We all know that infamous scene where the wicked witch melts, but HOW did they do it before green screens and digital special effects?
It took creativity and ingenuity!
Dorothy throws a bucket of water on the Wicked Witch of the West, “liquidating her,” as the Wizard later explained.
“It was the most basic thing in the world,” Fricke said. “They put Margaret Hamilton on a small elevator platform that dropped below the soundstage. They tacked the hem of her witch’s dress around the outside of the elevator so it would stay up. Then the air rushing up the elevator shaft puffed up her skirt.
“Also, under the skirt, they put dry ice for the steam effect. And then the finishing touch was they put a bigger witch’s hat on her head when she was melting so it would look like her face was smaller.”
So there you have it, folks. If you love the classics, you have to appreciate the creativity behind the scenes. Special effects sure has come a long way!