Which Witch?

As a kid, I looked forward to the annual playing of The Wizard of Oz on TV as much as Christmas and Halloween combined.  The music, the friendship, the scary witch.  Until high school, I’d never seen it in color, so I hadn’t even witnessed the magical transformation from Kansas to Oz, or what was so funny about the line “A horse of a different color” being a horse that actually changed colors.

In high school, I was invited to my friend Laurie’s house to watch it in color.  And it was magical.  To see something so very familiar that looked so very different, well, it was, as I already said, magical.

Interestingly, Laurie’s mother actually knew the actress, Margaret Hamilton, who terrified me for years as the Wicked Witch of the West.  I learned about the fact that Ms. Hamilton’s costume had actually caught on fire in one scene, putting a stop to several other would-be fiery scenes.  But mostly I learned that she was just a nice lady who played a memorable part.  It all took place while I was dreaming of becoming an actress myself.

I saw this clip on dailykos.com.  Showing the transformation of Margaret Hamilton into the Wicked Witch of the West, and her explaining that she was just playing dress-up.  Anybody who has kids might want to share this video with their very scared kids!

Happy Halloween!


Filed under Childhood Traumas, Daily Kos, Holidays, Humor

28 responses to “Which Witch?

  1. What a cool video – Mr Rogers made everything ok. I remember when he was in black and white on our TV too. That first time seeing The Wizard of Oz was the instant that color TV became magical for me too.


  2. Gee, I love the movie! And your blog. I really need to get over here more often, been missing your wisdom 😀


  3. I hated, hated, hated that movie! The witch, the monkeys! I couldn’t stay in the room if the witch was on the screen.

    As an adult, it isn’t scary, but, I still think it’s a horribly annoying movie….


  4. Like you I loved that movie growing up. The witch never scared me though, I thought she was quite funny. Her death scene killed me every time.

    I did like the Mr. Rogers video, that was quite cool.


  5. I loved it. That was my favorite part of the Oz story. I still croak, “I’m melting…melting,” whenever I get splashed with liquids.


  6. This is so sweet! That movie frightened me every year and every year I watched it religiously!


    • Me too. It was OK, though. In case you didn’t ever pull your head out from under the covers, they got the witch in the end.

      In fact, the last scary movie I watched (in around 1979 or 80) was the first Halloween. I was terrified throughout it, but had to watch until they killed him or I knew that I wouldn’t be able to sleep. Spoiler Alert — he’s still alive! I’m pretty sure I haven’t slept since then.

      But I think Margaret Hamilton was a cool lady. I wonder if her grandchildren are scared of her!


  7. She scared me as well … but hey, that means she did a good job! This clip with Mr. Rogers is a good one! Happy Halloween … well, what’s left of it.


  8. The witchy memories make me smile. I loved the Wizard of Oz, and as recently as a month ago, came thisclose to buying a jigsaw puzzle of the very same, but then decided that $14 was just too much for a nostalgic trip down memory lane. Should have coughed up the cash. For me, it was always the Tin Man. Love me a shiny guy with a heart. Memories.


    • Glad to bring it back to you a little, 99. And for less than 14 bucks!

      Having very curly hair myself, I always identified with the lion. That and I’m a coward!


  9. Thanks for sharing Elyse. I farking love Mr. Rogers. I wish he was still around.


    • I loved him too. I especially liked the fact that folks on his staff used to play tricks on him. They’d hide in the closet trying to make him laugh — once one of the staff members was naked in there.

      I often can’t believe some of the totally useless facts bouncing around in my head.


  10. I love this movie! Like you, I looked forward to the once-a-year viewing. My mom said she remembered seeing it in the theater, and when it went to color the entire place gasped.

    Happy Halloween, Glinda!


    • Wouldn’t it have been great to see it in the theater back when it first came out?! Wow. What a memory.

      When I lived in Boston in the 70s, the Harvard Square Theater used to show a double feature of Wizard of Oz and Singin’ in the Rain for $1. A DOLLAR! I must have gone $30 times!

      I hope life has settled down for you a wee bit!


  11. This clip is a real treasure. Thank you so much for pointing it out.


    • Sure, Michelle. I thought of my goddaughter/grandniece when I saw it. She’s scared of the scary stuff. I think this may help her and that my bloggin’ buddies might know someone who would feel better after seeing it!


  12. Tex Arty

    Loved The Wizard of Oz and Judy Garland.


  13. I have never been a fan of that movie and I don’t know if my children have ever even seen it.


  14. It would have been good for me to see that clip when I was little, because she scared the crap out of me–and I was a tough kid. But she was terrifying to a little child. Her and those monkeys. Guess she had some good acting chops.


    • She terrified me, too. And I was a total woos. But I have to say, that if I’d had her as a teacher, I’m sure I would have thought she was a witch. That schnoz doesn’t usually find itself on non-witches!


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