Tuesday, August 4, 2009
There is a scene in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz where the Wicked Witch of the West announces that she's sending a "little insect" to "take the fight out of" Dorothy and the gang. The film is so crowded with colorful characters and weird happenings that you probably never noticed that the "little insect" never shows up and is never mentioned again.
The Wicked Witch's "Little Insect" is actually a reference to The Jitterbug, a lengthy and elaborate musical number that was cut from the film. Various reasons have been given for why the scene got the axe; by some accounts the studio was worried the song would date the film, by other accounts there was concern that the song was a little too adult and edgy for a children's picture. (The jitterbug was considered a rather scandalous dance, at the time.) Whatever the reason, all that survives of the sequence is the audio and some grainy footage shot at a rehearsal. A really fuzzy Youtube clip is below, and you can read the script for the scene here.
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