Historical Events  Movies
Wizard of Oz Scarecrow has gun

The scarecrow didn't have a gun

The scarecrow had a gun

Many people swear he didn't

Watch the Wizard of Oz today and you clearly see the Scarecrow brandishing a modern Magnum 357, painted silver.

Did he have this in the original? It's pretty prominent now, and clearly doesn't appear as just a quick glimpse which might be hard to spot.

Although many are sure he didn't, there may be an explanation for this particular Mass Memory Discrepancy Effect. The original 1939 film reel was stored incorrectly and subject to damage over time. Since then, several restoration attempts have been made resulting in different cuts. It's possible these cuts contained different scenes, including the Scarecrows gun. It would fit the story if he had one, because the other characters are all armed, and at that point in the plot are preparing to fight, or defend themselves.

Lots of scrutiny

One reason people are sure he didn't have a gun is the fact that the Wizard of Oz is so popular it has been recreated in stages/theatres etc may times, and those playing the roles would have studied the film closely to get the parts right. Those details mattered, and if the scarecrow had no gun in the film, then it wouldn't in the play, so the directors and actors would remember it.

This is from a promo poster at the time, and if you look very closely you can see he does have one:

Wizard of Oz

So what gives? A simple explanation regarding different edits, or something else?