I can imagine that I would be fairly accurate in assuming that the vast majority of people reading this would have only watched the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz and never set their eyes on the original book. Sadly, for a lot of films that have been adapted from novels, this is a tragic trend. While being able to sit down and enjoy a story unfold in front of your eyes is a wonderful thing to experience, especially with modern day special effects, the movies often lack a substance called imagination, and they have been known to deviate from the original story. But we already know that from several other popular tales like this one or even this nasty tale. And this is what happened in The Wizard of Oz. Perhaps the most iconic moment, a part that everyone remembers at the end where Dorothy taps her heels together was changed. How, I hear you ask? The original color of Dorothy’s slippers were silver, not ruby red.
It’s hard to believe that The Wizard of Oz is already over 70 years old, and approaching 80. For a movie that was made in its time period, it’s a remarkable example of what can be accomplished with little technology. It must be remembered that at the time just about all movies were filmed in black and white. This brought a vibrant change to a monochrome world of entertainment. But it wasn’t just the amazing colors that made this movie memorable. It also had a lot of catchy songs.
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If you are one of the very few people on this planet that have only read the book and never once laid eyes on a young Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz you would be wondering why on earth are we talking about this. Of course the color of Dorothy’s slippers were silver, that’s exactly what was written. So if the book originally had silver slippers, why did they change the color of one piece of footwear to a bright ruby red? There’s a very simple explanation.
As we’ve already mentioned, this movie broke the mold when it came to color on the silver screen, and that was part of what the movie was supposed to be displaying. Why would they take a colorful world and place silver slippers in it? That color could have been shown in a black and white film. The task was to try and get a color that would stand out on the massive screen, and captivate the audience. This is the reason that Dorothy wore ruby red slippers instead of the original silver ones that were in the book.
The change from silver to ruby slippers for Dorothy didn’t seem to fuss too many moviegoers either. Most people accepted the change with open arms and gazed at their color in amazement, And as for the shoes, they have gone down in Hollywood history as an iconic movie prop.