The Wizard of Oz is a 1939 musical/fantasy/comedy film adapted from the 1900 novel, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum and produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
It features a scene where the Scarecrow inexplicably has a revolver firearm. That isn’t it however; the Tinman has a wrench (along with his normal axe), the Lion has a bug catching net, and a two-handed pump sprayer with the words “WITCH REMOVAL” (or REMOVER), and the Scarecrow actually has another item that isn’t seen or heard from again after the scene; a walking staff/stick.
The items possessed by the other members are usually not even mentioned within the Mandela Effect community when reporting on it. It seems like the gun that the Scarecrow is holding is the most shocking to people. The Mandela Effect here is that people do not remember the gun and are convinced that either this scene never existed or he never had a gun.
Take a look at the following scene below:
I personally do not remember this scene, but I was just like the others in believing there’s no way the Scarecrow had a gun. It doesn’t make sense. Yet the scene is there. I wouldn’t say I’m a devoted fan or anything, but I’ve seen the movie a number of times.
As an experiment, I asked my friend to watch the scene without telling her anything. She has seen the film numerous times. I asked if she noticed anything out of ordinary. She didn’t notice anything. I showed it again, and yet again she couldn’t see anything weird. I think that’s at the heart of what we are dealing with here. It’s an obscure thing that has no right or context to being in the movie, and it’s hardly noticeable even when asked to be aware. It’s only when we point out these oddities, the viewers become aware of them. While my impromptu experiment doesn’t conclude anything, I feel it at least raises some points on how this could be missed or completely forgotten.
It was brought up again in popularity (and my mind) recently due to a Cinemassacre video on the subject.
Many long-time fans conclude that the scene exists as part of a larger deleted portion of the movie that explains all of these items. This has proven to be the case with “The Jitterbug”, a found piece of footage that shows a home video created featuring the music and some rehearsal production from the movie:
As the clip states:
“The Jitterbug” took five weeks to rehearse and film and was cut from the picture after the first preview. Here is the complete track of the number accompanied by more of Alren’s home movies made during a camera rehearsal of the song; a brief opening portio[sic] of the number is covered by stills of the stars. The jitterbug itself was a pink-and-blue-mosquito-like creature who – under direct orders from the Wicked Witch – stung the principal characters and sent them into a frenzied dance in the Haunted Forest.
While the video above doesn’t directly explain the items, it makes sense they were given them to fight the Jitterbug, especially the Lion’s bug catching net and pump-sprayer. It also matches up with the scene taking place in the Haunted Forest.
According to “ninaplays“, a Redditor, she or he also mentions that depending on the version or “print” you are watching, it’s possible that the Haunted Forest scene in question may have not even appeared. Additionally, a lot of the prints of the film are poorly restored, and in some cases, to make out the finer details of the gun, or any other items the cast members are holding is quite a hard task indeed. Thus leading to even further obscurity.
The post-production of the film is fraught with inconsistencies. Take a look at this poster/lobby card (which shows the gun and other items as well):
Notice anything weird there? Besides the whole scene being lit by daylight, Dorothy’s missing her ruby slippers, and appears in a red dress instead? The Scarecrow’s colors are also off (they used blue and purple instead of green and brown).
They even forgot to color the gun properly. Maybe the artists didn’t even see it and thought it was part of Scarecrow’s hand? That definitely crossed my mind watching the scene as well. It could have been mistakenly be seen as his finger or hand, especially if the print you were watching was dark or muddy.
As erik larson mentions in the comments, lobby cards were often produced by third parties and involved colorizing a black and white frame. It’s likely they guessed at the colors. It’s also weirder mistake given that this lobby card is for the 1949 re-release.
The production, restoration, and continuity of the film is a mess. The Movie Mistakes website entry for The Wizard of Oz has 22 pages of errors (which features this “Mandela Effect” funnily enough). This scene appearing in the movie with inexplicable items is not out of the realm of possibilities.
- Everybody Run, The Scarecrow Of Oz Has A Gun!!!
- Scarecrow in Wizard of Oz with a gun?
- The Wizard of Oz (Movie Mistakes)
- Wizard of Oz – Why does scarecrow have a gun? (Cinemassacre video)