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Urban Legend of the Hanging Legs


CaveGirl
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If you've ever seen the Preston Sturges film, "Sullivan's Travels" then you have probably seen the hanging legs segment. It occurs while McCrea and Lake are walking and is pretty hard to miss but the question is, just why are there hanging legs in this scene that look like a lynching took place.

 

It is as much fun to wonder about this, as the supposed suicide that also could be the flapping wings of a bird in "The Wizard of Oz". But the hanging legs sequence has not been thoroughly discounted so it is still fun to speculate.

 

Check out this site and others on the net, and give your opinion or watch the film on TCM tomorrow, Friday morning at around 8:30am and look for the bit and see for yourself:

http://www.dvdtalk.com/dvdsavant/s188sull.html

 

Sorry, my pop-up is blocked so just do a Google search for:

 

"Sullivan's Travels hanging legs"

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It is as much fun to wonder about this, as the supposed suicide that also could be the flapping wings of a bird in "The Wizard of Oz". 

 

 

As far as the Oz "suicide", it not only could be a bird, it IS an African crowned crane--

Watch the feathered-ham extra strut about the set, preen, and flap its wings for a bit of background-business screen time during and after the Tin Man's song.  (You can see it on the steps of the house as Dorothy whispers to the Scarecrow.)

 

One YouTuber was so determined not to say die on this urban legend even after Warner's crisp Blu-ray Ultra-restoration gave us the bird in Technicolor, he tried to post the conspiracy theory that Warner had clearly "added" the crane in with CGI on the Blu-ray release to cover up the terrible history.   I quote:  "The scene is completely different from the VHS print I'd grown up with!"

Um, really?  Blu-ray different from VHS?  Well, that is troubling... :lol:

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As far as the Oz "suicide", it not only could be a bird, it IS an African crowned crane--

Watch the feathered-ham extra strut about the set, preen, and flap its wings for a bit of background-business screen time during and after the Tin Man's song.  (You can see it on the steps of the house as Dorothy whispers to the Scarecrow.)

 

One YouTuber was so determined not to say die on this urban legend even after Warner's crisp Blu-ray Ultra-restoration gave us the bird in Technicolor, he tried to post the conspiracy theory that Warner had clearly "added" the crane in with CGI on the Blu-ray release to cover up the terrible history.   I quote:  "The scene is completely different from the VHS print I'd grown up with!"

Um, really?  Blu-ray different from VHS?  Well, that is troubling... :lol:

Yeah, sadly they have pretty much debunked the suicidal TWOO participant, Eric but I see you did not delve into the "hanging legs" controversy.

 

Now some say they are the legs of Frank Fay, long suffering hubby of Miss Stanwyck but I beg to differ.

 

What say you about those legs, that are much more sinister than strange fruit mentioned in songs?

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Yeah, sadly they have pretty much debunked the suicidal TWOO participant, Eric but I see you did not delve into the "hanging legs" controversy.

 

 

Well, I didn't have my Criterion copy handy, and had to Google, as recommended, so I can't speak as much on authority--I'm just the Newbie here.

It's definitely legs in the way birds aren't, but I can't say what they're doing there either.  If it's another Depression-homeless bum who had to sleep in a tree, Sturges would have let us know of the absurdity.

 

I can say that with all the work to set up a shot in a 40's studio, with the hot lights and a hundred paid contract employees on a studio soundstage, SOMEBODY would have noticed a suicide before shooting, if even just for the smell.  Tales of jilted lovers and ruined careers make nice copy, if scenes just appeared out of nowhere onto film, like news footage.

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SOMEBODY would have noticed a suicide before shooting

 

More absurd is the idea that if there WAS a death during shooting, they'd leave a body in the final cut of a movie!

 

"...too bad about Frank. Eh, it'll cost too much to reshoot that scene. Leave it in...no one will notice."

 

Anyone ever notice the guy mocking the principle actors from a distant diner booth in KING OF COMEDY? I was always amazed Scorcese left that in the movie.

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Re: Wizard of Oz hanging legs.

 

 

http://www.snopes.com/movies/films/ozsuicide.asp

Excerpt....

At the very end of this sequence, as the three main characters move down the road and away from the camera, one of the larger birds (often said to be an emu, but more probably a crane) standing at the back of the set moves around and spreads its wings. No munchkin, no hanging — just a big bird. 

 

 

Well Snopes.com says its a big bird. Case solved, their word is final, carved in stone. ;)

 

Or is it?!

 

 

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If you've ever seen the Preston Sturges film, "Sullivan's Travels" then you have probably seen the hanging legs segment. It occurs while McCrea and Lake are walking and is pretty hard to miss but the question is, just why are there hanging legs in this scene that look like a lynching took place.

 

It is as much fun to wonder about this, as the supposed suicide that also could be the flapping wings of a bird in "The Wizard of Oz". But the hanging legs sequence has not been thoroughly discounted so it is still fun to speculate.

 

Check out this site and others on the net, and give your opinion or watch the film on TCM tomorrow, Friday morning at around 8:30am and look for the bit and see for yourself:

 

http://www.dvdtalk.com/dvdsavant/s188sull.html

 

Sorry, my pop-up is blocked so just do a Google search for:

 

"Sullivan's Travels hanging legs"

 

Here is the enlarged photo

 

vlcsnap-1148024.png

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Here is the enlarged photo

 

vlcsnap-1148024.png

Oooh, wonderful!

 

Thanks so much, Hamradio for posting such a fab picture and it looks so sinister, now doesn't it?

 

I've found no explanation ever for this very odd scene, unlike the famed suicide on the Wizard of Oz set which was always hard to swallow.

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Here is the enlarged photo

 

Eh, it just looks like an optical illusion caused by the lighting of the tree branches. I'll have to watch the DVD again just to see it.

 

It took me FOREVER to see the "hanging munchkin" in TWoOz. It was a real stretch for the imagination.

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I've never noticed the "hanging legs" in SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS, but not having seen the movie many times, and likely during the times I did, I was probably too busy paying attention to the action taking place in the scene to let my eyes wander off in ADHD slpendor to notice!  ;)

 

As for the "hanging Munchkin", The examples in the provided clip were too fuzzy and out of focus to make much of anything out of it.

 

I'd suggest it was possibly some section of a prop of some kind that broke loose, and as it was so far in the background, the producer and director, who closely watched the "rushes" every day, thought it wouldn't matter, and movie goers likely wouldn't notice.  And they were right.

 

"Urban Legends" pop up every so often concerning some movies.

 

Remember the one about the "child ghost" supposedly standing behind a curtain in a scene from THREE MEN AND A BABY?  The "legend" was supposedly a child was murdered in the apartment they used for the movie, and his spirit haunted the shooting.  Or some such crap.  But in fact, it's likely all the interior shots that supposedly took place in an apartment were actually a soundstage set made up to LOOK like the interior of an apartment, and in fact was probably one of those "life size" standing dolls that many kids(including MINE at one point of their lives) had.

 

One more thing concerning the Munchkin....

 

As before each shooting the sets are finely combed over for continuity, a hanging dwarf would have CERTAINLY ben noticed before the actors even entered the set.

 

AND possibly those "hanging legs" in SULLIVAN might have been some crew member sitting on a branch of that tree in the scene.

 

I too, grew up with TWOO, and it wasn't until I was IN MY THIRTIES that I FIRST NOTICED EVEN THE CRANE!!

 

 

Sepiatone

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Here is the enlarged photo

 

Eh, it just looks like an optical illusion caused by the lighting of the tree branches. I'll have to watch the DVD again just to see it.

 

It took me FOREVER to see the "hanging munchkin" in TWoOz. It was a real stretch for the imagination.

Trust me, that is no optical illusion.

 

There are most definitely a set of legs hanging down from the tree, that look like the aftermath of a lynching.

 

Unlike the "hanging Munchkin" or suicide victim in TWOZ which was really almost impossible to even find in the shot, this "Sullivan's Travels" moment is quite clear if you are watching for it when you see the scene.

 

Maybe it was just some inside joke, but I'd still like to know the origin of it.

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