Movies & TV Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for movie and tv enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

In The Wizard of Oz, while Dorothy is still in Kansas before the tornado, the mean old lady Mrs. Gulch, from a couple farms over who rode the bicycle and kept threatening Toto had sort of a menacing little tune/melody that plays while she is riding along.

Is that tune an original composition for her, for the movie, or is it based on some prior piece of work and was re-used/adapted for use in Oz?

There's nothing that particularly makes me think it is not original, I just was humming it tonight, and started wondering.

share|improve this question
up vote 3 down vote accepted

It's an original riff called "Miss Gulch's / Witch's theme" by Herbert Stothart, who won an Oscar for the film's score. Also, according to Wiki:

This repeated seven-note motif is actually a "crippled" variation (inverted and compressed in range) of the musical figure for "We're off to see the Wizard".

Here's an interesting article about the music in the film (this riff included).

share|improve this answer
Like that article; never really thought about all that! I'm intrigued too by the scenes they cut to make the witch's role "less scary" to children! ;) – eidylon Jul 5 '14 at 7:06

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.