Shuffle over, Ruby Slippers, there’s a new sheriff in town. The Smithsonian Museum of American History has laid out the Yellow Brick Road to a new member of The Wizard of Oz ensemble, The Scarecrow. I thought, being the 72nd anniversary of it’s release and all, it would be a great time to check in on one of film’s most iconic costumes. So if you happen to be passing through DC any time soon, check out the costume at the Smithsonian. Like most museums in DC it’s free, and while you are there make sure to browse other classic film exhibits on display.
The Wizard of Oz might be one of my favorite American films of all time, and it stands up surprisingly well over the years (if you don’t count the flying monkey scenes). The songs are unforgettable, the costuming and casting were spot on, and if you want it to stand in as an allegory about politics and labor in the 1890’s, that works too. Really, though, The Wizard of Oz is an incredible story that contains the essence of adventure and self-exploration in its most primal form, an American fairy tale that touches on subjects light and heavy in a way that few stories have. And don’t get me started with Judy Garland, her performance as Dorothy Gale hits the story’s highs and lows with the precision and sincerity of a man driving fence. The special effects and visual style were years ahead of it’s time, and the print still oozes with depth and clarity that only Technicolor can provide. I may or may not be throwing a big party for the movie’s 75-year anniversary, but for now I’ll stick with my main man Ray Bolger and chat about, you know, corn and such.