Photo: Pixabay

Assessing the Pop Culture Impact of The Wizard of Oz

When The Wizard of Oz hit theaters all the way back in 1939, movie-makers couldn’t possibly have envisaged how apt the phrase “Follow the yellow brick road” would become in relation to the riches and acclaim the movie would earn.

The film is regarded by many as one of the greatest Hollywood movies of all time and is still setting new box office records even to this day. In addition to this, the images of Dorothy skipping down the yellow brick road alongside Toto have become ingrained in the minds and hearts of film enthusiasts all over the world. Consequently, the movie has left an indelible mark on global popular culture.

Setting Fashion Trends

Rather predictably, The Wizard of Oz has had a huge influence on fashion over the years. Back in 2005, Vogue’s December shoot (shot by renowned photographer Annie Lebowitz) featured Keira Knightly dressed as Dorothy. Dressed in numbers from Prada, Yves Saint Laurent and Marc Jacobs (among others), every look is topped off with a pair of glittery red pumps in true Dorothy fashion. Beyond this, the movie now has its own dedicated fashion week, where hardcore fans can witness reimagined versions of the original attire won by the cast. With the movie recently celebrating its 80th birthday, Dorothy Gale became the summer’s fashion icon and social media was awash with models donning their nouveau feminine dresses.

The Unlikely Impact of Oz

Joaquin Phoenix’s latest portrayal of The Joker has earned him rave reviews and adoration. In a recent interview, he revealed that his character was inspired by Ray Bolger’s Scarecrow character in The Wizard of Oz. Elsewhere, East London will soon have an Emerald City-themed rooftop bar, which is due to launch in October 2019. Dorothy and friends have even found themselves making an appearance in the online casino arena. Those who want to play Wizard of Oz slots and test the power of the ruby slippers out can find the game at lucky pants bingo to see how the golden Hollywood classic has been effectively converted into a video slot game. Although it may come as a surprise to find Dorothy and her merry group of pals popping up in places you wouldn’t expect, this does indeed demonstrate the widespread influence of the movie.

Spin-Offs and Adaptations

As is the case with any successful movie, there have been numerous spin-offs and remakes over the years. Under the Rainbow, Road to Oz, Wild at Heart, and The Wiz to name a few have all paid homage to the original film in their own inimitable style; the latter even starred Michael Jackson as a rather loveable scarecrow (we would have loved to see Joaquin Phoenix base The Joker on THAT version of the iconic character). The Wizard of Oz is also widely credited as serving as inspiration for the popular novel and Broadway show Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, although Oz is considered to be a bit more upbeat than its prequel.

Good Movies Never Date

It’s fair to say that if you were to watch The Wizard of Oz in the present day, chances are you’d still be as enamoured as those who watched the film on its release date all those years ago. Thanks to its imaginative plot, excellent casting, and colorful set, The Wizard of Oz will surely remain a classic for the foreseeable future and will continue to have a significant impact on popular culture for years to come.