Wizard of Oz, The Easter Egg - Hanging Munchkin

Many believe in the scene where Dorothy and the others are skipping down the road in the woods, if you look closely in the left-hand side of the background, you can see a Munchkin who hanged himself. If you watch the movie on a newer tv where the color is better, you will notice that there isn't someone hanging themselves. It is merely a large bird that lifts his head, puts his head down again and then brings it back up. Then the bird speads its wings giving the illusion of somone swinging. If you pay close attention the whole time they are in the forest scene with the Tin Man look in the background. You will see these birds throughout the scene.

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Contributed By: Indi on 08-07-1999
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the answer is quite straightforward,in the future cyberdyne systems needed to know how the first terminator was created,so they sent a t1000 back through time to the set of wizard of oz,to download the technical specifications from the first terminator,(the tin man) but the time displacement grid sent the terminator to the wrong part of the set causing a future concern,which has been attempted to be corrected. the future is not set.
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How many of you people have actually seen the "original" version of this? You should see it before righting remarks about it.
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insanity writes:
It wasn't a munchkin, it was a stagehand. If any of you have seen one of the originally released copies of The Wizard of Oz, you can plainly and clearly see the hanging person in the background. In the newer versions, the whole thing was altered so it wouldn't be so graphic. For those who still don't know where or when it is...When dorothy first meets the Tin Man, when they just begin to sing and go on their way...in the background is a man hanging himself (voluntary or not...that's only something the crew knows.)
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AcidBurn writes:
If you watch this scene over and over again, you can see both the bird-thing and the hanging person. It is there. It's not someone catching an animal. I don't know if its real or not. Maybe they threw it in there and never released that it was fake so years later people like us would still be sitting around talking about it. I have heard so many stories of what its supposed to be. I still believe its a person. I've seen it too many times to believe otherwise.
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lbedal writes:
I can't believe this one is still going around -- or that people who actually watch the scene still believe it. As Dorothy, the Scarecrow, and the Tin Man head off together toward Oz, one of several large cranes in the scene is standing off the road near some trees at the center of the screen. You can see its neck bend and rise again, and then, as the characters come near, it spreads its wings. It doesn't look anything like a hanging body but some people do have an imagination!
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Rachel writes:
alright, the part where I saw the hanging man or whatever it was, was the part where the wicked witch is on the roof, and she says do yu wanna play ball scarecrow, and throws the fireball at him, and I saw it in the movies, on a small screen, and on a big screen TV, and all three times it looked the same, it looked like a person hanging himself. It could just be a bird or something, but in my whole life I have never seen a bird that looked like that, cuz after the person is done haning himself, or whatever he is doing he swings back, and forth, not touching the ground. The only thing that makes me think that it's not a person is that if this happened it would have been more public, like when it first came out (a while ago) it would have probably been on the news, or something, cuz a death on a movie, doesn't just stay unmentioned. So you can think what you want to think but in my mind it is a person hanging himself.
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if in fact that it was a "person hanging heimself"which i know it isnt, then think about physics here , people. if someone were to jump off of a platform,they wouldnt swing like 10 feet out and back in, as this"munchkin"did. its a bird.
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matt writes:
Look at the "figure" in the background. Ever been on a soundstage? For a figure to be that small (even if it were a munchin) the production area would have had to have been extremely deep.
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See, I remember reading somewhere that it was a stagehand who'd been working on lighting, got his foot (not neck) tangled in some wires, and fell. No, he wasn't strangled, but he was just kind of hanging there -- albeit upside down -- until he could free himself. It's obviously not a suicide since if it had been, it woudln't have just been a swinging motion in the background -- the body would have dropped straight down and twitched and convulsed as bodies do when they are hanged.
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jeepman writes:
For all of you who believe it is a bird (Crane). You are all right and all wrong. If you have a copy of the movie that was bought within the last 15 to 20 years, then what you saw was a edited version intended to look like a crane opening it's wings. However the original version (which I am fortunate enough to have), clearly shows a man hanging himself next to ladder in the background. If you do not have this unedited version you can watch it over and over and you will still see the same thing. A large bird opening it's wings. In fact I also own the DVD version and it is clearly different from my original.
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64281 writes:
I heard that it was one of the producers. Anyway several of my coworkers and I all saw what is clearly a man climb the tree jump and miss. He immediately climbs back up and jumps again, successfully hanging himself. This is at the point where the witch throws the fireball. It can only be seen in the original version because it was not caught by the editors untill after it's release on video tape.
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chikletz writes:
From what I have heard, that sounds the most reasonable, is that it was not a person or a bird, it was actually a sandbag that had fallen down. I own the collectors addition of the film, which was unedited, and it is clear that it is not a person or one of the birds because I have checked before and watched very closely.
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LeeBone writes:
Okay, I'll try and be nice about this. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to see that the so called hangman is a Crane. When the cast members are wlking away you can see it's head near the ground, it gets startled, raises it's head and turns then raises both wings and then lowers them again. You can see the white fethers and black tipped wings. I suggest that you all look at a site created by MGM to figure this out and stop beleiving everything you here from people how have no clue what ther are talking about!
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Nora Jean writes:
I totally agree with Leebone and taiyokara. I do have the newer version and saw it recently. And when the part came up it was a bird moving around. So I thought maybe the other people are right that it is in the unedited version. But when I went to site that taiyokara recomended they had a clip of the old version. I saw it and it was the exact same thing as what I saw in my newer version, a bird moving around. So this is just a legand that developed when the movie could come out on video. I also think that a lot of people are lying about their story and it is kind of hard to belive a story that a lot of people commented very differently. Ahh the joy of GOSSIP!
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Alright people. For those of you who say that you have not seen it do not have the origninal version of the movie. If you watch any of the newer versions you will see that when the Tin Man, Dorthy and the Scarecrow skip off you will see a house and a crane. Now all of a sudden the crane will take off but from a different place from where he was sitting as if something were edited out. In the original version that was put out, if you can get your hands on it, you can see a man hanging himself in the background very clearly.
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rangeviper writes:
Ok, I've heard so much about the 'original copy' and how it 'clearly' shows the hanging person. So my question is this: Who has a copy of the original and if I sent you a blank vhs tape and pay all the postage, would you make a copy for me. I'm really interested to see this for myself. Apparently, it should be easy to meet this request. Why would they leave a dead guy in a family movie? Someone HAD TO have spotted him!
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Meg writes:
That's funny because I saw something completely different. In the scene where they meet the Tinman and sing, "We're Off to See the Wizard" again, in the very back of the forest, it looks like someone is running off the set. Like maybe a crew member who wanted to get a better look at the movie and then ran off after he saw the camera getting his image on film, (I know, that is a terrible run on sentence). I saw the birds too, (anyone who thinks they are a person hanging themselves needs to get their eyes checked), but what I am talking about didn't look like a bird, (it could have been, though, like I said, it was at the veryback of the set). Also, when I heard the hanging munchkin rumor, I heard it was the mayor munchkin. Well, that can't be true because he is my friend's third cousin, and she didn't hear anything about that.
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Semigenius writes:
Actually it's not a emu or a crane or a disgruntled munchcan. My grandfather worked as a cableman on the set when the movie was made. He said that due to the fact that it was an indoor set they wanted to give it a more outdoors look and reqruited various exotic animals from the Los Angeles Zoo and allowed to roam the set. He said that he ought to know since he was one of the guys who had to round them back up after the shoot. Plus the filming of this sence was done before the the scene in munchcan-land and none of the munchans had even been hired for the shoot. That should settle the entire arguement but this was noticed back when the movie was first released and viewers could actually rewind, pause, play and review the scene over and over and took tell you the truth it does look like someone is hanging there ..... but ..... it's not. Things are not always what they seem ........ Col. Derek A. Cain Pulaski County, Kentucky
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This is so obvious... some of you are saying that on the original you can see it but on the remastered version you can't. Well duh! It was always a crane, ok! But on the original its not quite as clear and it looks a little like a hanging thing on the small screen whereas on th remastered version it's a lot clearer and it's easier to make it out on the remastered one. that's what remastered means duh
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jhayesdvm writes:
the munchkin hanging in the forrest is not a munchkin. earlier in the scene there is a bird like a crane or something. if you pay attention what you see "hanging" is the bird in the background raising it's wings probabally because there's a lion, tin man, scare crow, and girl dancing right at him
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niv writes:
I remember hearing about this rumor when I was a kid. If you pay close attention to the this sene( The woods with the Tin Man) there is a large crane walking in the background. As this seen progresses the crane is farther and farther in the background. The part of the sene in question (the hanging) is the crane opening and closing its wings.
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SimianZero writes:
we actually had a debate in a psychology class i attended last semester, and the concensus we hit goes like this: if you look around the set in the couple minutes preceding the characters skipping off, you'll see a handfull of four foot blue birds (emus, if i'm not mistaken). they give an exotic atmosphere, i guess. watch the way they move. they bend at the "waist" and peck at the ground. now watch the spot in the back where the "munchkin" is "seen". you can see the shadow making this same motion, so it can be safely assumed that this is just one more of the birds that just kinda wandered off tothe back.
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taiyokara writes:
This rumor really gets on my nerves. there was no hanging man or munchkin. IT IS A STORK. if not a stork, some other large bird, like an emu. The reason that this rumor has spread is because of the fact that most people see the Wizard of Oz on home video, on relatively small screens. If you see it at a movie theater, you can see that it is a bird flapping its wings. Go to this site: http://www.snopes.com/movies/films/ozsuicid.htm It gives many more valid reasons for why this rumor is inaccurate. if that site is not sufficent, check out this one: http://www.eskimo.com/~tiktok/faq11.html#q11.20
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Gordie Bauer writes:
Another example of idiots who have too much time on their hands! Can you believe that such morons exist? Like the crew on this movie wouldn't notice that a fresh corps was hanging within 15-20 feet of the camera. Shame on you!
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Puck writes:
It's funny how all the people that believe there was someone hanging themselves or being hung or whatever never supply a valid source for their findings, nor does anyone ever seem to have the same story behind what happened. "It's someone that wanted to play the Tin Man, but couldn't?" Why was he hanging around the set? "When someone commits suicide by hanging, the body won't swing." Oh, so the laws of physics stop applying to those that are killing themselves. "It was Dorothy's understeady." What's an understeady? "You have to see the original version." Well, I've been watching the movie since I was a kid and they ran it on CBS every year around Easter...years and years ago. Even back then it was a bird, so much for the idea of some computer generated image being placed in the DVD version. I've seen this newer version, too. It's amazingly the same as every other version which makes me suspect that they didn't film a few versions, just one. Does anyone remember an actor named Brandon Lee who died while filming The Crow? Has anyone seen the version where you see him die? Very, very few have. The copies of that part of the film were destroyed. If Hollywood of just a few years ago was sensitive enough to not let us watch a real death in The Crow, are we to believe that they didn't think a real death on film would be disturbing back in 1939?
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marcus writes:
It's a bird.
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