When they began the production of The Wizard of Oz, the people at MGM had no real conception of the magnitude of the project. Although the film was completed, the Actors and Actresses had to write for the role or position and time needed. This action didn't set well with MGM and the producers. .
The film got underway taking a great deal of work. The Actors and Actresses played a major role. If each individual weren't happy or comfortable, failure would be a sure thing. What could MGM do about this? Give more time or work up the contract? Whatever the case, accusations and counter accusations were rampant. Perhaps a good ideal written on paper is much easier then getting it to transform into a play, whereas, a group of people with different personalities and mood swings follow through to get this on screen play or movie.
The different concepts were entwined "Actors" trying to perform Arts, and MGM saying, "get the work done, you have a schedule to follow." Note comments made by the character below. The Cowardly Lion, 1975, John Lahr, New York: Alfred Knopf. Lahr wanted to do the picture immediately. Metro wanted his services only 3 weeks at $2,500 per week. Lahr balked "I said I wanted a five week guarantee." When they wouldn't give it to me, I said "The hell with this; I"ll go back east and do a show!" It took Metro a month to accept Lahr's terms. Its prediction was significantly unrealistic. Lahr worked five weeks on one number, " The Jitter Bug." "Lahr spent 26 weeks as the cowardly lion,"(p173, With a Feather on my Nose: 1949, Billie Burke, New York: Appleton-Crofts). Ray Bolger was asked "when would his dancing scene come up?" "Dance?" He said, amazed. "I was given a Hollywood contract because I"m a dancer, of course, I won't dance" (p 301, The Making of the Wizard of Oz: 1977, Alyean Harnetz, New York: Alfred Knof). "MGM balked at the guarantee. Margaret Hamilton's agent demanded, "I never did work for less than a two week guarantee.