POCKET WATCH CONSPIRACY.
Want to know more interesting tidbits about famous movies? Check out 30 Mind-Blowing (True) Facts about Famous Movie Scenes and 36 Plot Holes You Never Noticed in Famous Movie Scenes.
Related Reading: Some deleted scenes would've utterly ruined the movie; like Schwarzenegger as a kooky Southern Sergeant. A few deleted scenes are just absurd, like that giant octopus attack in The Goonies. Oh, and the biggest plot hole in Independence Day was also explained in a deleted scene.