When we were kids the Wizard of Oz would come on television once a year. We would put on our pajamas and pop some popcorn in the air-popper. Then my sisters and I would throw our sleeping bags and pillows on the carpet, and stare at the “boob tube” for the full duration of the film. I remember I couldn’t wait until Dorothy got to Oz and everything was in color. Today I still love this movie, it’s one of my all-time favorites, and I think I could answer any question you could throw at me – that is until I learned there is a deleted song and scene!
I have been taking a writing class and the Professor was talking about editing your outline, adding things, and deleting others. As an example he mentioned The Jitterbug song that was cut from the Wizard of Oz. I had to look it up right away, and sure enough, there it was. It occurred right before the flying monkeys attached Dorothy and her crew, outside of the Witch’s castle. The Witch had sent a bug that would infect the unsuspecting four-some, with the jitterbug. It would force them to sing and dance, essentially tiring them out and making them easy prey for the flying monkeys. Can we just take a moment to think about how bazaar this film is? Flying monkeys!
The Professor was pointing out that sometimes something may feel right, until you see the big picture. This scene was fully rehearsed and ready to film, then they cut it. Why, you ask? Ultimately because it derailed the story. You have the scary Witch about to descend upon the four-some, the suspense would have been interrupted by an upbeat song and dance. It would have taken away from the built up tension of the moment. So it was cut. Here is a clip from YouTube.
It’s an interesting lesson in story building. No one likes to cut something they worked hard on, but the big picture may lead us in a different direction.