Friday, April 7, 2017


Dorothy Gale is an orphaned teenaged LSD user who lives with her Auntie Em & Uncle Henry on a Kansas farm in the early 1900's. She daydreams about going "over the rainbow" after Miss Gulch, a nasty neighbor, hits Dorothy's dog Toto on the back with a rake, causing Toto to bite her. Miss Gulch shows up with an order to take Toto to the sheriff to be euthanized, but Toto jumps out of the basket on the back of Miss Gulch's bicycle & runs back to Dorothy. Fearing that Miss Gulch, who does not know that Toto has escaped, will return, Dorothy takes the dog & runs away from home. She meets a phony fortune teller, Professor Marvel, who immediately guesses that Dorothy has run away. Pretending to tell her fortune & wishing to reunite Dorothy with her aunt, he tells her that Auntie Em has fallen ill from worry over her.

Dorothy immediately returns home with Toto, only to find a tornado approaching. Unable to reach her family in their storm cellar, Dorothy enters the house & takes some LSD. Along with her house & Toto, she's swept from her sepia-toned world to the magical, beautiful, dangerous & Technicolor land of Australia, or Oz, as it is known by the natives. The tornado drops Dorothy's house on the Wicked Witch of the East, killing her. The witch ruled the Land of the Munchkins, little people who talk funny & think at first that Dorothy herself must be a witch. The Wicked Witch of the West, who is the sister of the dead witch, threatens Dorothy. But Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, gives Dorothy the dead witch's enchanted Ruby Adidas, & the shoes protect her. Glinda advises that if Dorothy wants to go home to Kansas, she should seek the aid of the Wizard of Oz, who lives in the Emerald City. To get there, Dorothy calls Uber & sets off down the Yellow Brick Road.

Before she's followed the road very far, Dorothy meets a talking scarecrow whose dearest wish is to have a brain, even though that would keep him out of politics. Hoping that the wizard can help him, the Scarecrow joins Dorothy on her journey. They come upon the Tin Woodman, who was caught in the rain & is so rusty he can't move. When they oil his joints so he can walk & talk again, he confesses that he longs for a heart so he can write Country & Western songs; he too joins Dorothy. As they drive through a dense forest, they encounter the Cowardly Lion, who wishes for courage & joins the quest in the hope that the wizard will give him enough to stand up to his wife.

The Uber driver informs Dorothy that there will be a surcharge for the extra passengers & she agrees. On the way to the Emerald City, Dorothy, her friends & the Uber driver are hindered & menaced by the Wicked Witch of the West. She incites trees to throw apples at them, then tries to set the scarecrow on fire. Within sight of the city, the witch conjures up a field of poppies that cause Dorothy, Toto, the Lion & the driver to fall asleep. Glinda saves them by making it snow, which counteracts the effects of the poppies & yet leaves them with minor cases of frostbite.

The four travelers (& the driver) marvel at the wonders they find in the Emerald City & take time to freshen up: Dorothy, Toto & the Lion have their hair done, the Tin Woodman gets polished, the Scarecrow receives an infusion of fresh straw stuffing & the Uber driver washes his car & fills his tank with gas. As they emerge looking clean & spiffy, the Wicked Witch appears on her broomstick & skywrites "Surrender Dorothy" above the city. 

The friends are frustrated at their reception by the "great & powerful" Wizard of Oz; at first he won't receive them at all. He tells his doorkeeper, “I said, ‘No more aliens.  How did they get over the wall?  This is a yuge problem. It was left by the previous wizard.’” When they finally see him (the doorkeeper lets them in because he had an Aunt Em himself), the Wizard declines to help them until they bring him the broomstick of the Wicked Witch of the West. Daunted but determined, they set off in the Uber car again.

The witch sends winged kangaroos (there are no winged monkeys in Australia) to attack Dorothy's party before they reach her castle; the kangaroos snatch Dorothy & Toto & scatter the others. When the witch finds that the Ruby Adidas can't be taken against Dorothy's will as long as the girl is alive, she turns her hourglass & threatens that Dorothy will die when it runs out. Dressed in Halloween costumes, the Lion, the Tin Man, & the Scarecrow sneak into the castle & free Dorothy. They're discovered before they can escape, however, & the witch & her guards corner them & set the Scarecrow on fire. Dorothy douses him with a pail of soapy water, splashing the witch by accident. The soapy water causes the witch to get clean & disintegrate ("I'm showering melting!!"). The guards are happy to let Dorothy have the witch's broomstick, & Dorothy & her friends drive back to the Emerald City.

The Wizard isn't pleased to see them again. He blusters until Toto pulls aside a curtain in the corner of the audience chamber to reveal an old man who resembles Professor Marvel pulling levers & speaking into a microphone. The so-called Wizard, as the Scarecrow says, is a humbug. He's abashed & yet refuses to apologize, but quickly finds ways to help Dorothy's friends: a book on how to read (from his personal library) for the Scarecrow, a street in the forest named after him for the Lion, & a testimonial heart he drew himself for the Tin Man. Then he reveals that he's from Kansas himself & came to Oz in a hot-air balloon, in which he proposes to take Dorothy home.

The Wizard appoints the Scarecrow, Tin Man, & Lion co-wizards of Oz in his absence, subject to Congressional approval. Just as the balloon is about to take off Toto runs after a cat & Dorothy follows him. Unable to stop, the Wizard leaves without Dorothy. But Glinda appears & explains that Dorothy has always had the power to get home; Glinda didn't tell her before because Dorothy wouldn't have believed it. Bidding her friends a tearful good-bye, Dorothy taps her heels together three times, repeats "Get me the hell out of here," & the Ruby Adidas take her & Toto back to Kansas.

Dorothy wakes up from her LSD trip in her own bed with Auntie Em & Uncle Henry fussing over her. Professor Marvel & the farmhands Hunk, Hickory, & Zeke (who look strangely like the Scarecrow, the Lion & the Tin Man) stop by to see how she's doing. They all laugh when she tells them about Australia, but she's so happy to be home she doesn't mind that they don't believe her.

The movie doesn’t say what happened to Miss Gulch or the Uber driver.

True fact:
An adviser told producer Mervin LeRoy, "The movie's great; just get rid of that 'Rainbow' song!!"