I love The Wizard of Oz.
Did you know Salman Rushdie wrote a book about The Wizard of Oz? If you love the movie, read this book. And I agree with Rushdie about the end of the film. What? Go back to Kansas? Are you kidding?
There’s no place like home? I never believed that. I love the film, but I never agreed with the ending.
Besides, in the book, Oz is no dream.
As a kid growing up in Florida, I prayed that a hurricane would come and take me to Oz. If one had, I had no intention of coming back.
What made me love the film? Do you like it? Do you know why?
First, I loved Dorothy. She wanted to save her dog. Mrs. Gulch wants the sheriff to “destroy” Toto. I’d have run away too if that was the only way to save my dog. When I was about 3, someone shot our family dog. It was an event that shaped our family. How could Aunt Em and Uncle Henry allow that woman to take a child’s dog?
I understood Dorothy.
And then she was carried into Oz. It’s magic! She wasn’t born to save Oz. She wasn’t a chosen one. She was just a girl whose house happened to land on a witch. Adventure ensures!
I was the kid always looking for a magic doorway, that miraculous wardrobe, that secret land. If you’ve seen the books, you know Oz has different lands and a lot more than munchkins. I must have seen the film before I read the books, but it’s hard to separate them in my memories. The film doesn’t tell you about the Impassable Desert or why the Emerald City looks emerald.
And of course, in the books, the shoes are silver.
In the film, I love Dorothy’s friends. They sing and they dance and they’re willing to risk all to save her. The Scarecrow is my favorite.
Can we ever know why we fall for a movie? Quality isn’t it. People fall for movies like they fall for people. The most well put together person can leave you cold and the train wreck can steal your heart. Oz isn’t a train wreck, but it isn’t a normal film either.
Maybe I could just see myself in Dorothy in away I couldn’t see myself in other film character. She’s ordinary. Adults don’t listen to her problems. She loves her dog.
If she could have adventures, so could I. Right?
What movie did you love in childhood?