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Today"s choice -- indigenous The Munchkins of Oz by Stephen Cox.

You are watching: What were the flying monkeys in the wizard of oz

The Winged chimpanzees in the 1939 movie The sorcerer’s of Oz served at the pleasure of the wicked Witch that the West and terrorized Dorothy and her companions:

"For children, the goblinlike flying Monkeys, squealing ser­vants of the wicked Witch of the West, room the stuff of nightmares. For the most part, the monkeys were not played by the same little actors together the Munchkins. Just a couple of of the more athletic midgets were asked come don the monkey make-up and costumes fitted v battery-powered wings. The wings to be motorized so they would certainly flap when the monkeys were airborne.

"Veteran Hollywood midget stuntman take care of Monty was among the actors that played a Munchkin and also a Winged Monkey. "Those that played the dozen brown flying chimps were too tall to portray Munchkins," Monty says. "They were short like jockeys."

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Pat Walsh as Nikko The magician of Oz

"They had a harness around us and also strung united state up top top wires, and we"d swoop down," the recalls. Follow to Munchkin Hazel Resmondo, it to be midget Walter fearbut (a Munchkin also) who was the monkey the dropped down in the murky forest, grabbed little Toto, mugged for the camera, and ascended.

"Ray Bolger told a story of how the stuntmen to be to be paid twenty-five dollars every time lock performed your "swoop" in ~ Dorothy and her companions in the forest. Manager Victor Fleming assumed payment was twenty-five dollars for the day. "He retained saying "Take "em increase again!" because that a retake, and they knew lock wouldn"t get paid every time," Bolger said. "So they struck the picture. Stopped it cold for a while."

"There lock were. An ext than a dozen Winged primates sit­ting ~ above chairs v their eight folded and also legs crossed, argu­ing through Fleming over money. Finally, the financial plan was settled, and back in the waiting they went, buckled come harnesses that were fastened to black color cables.

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Flying primates attack

"The remainder of the illusion was produced by dangling little rubber, painted monkeys around eight inch in length. This molded figurines -- finish with foamlike wings and also a pipe cleaner because that a tail -- to be suspended on wires, much as the actor/monkeys were, and flown along at the very same time to develop a entirety arm) of evil beasts. (Interestingly, in 1996 one of the decaying, now rock-hard rubber monkey props provided in the film to be auctioned off, fetching $3,000 native a hardcore Oz collector in Los Angeles.)

"The only other Winged Monkeys detailed in MGM docu­ments are Sid Dawson, in a wardrobe picture dated December 13, 1938, and Pat Walshe, a Hollywood midget stunt twin who played nico -- the hissing head monkey In the witch"s castle. Bother Monty remembers the surname of only one other small stuntman, Buster Brody, as play a monkey.

"After an ext than fifty years, the slim steel tracks the were built and also installed in the reinforced rafters of MGM Sound stage 29 room still there, high above the floor together a haunting reminder that Oz"s monkeyshines."