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The Wizard of Oz (1939) Poster

Goofs

Audio/visual unsynchronised 

After the line, "Well, my little pretty, I can cause accidents too," the Witch is about to deliver further dialog, which we do not hear. The script backs up this claim. The full dialog was: "Well, my little pretty, I can cause accidents, too - and this is how I do it!"
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When the three chant "Lions and tigers and bears!" just before encountering the Cowardly Lion, and it is Dorothy's turn to say the first, "Oh my!", her mouth does not move.
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In at least two shots, where the violin players in red and white are visible, as Dorothy is leaving Munchkin Land, the sounds of the violins in the accompanying music do not match the actors' hand movements.
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When Dorothy uses the knocker on the door to the Emerald City, four knocks are heard although she only hits the door three times. The first is heard as she is drawing the knocker back.
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The real wizard makes the fake wizard's voice by talking directly into the microphone, but when the fake wizard says "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!" the real wizard is pulling back the curtain, pointed away from the microphone and not talking at all.
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The Mayor and his agents' voices get mismatched in at least two places. During the congratulatory music, one Munchkin interrupts the festivities and demands legal verification of the Witch's death. When they exchange words, saying "From now on you'll be history! You'll be hist - you'll be hist - you'll be history!", that "lawyer" Munchkin has a completely different voice, as though from a different actor. Furthermore, when the Mayor says that last "history!", we hear not his voice, but that of the "lawyer" Munchkin.
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At the end of the "Merry Old Land of Oz" song, the characters are all laughing, but all their mouths are still singing.
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When the Cowardly Lion sings "If I Were King", he sings the line "Monarch of all I survey!" twice. The first time, you can hear him sing the word "Monarch", but his lips are not moving at all.
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The oil can used to lubricate the Tinman is a "pump" model but has the sound effect of a "non-pump".
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Boom mic visible 

In the scene in the farm yard by the pigs, at or near when she is balancing on the fence you can see a boom shadow pass over the scene.
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Character error 

After Scarecrow is given an honorary diploma, he says "The sum of the square roots of any 2 sides of an isosceles triangle is equal to the square root of the remaining side". This is a misstatement of the Pythagorean Theorem, which is in fact about right triangles and not isosceles ones. However, this statement is not true about any triangle, and so it is completely wrong.
During the song, "If I Were King of the Forest," the Lion asks, "What makes the Sphinx the seventh wonder?" The Great Pyramid, not the Sphinx, is one of the seven ancient wonders of the world.
When Dorothy visits Professor Marvel, he takes the picture of her and Aunty Em and puts it under his left thigh while looking into the crystal. As Dorothy is leaving the wagon to return home, he holds the photo up but doesn't give it back to her. Even after he visits at the end of the movie, he still never returns the photo.
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When Glinda kisses Dorothy goodbye, she hits her crown with her wand.
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The ticking heart the Wizard gives the Tin Man reads 1:10 when first given to him. It still reads 1:10 in the balloon scene.
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In the "King of the Forest" scene, Dorothy trips up the emerald carpet on her way back up the stairs.
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When the Lion is chasing Toto around the tree, the Lion clearly hesitates a few seconds to give Dorothy time to pick Toto up.
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When the Scarecrow gets his brain he misquotes Pythagoras theorem by referring to an isosceles triangle; the theorem applies to right-angled triangles, not isosceles.
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The Munchkin coroner sings that he has "thoroughly examined" the Eastern Witch and declares that "she's not only merely dead, she's really most sincerely dead." A few scenes later you can see the house completely covering the Witch with only her feet sticking out. How could she have been "throughly examined"?
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Continuity 

After the Tin Man sings "If I Only Had A Heart" and starts his dance in the road, the scene shows Dorothy and the Scarecrow watching him dance; Dorothy's right arm is crooked like she is carrying the basket but the basket is not on her arm. The next scene has her holding the basket on her arm.
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When Dorothy and Scarecrow first meet the Tin Man, Dorothy has 2 red apples in her hands. She drops the one in the left hand and switches the apple that is in her right hand over to her left so she just has one apple. While helping Tin Man move his arm, she then drops the other apple. The apple then reappears soon after in a subsequent shot.
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After escaping from Miss Gulch's basket, Toto returns to Dorothy's room in her Kansas house by jumping through the rectangular opening where there should be a window pane. Soon after, the twister blows out the window (that wasn't there when Toto came back) and knocks Dorothy unconscious.
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When the farmhouse is shown swirling around in the cyclone, from the outside Dorothy's bedroom windows are closed but from the inside shots they are obviously open.
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At the beginning of the film as Dorothy and Toto run down the dirt road toward the farmhouse, Dorothy bends down to pick Toto up and you can see a grease spot on the front of Dorothy's apron, but by the time they reach the farm, the spot has disappeared.
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When the four travelers confront the fraudulent Wizard, the Scarecrow is standing second from the left, between the Tin Man and Dorothy, up until the line, "And Scarecrow's brain?" In the very next shot, however, when the Wizard replies, "Why, anybody can have a brain," the Scarecrow is suddenly standing first on the right, next to the Cowardly Lion.
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When Glinda is leaving Munchkinland, all three members of the Lollipop guild and a female munchkin (among others) run towards her pink bubble and shout their goodbyes to her. Those same characters are still standing behind Dorothy in the very next shot as she says "People come and go so quickly here."
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When the heroes enter the castle disguised as guards, the Tin Man is carrying a spear. His ax appears from nowhere to smash the door to free Dorothy.
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When Dorothy firsts meets the Scarecrow, her hair style changes from short and curly to longer and straighter several times.
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Length of Dorothy's hair throughout the film.
The Technicolor bouquet given to Dorothy by the Munchkins disappears the moment she leaves Munchkinland.
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When lion is showing everyone his medal of courage, in one shot he's holding it, then in the next shot he's not holding it, and then in the next shot he's holding it again.
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When the Wizard leaves Oz, the Tinman does help loosen the rope. As Dorothy chases after Toto, the rope on the right side of the balloon falls off the post. But in the next shot, it is tied up again.
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At the end of the Tin Man's song, the oil can bounces out of Dorothy's basket, but in the next shot, she pulls the oil can out of the basket and uses it to oil the Tinman.
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During the twister scenes, as Aunt Em is calling for Dorothy, there are some objects in the background (including a tree that isn't blowing) that disappear when Dorothy arrives and tries to get Aunt Em to let her in the storm cellar.
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When the Witch first traps the foursome in the castle, Nikko is standing next to her behind the banister, and then standing on top of the banister in subsequent shots.
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When the group gets to Emerald City, the doorman looks downward at the characters when they are in the whole shot. When the shot switches to a close up of just the doorman's face, he looks straight ahead as if Dorothy and the others are eye-to-eye in front of the door's opening.
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The doors in Emerald City appear to be very thick but when the doorman opens the square "window", it appears to be much thinner.
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The Winkie guard who has been standing between the Witch and the Scarecrow disappears immediately after the Witch is struck in the face with water.
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When the group is asking the Palace Guard if they can see the Wizard, his mustache suddenly goes from being pointed upward to being pointed downward between shots. This is the result of a deleted scene, "the changing of the guard."
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When the Witch challenges Dorothy to try to stay out of her way, the end of her broom is pointed toward the ground. In the very next shot it is pointed upwards.
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The amount of straw hanging out of the Scarecrow's shirt constantly changes. Also, when the Wicked Witch vanishes off the roof of the cabin, the straw hanging from the shirt changes from right to left and back again.
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When Dorothy falls asleep in the poppy field, Toto is laying somewhere else. When she wakes up, Toto is laying in her arms.
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In Munchkinland, when the Wicked Witch is making her way toward the ruby slippers, a mild shadow is cast upon the side of the house. In the next shot that shows the slippers disappearing, the shadow is gone. The shadow then reappears in the shot after that where the which cries, "They're gone!"
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One shot shows the ruby slippers disappearing off the feet of the Wicked Witch of the East. Immediately in the next shot, the Wicked Witch appears, apparently superimposed over a screen backdrop of that scene.
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The location of the Munchkin that hands Dorothy the lollipop changes four times.
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When Dorothy, the scarecrow, the lion, and the tin man are on their way to get the witch's broom, the lion is holding an insect sprayer in one shot and in the next it is gone.
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The "unbreakable crown" subsequently disappears completely.
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When Dorothy first meets the Scarecrow, he vacillates between having his head above the top of the pole and having his head below the top of the pole.
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When Toto escapes from the Witch's Castle, Dorothy says, "He got away! He got away!". Her arm on the window switches position.
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When the flying monkey grabs Dorothy, the sky of flying monkeys shows Dorothy being carried. Behind her, a flying monkey carries Toto. In the next shot on the ground, a monkey then grabs Toto to carry him off.
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Dorothy's giant lollipop (given to her by the guild) disappears between shots when the Witch appears in a cloud of red smoke.
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When the Scarecrow chops through the rope holding the chandelier in the Witch's castle, the candles extinguish as the chandelier drops. In the next shot the candles are re-lit.
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When Dorothy first enters Munchkinland, she places her arm around Toto. In the very next shot, her arm is immediately extended again.
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After the Lion finishes "If I Were King of the Forest", he says, "You can say that again!... Huh?" the close-up shot before the gatekeeper appears shows the lion has his right arm down. In the next shot the gatekeeper appears ("The Wizard says 'go away!'") and the Lion now has his right arm up.
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When Dorothy is crying because she cannot see the Wizard, the lion's crown is behind the scarecrow but when the guard is crying and they turn around, it's to the far right of the screen.
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After Dorothy, Scarecrow and Tin man are confronted by the witch, and she leaves, Dorothy is cuddling Toto, and Tin Man says "beehive... baahhh!" Dorothy is then rubbing the shoulders of Scarecrow and Tin Man, saying they are the best friends anyone ever had. But when did she put Toto down?
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Miss Gulch enters the Gale property twice.
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The position of the Coroner's hand holding the Certificate of Death.
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The Tin Man puts the Lion's crown on his right ear and there's a clear shot of him putting it on. Next shot, the crown is on his left ear and his hand has disappeared too quickly.
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When Dorothy and the Scarecrow use the oil can on the Tin Woodman, there are vines around the Tin Woodman's left arm and left knee. The Scarecrow briskly removes the vine around the arm, but not the vine around the knee. When the Tin Woodman moves to the Yellow Brick Road to dance, he has no vines on him.
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After the witch drops Toto into the lidded basket, a flying monkey takes the basket's handle in his left hand, moves behind Dorothy, and turns around, so the basket is to the right of his body. As she approaches him, the shot changes and the basket is on the left, on stone architectural feature at table height, having instantly moved several feet.
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Between the time that the Cowardly Lion is singing about courage and he switches platforms to talk about it, his crown is turned from front to back.
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After the Scarecrow, the Tinman and the Lion rescue Dorothy, they run downstairs. As the door slams shut, the order is Scarecrow, Dorothy, Tinman, and Cowardly Lion. In the next shot, Dorothy and Tinman have switched positions.
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When the Witch of the West goes to check on the Ruby Slippers, she walks right up to the remains and clearly sets the straw end of her broom against the side of the house, partially covering the feet. In the next two shots showing the slippers and remains disappearing and the Witch's reaction to them, there is no sign of the broom and it appears that she is several feet away.
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The Scarecrow is still on fire after Dorothy has thrown the bucket of water. In the first long shot immediately after the closeup of the Witch getting hit in the face; a small flame is visible on the Scarecrow's arm, which disappears in the next shot a moment later.
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When Dorothy is in her bedroom at the beginning of the movie the windows are closed with the curtains on them. The twister blows 'both' windows out and the one hits her on the head causing her to pass out. In all the next shots of her in the bedroom, the right hand window with the curtain is back in the shot. It should not be there as it was blown out.
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When Dorothy first meets the Mayor of the Munchkin City, his large watch reads 5:00. When the Wicked Witch leaves, it reads 7:15, even though the scene is only a few minutes long and happens in "real time".
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When the Wicked Witch first appears in Munckinland, Glinda's wand constantly changes positions as she stands behind Dorothy.
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After Dorothy is given the Lollipop from the Lollipop Guild and taken over to Glenda before the witch appears, she stands in front of Glenda, the Munchkins scream before the smoke appears. At one point when the witch of the west starts talking to Dorothy you see Dorothy holding the flowers and Lollipop, shortly afterwards you don't see flowers or Lollipop, then you see the Flowers but no Lollipop. You also see Dorothy's hair change from long and semi-straight to short and curly on the end.
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After the witch throws her fireball from atop the cottage, the Tin Man extinguishes the flames on the ground, and the witch disappears in a cloud of smoke. The shot of Dorothy, Tin Man and Scarecrow is flopped (and soft on focus), and the screen direction they are looking is wrong. This was done to match the positions of the Tin Man and the Scarecrow in their next full unflipped shot.
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When Dorothy and Toto first arrive at the cornfield the Scarecrow is nowhere to be seen but after Dorothy wonders which way they should go the Scarecrow appears out of nowhere.
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When Dorothy leaves Munckinland she turns and waves goodbye to the Munchkins. In the next shot she still seen with her head turned and waving even though her and Toto are clearly miles away.
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After Dorothy allows the Witch to take the slippers she moves her legs backwards twice.
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When Dorothy frantically offers the ruby slippers to the Witch her feet are hanging over the steps but in the next shot her feet are further back before her feet catch fire.
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When the Tin Man is dancing, Toto is on the left but when the shot cuts back to Dorothy and Scarecrow, Toto is on the right.
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Juxtaposition of the adventurers when they're about to run out of the castle.
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After Dorothy releases the Scarecrow from the pole, the straw hanging from his shirt changes sides several times.
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Crew or equipment visible 

Studio lights reflected in the window as it blows out of its frame toward Dorothy and knocks her unconscious.
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Studio lights are occasionally seen reflected in the shiny Emerald City floor.
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When we first see Munchkinland, in one of the establishing shots you can see the shadow of the camera pass over the shot.
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Several times studio lights are reflected in the crystal balls for Professor Marvel and the Wicked Witch of the West.
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A flesh-colored hand is visible in the upper left-hand corner of the frame in the closeup of the Witch being splashed with water. The Scarecrow is wearing dark burlap gloves, the Winkies are wearing black gloves and Dorothy is holding the bucket, so the only explanation is that the hand belongs to a crew member throwing water on the Witch.
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When Dorothy first arrives in Munchkin Land, the studio lights are reflected on some of very fake-looking flower leaves.
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The shadow of the camera crew is visible as it pans across the nest of the munchkins hatching in Munchkinland.
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Errors in geography 

At the beginning of the film as Dorothy is running down the road and stops to talk to Toto, it is established that the nearest dwelling is at least a mile down the road; but in the next shot a split second later she is running into the farmyard.
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Factual errors 

The sign pointing the way to the Haunted Forest and Witch's Castle says, "Witches Castle."
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DVD subtitles mistake: Professor Marvel tells a story about Antony and Cleopatra. The subtitles incorrectly spell "Anthony."
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Miscellaneous 

When Professor Marvel looks into the crystal ball, he mentions a weather vane but no weather vane is visible in any shots of Dorothy's house.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

There is no stage hand on set at the end of the Tinman sequence, nor was anyone hanged, nor did they fall out of a tree. The shadowy figure at the back of the set as Dorothy, Scarecrow and Tinman set off down the Yellow Brick Road is a large bird stretching its wings.
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The Wizard states that he is "an old Kansas man" yet his hot air balloon is registered to Omaha, Nebraska. He could be from one state but performing in another.
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Plot holes 

Water causes the Witch to melt. When then would she keep a bucket of water in her castle or have a moat of water?
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When Dorothy awakens back home in Kansas and all is seemingly well again, nobody seems concerned by the fact that, although the Wicked Witch of the West may be no more, Miss Gulch is presumably alive and well, and still in possession of a valid sheriff's order allowing her to have Toto "destroyed."
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Revealing mistakes 

Dorothy smiles and tries not to laugh after she smacks the lion and he asks "Is my nose bleeding?"
When the Wicked Witch of the West disappears from Munchkinland in a cloud of smoke and fire, the smoke appears before she reaches her mark.
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The purple "horse of a different color" can be seen licking off his purple dye, which was made of grape-flavored gelatin.
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A trapdoor can be seen opening so the Wicked Witch of the West can leave Munchkin Land.
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When Toto reveals the Wizard by pulling the curtain aside, he doesn't use his mouth; the curtain is tied to the dog. Dorothy can even be seen later removing the rope.
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When the wicked witch is melting, the outline of the trap door is visible under the witch's dress.
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After the scarecrow was re-stuffed because of his body being severed by the monkeys, he stands up, and trips slightly in the hole that was meant to conceal the lower half of his body.
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Twister scene, as Aunt Em runs out of the house and things are blowing around, the hanging flower pot on the porch is still.
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The Tin Man can be seen untying the rope holding the Wizard's balloon down so it will fly away.
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After being joined by the Tin Man, as the three start back down the Yellow Brick Road, the negative is flipped. Refer to orientation of buttons on Scarecrow's shirt, rivets on Tin Man's torso, and orientation of Tin Man's funnel cap. This was probably done to compensate for continuity error in characters' positioning. (Fixed in 2009 remastered Blu-Ray edition.)
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When the Witch sees the ruby slippers under the house and approaches Dorothy and Glinda, you can briefly see that her legs are white, not green. This same mistake can be seen when she says, "Ring around the rosy, a pocket full of spears..."
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Dorothy apparently almost trips on a wire or rope when she walks down from the hill of poppies arm in arm with her companions. You can see her mouth open in surprise as she almost falls forward, but is held up by the other actors. To the right of the actors, some of the poppies on the hill are briefly bent over by the rope or wire as it is dragged over them.
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When the wizard rewards the lion with his badge, the lion shakes his head in embarrassment. As his head moves you can see the white t-shirt under the costume.
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After the Tin Man is dropped by the "spooks", Dorothy and the Scarecrow run up to him. As he attempts to get up the top of the costume comes up, and you can see Jack Haley's t-shirt.
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When the Wicked Witch of the West throws fire at the Scarecrow, the fire goes out just as the Tin Man begins to use his funnel to put it out.
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When Dorothy meets the Scarecrow, the string that is holding him up is visible.
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After The Wicked Witch of the West is looking in her crystal ball and talking to Nikko, we can see windows behind her showing a scene outside. As the witch gets on her broomstick she knocks one of the windows and it is shown to be a sheet with the window painted on. The sheet wobbles.
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When Dorothy is leaving Munchkinland, when she turns around and waves, the matte painting on the extreme right and left hand sides of the screen covers two or three Munchkins.
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There are quite a few scenes where Dorothy and her entourage can be seen to have multiple shadows.
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In the close-up shot that shows the wizard's guard crying, tears can be seen dripping from a device attached in his false eyebrow.
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When the Wicked Witch of the West throws fire at the Scarecrow, the Tin Man uses his funnel (hat) to put the fire out. He then replaces the funnel back on his head, but the shot is a mirror image (his hat and buttons are reversed). In the next shot it is back to normal. This may have been to compensate for a deleted scene.
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The Wicked Witch of the West appears in Munchkin Land in an explosion of smoke, but the Munchkins start running and screaming before the explosion.
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When the Cowardly Lion is singing about courage, you can see the string behind him that causes his tail to move about.
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While Dorothy and her friends are running in the poppies, the apples remarkably stay in the basket.
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During the "Horse of a Different Color" scene, you can tell by the height, shape, and other physical features (also by the way the yellow horse trots), that although in the movie it's supposed to be 1 horse changing color, that it is 3 different horses.
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When the house finally lands, the furniture and floors are level, indicating that it landed flat and intact. Yet when we see the exterior after Dorothy has entered Munchkinland, the right end of the house's foundation has nearly broken in half over The Wicked Witch of the East, and the siding has sustained major damage.
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When the Witch captures Dorothy in her castle, there is a brief moment where you can see that part of her neck is white, not green.
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A square block of wood to which the Lion's tail was attached is visible when the Tinman is pulling on it while climbing up a hill.
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The lion's crown, which was made from a shattered flower pot, bounced on the floor when knocked off by the guard, and when it was made, without breaking.
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When Dorothy is helping to oil the Tin Man, she grabs onto his arm and shows that the "tin" arm is quite flexible.
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When Dorothy and her companions are trying to escape from the witch in her castle, one of them bumps up against the "stone" structure, indenting it, and revealing that it is really a canvas flat. (It is very subtle and hard to see.)
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As the Lion is singing, "If I Were the King of the Forest," and his tail is flopping from side to side, a string cam be seen controlling his tail. Just before the Scarecrow and Tinman put on the Lion's cape, you can see the Tinman remove the wire with a quick yank.
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When Professor Marvel has Dorothy close her eyes "... to be better in tune with the infinite" and rifles through her basket, he takes out the picture of Dorothy and Aunt Em. There is no shot of him "holding" the picture, it's just resting on a dark background.
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During the apple tree sequence, Dorothy's slippers momentarily disappear (she is wearing black dance shoes).
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At the end of "Follow The Yellow Brick Road," Dorothy turns to wave back at the Munchkins. In the lower right, you can see the matte painting of flowers covering the top of the heads of several Munchkins waving back.
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See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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