A co-director of a play I was in told me that when the Munchkins in WIZARD OF OZ(of course the MGM one)first met each other, they were SO excited to meet other midgets that they whooped and hollered, and in response were sprayed by water from firehoses! My co-director pointed out “This was before Screen Actors Guild!” OK, maybe it was, but it didn’t sound right to me. She insisted she’d seen it in a documentary, but it sounds more like UNDER THE RAINBOW with Chevy Chase(which I haven’t seen).
Oh, they liquidated them, eh? Very resourceful!
Here’s a 1967interview with Judy Garland that was probably the beginning of every Munchkin rumor
ever. Of course, she seemed to be drunk, so her memories might have been a little distorted.
Yes, it’s true. Everyone knows midgets can’t be reasoned with so MGM had fire hoses on set for just such an eventuality.
I thought you had to pour some salt on the floor - it forces them to stop whatever they’re doing and count the grains.
… Which was predated by the Lollipop Guild!
I don’t know about the rest of the story (seems fishy to me), but this isn’t true. The Screen Actors Guild was founded in 1933–in fact, some of the pivotal early meetings took place at the home of Frank Morgan, the Wizard himself, and Frank’s brother Ralph Morgan was the Guild’s first president. Most of the major Hollywood production companies had agreed to negotiate with SAG by 1937.
Given that most of them were hired as a troupe from Singer’s Midgets, and so were already well acquainted (and the others were recruited all over the US by existing troupers), this sounds like pure bullshit
Many of the munchkins in the film were hired by Singer for the first time and were not part of his troupe (IIRC, some were hired directly by MGM, but Singer contractually got credit). So it’s certainly possible that they didn’t all know each other. But the rest of the story seems dubious.
Listen, and understand! Little People are out there! They can’t be bargained with. They can’t be reasoned with. They don’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And they absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.
They got little hands and little eyes, and they walk around telling great big lies!
The ones that were first-timers with Singer were scouted for by his own troupe members, so wouldn’t be surprised at seeing other little people on set. They may not all have been pals, but they certainly wouldn’t have been surprised to see others like themselves.
My understanding is that the direct non-Singer hires were mostly kids, not little people. But it’s been ages since I read Munchkins of Oz
I hear that the studio hired “companions” for the Munchkins to keep them in line. It is in several books.
(What’s with the three Wizard of Oz zombie bumps?)
And Little People know when Little People fight, we may look easy pickings but we’ve got some bite!
I don’t know about the wild hijinks, but I have heard some Munchkins telling stories about being surprised to see other little people for the first time. I can’t cite, as I’ve absorbed WAAAY too much about this movie over my lifetime.
If you look at some of the stills you can see some of the munchkins were kids.
There’s a Wizard of Oz column on the front page and several related threads about it are listed under it.
They must have had a lot of fun when they wrapped for the day. I would have liked to have been there for the midget toss in the evening!
Quoting from The Making of The Wizard of Oz, by Aljean Harmetz (1977), p.188:
There are more quotes by a couple of other people, but they follow the same vein.
I have no opinion as to whether these people’s recollections are accurate.