28 May 2013

“What worse way to wake up?”

In the Boston Globe last weekend, Peter Keough offered a roundup of “morning after” movies, saying that the group “is virtually its own film genre.” Among them he chose to list MGM’s The Wizard of Oz:
What worse way to wake up from a Technicolor dream of self-empowerment fantasy than by discovering that you are really living in a dusty, monochrome, joyless Kansas surrounded by yokels and are destined to grow up into the same. It’s enough to drive you to drink.
Of course, that’s presaged by the stifling “lesson” this movie’s Dorothy Gale learns from her adventures in Oz: “If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won't look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with!”


ericshanower said...

Whatever that "lesson" means. Been trying to figure it out for years and it still sounds like nonsense to me.

J. L. Bell said...

I view that line as a fatally twisted compromise between Dorothy’s adventurous spirit and Louis B. Mayer’s belief that no place could be better than America. Someday I’ll expatiate on that idea.

Glenn Ingersoll said...

Go back to sleep, Dorothy.