In The Novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Dorothy’s Magic Slippers Aren’t Ruby Red, But?
Dorothy’s ruby slippers from the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz are, arguably, the most iconic movie prop in the history of the industry. The handful that were created for the film are now considered among the most treasured and valuable pieces of film memorabilia. What’s curious is the ruby sparkle of the shoes Dorothy removed from the Wicked Witch of the East’s feet was not a design choice by the novel’s author, L. Frank Baum, but by screenwriter Noel Langley.
In the original story, the magic shoes are a shimmering silver color. But the release of MGM’s musical adaptation of the story coincided with the rise of Technicolor film. The silver shoes were just too monochromatic to use when theater-goers could be treated to rich colors—so the slippers were changed to ruby and, even in the brilliantly colored Land of Oz, they jumped off the screen and into movie history.
Image courtesy of MGM.