Friday, April 3, 2009


I'm here to blow the lid off The Wizard of Oz.

Oh, I know the movie has been around for 70 years, and a lot of people are going to be ticked off by my brutal assault on their cherished classic. But this cautionary tale of family values has been hoodwinking children of all ages for too long.

It's time we took off the rose-colored glasses and looked at your beloved film under the harsh and glaring spotlight of truth.

Auntie Em Was A Bit Of A Witch

Let's face it, she was mean and bossy. She was always too busy to give Dorothy the time of day. About the only nice thing she did was hand out crullers to Hunk, Zeke, and Hickory. But she only did that because they couldn't work their butts off on an empty stomach.

When I found out she ended up a total recluse in real life and eventually committed suicide, it wasn't exactly a surprise ending.

Many Munchkins Had Criminal Records As Long As Their Arms

Known as the Singer Midgets, a bus load of them had once mooned Manager Lee Singer on the corner of 68th and Central Park West for what they called a questionable business deal. In the movie, one of the munchkins (probably high on drugs) once mistakenly shouted out “Judy” instead of “Dorothy.”

Another one supposedly hung himself during one of the difficult dance numbers. And several of them made their living by begging, pimping, and other deeds too unsavory to mention.

Poppies Is A Poor Floral Choice When Pushing Family Values

Running through a field of poppies is a little too hip and druggy for a G-Rated film. For my money, lilies would have been a wiser and purer choice for impressionable youngsters, some of whom were no doubt aware of the blatant symbolism.

Scarecrow Should Have Returned His Diploma

There's a scene when Scarecrow gets handed his diploma and starts excitedly reciting the Pythagorean theorem – the sum of the squares of the lengths of the sides of a right triangle is equal to the square of the length of the hypotenuse. Somehow, inexplicably, he gets this simple theorem wrong and nobody corrects him. This could prove troubling to a child years later when he learns that Scarecrow really had straw for brains.

The Mighty Oz Was A Big Lush

The Wizard, Frank Morgan, was drunk half the time on the set so he might have been seeing a horse of a different color without the assistance of movie magic. No question he was charming. But he could have pumped up his own balloon with all that hot air.

He claimed to be a good man, but a bad wizard. Wrong. Besides being a blustering humbug, he wouldn't grant Dorothy and her pals their wishes until they wasted the witch and brought back her broom as proof.

Returning To A Tacky Farm And A Bunch Of Oafs

In the final scene, when Dorothy wakes up and returns to her pathetic black & white existence, all the hayseeds were falling all over themselves about Toto. Was he put to sleep for biting Miss Gulch? Did the sheriff sentence him to the dog pound? We're never given the truth about Toto.

I can imagine kindly Auntie Em explaining it to Rainbow Girl: “Yes, there's no place like home, Dorothy – even though you'll never see your cute little dog again!”


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