Health and safety horrors filming “The Wizard of Oz” in 1939
To celebrate huge strides H&S has made protecting workers, read horror tales of risk and injury from the film set
Ground-breaking at the time, and an enduring whimsical favourite, it seems hard to believe that “The Wizard of Oz” has been entertaining families since 1939. Whilst the story contains some dark themes and innovative special effects for the time, the reality of the dangers faced by the cast and crew on the film set are even darker.
Click this link to take a look at these Wizard of Oz facts and see for yourself just how treacherous filming was at times.
For a quick synopsis, how are these for horrifying health and safety scenarios?
Buddy Ebsen, AKA Jed Clampett of The Beverly Hillbillies, was originally cast as the Tin Man but had to leave the film when aluminium dust from his makeup put him in an iron lung.
During the Munchkinland sequence, a faulty trap door was responsible for inflicting serious burns upon Margaret Hamilton, who played the Wicked Witch of the West. She missed six weeks of filming and subsequently insisted her stand-in handle any scenes involving fire. The stand-in, Betty Danko, was then asked to sit on a makeshift pipe that spewed smoke during the “Surrender Dorothy” scene. The pipe, fitted to look like a broomstick, exploded during filming, sending Danko to the hospital for 11 days and scarring her legs permanently.
Additionally, Margaret Hamilton’s copper-based makeup was highly toxic and her green complexion took months to fade.
Read the full article for many more that will give you chills – and let us all be thankful that health and safety has become the profession of which we can all be proud.
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