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RiffTrax Discussion => Individual RiffTrax Discussion => The Wizard of Oz => Topic started by: Sugar Ray Dodge on January 17, 2014, 01:42:08 PM

Title: "I guess I'll go be a gay icon."
Post by: Sugar Ray Dodge on January 17, 2014, 01:42:08 PM
Am I the only person who never understood this, or am I missing some glaringly obvious aspect of Dorothy that makes her a gay icon? I'm not trying to flamebait at all, I honestly don't get it and I'm hoping somebody can fill me in. I mean, you know, what the hell? It doesn't make any sense. When I first heard about that I assumed Judy Garland was a lesbian and I never knew about, but then I heard she was an icon for gay MEN, and I'm all... "That makes NO SENSE!" I've never met a gay guy who looked up to Judy Garland, and why the hell should they, y'know?
Title: Re: "I guess I'll go be a gay icon."
Post by: Trekker4747 on January 17, 2014, 01:56:13 PM
I was reading on that and there seems to be no clear answer on why beyond her just being a performer (Garland) or over coming adversity and persecution the set out her own way in the world or something... (Dorthy.)  But I don't completely get it either. I mean, certainly there's plenty of other pretty singers/actresses out there to latch onto?
Title: Re: "I guess I'll go be a gay icon."
Post by: Sugar Ray Dodge on January 17, 2014, 02:08:42 PM
I was reading on that and there seems to be no clear answer on why beyond her just being a performer (Garland) or over coming adversity and persecution the set out her own way in the world or something... (Dorthy.)  But I don't completely get it either. I mean, certainly there's plenty of other pretty singers/actresses out there to latch onto?

Also, DOROTHY IS PAINFULLY STUPID! Her dialogue and blank, expressionless faces make Twilight look like Lord of the Rings.
Title: Re: "I guess I'll go be a gay icon."
Post by: Sideswipe on January 17, 2014, 06:32:24 PM
Whoa, whoa.  Lets not go overboard here.  Not LoTR level, maybe Star Wars Episode 3 though?
Title: Re: "I guess I'll go be a gay icon."
Post by: indsir on January 17, 2014, 07:51:10 PM
Ducking in to share my limited Judy Garland knowledge.

She was a daddy's girl, her dad died in her prepubescent years and he was not straight.  They left MN for CA after he was caught with a young man. After his death she had both dad issues and gay man issues. A couple of her husbands were not straight, actually. Most of her friends were not either. In the 60's she was asked about her gay following and she said something along the lines of "I don't care, I sing to people."

There was also a famous instance in the pre civil rights years where she danced with Sugar Ray Robinson that got people's attention. 1950 or so?

Also, plenty of rumors that she'd take affection where ever she could find it, cough Kay Thompson cough.

So, being nice to gay dudes, not treating black people like crap and not being averse to a little free love apparently equaled gay icon back in the day.


P.S. SRD, please don't make me regret my love for Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter by comparing Dorothy to those Twilight shits. Dorothy was invented in 1900 and this representation was 1939. She was cornbelt naive. She's overwhelmed. Gobsmacked. Bumfuzzled. You'd gawk too if you magically went from sepia, dusty cornfields to, uh, vivid, technicolor cornfields! Also, murders! She didn't stammer and blink, she stammered and killed.
Title: Re: "I guess I'll go be a gay icon."
Post by: Sugar Ray Dodge on January 17, 2014, 08:19:01 PM
P.S. SRD, please don't make me regret my love for Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter by comparing Dorothy to those Twilight shits. Dorothy was invented in 1900 and this representation was 1939. She was cornbelt naive. She's overwhelmed. Gobsmacked. Bumfuzzled. You'd gawk too if you magically went from sepia, dusty cornfields to, uh, vivid, technicolor cornfields! Also, murders! She didn't stammer and blink, she stammered and killed.

Oh man, I totally take it back then. For real. I'm so happy that you have actually seen it that I 100% retract my statement. That just made my whole day.
Title: Re: "I guess I'll go be a gay icon."
Post by: Darth Geek on January 17, 2014, 08:54:36 PM
Also, Dorathy is apparently supposed to be a lot younger than the actress really was. Not sure how old in the book, but Judy Garland plays her like she's 9 or 10. Despite her height and rather obvious ample rack.
Title: Re: "I guess I'll go be a gay icon."
Post by: indsir on January 17, 2014, 09:13:40 PM
The books don't give Dorothy an age but the illustrations were made to look 8-10(some say as young as 6). The movie was meant to be age 12-14. Judy was 16 during filming. She wore a corset that flattened everything for the movie. Judy's tallest was 4'10 ish. But she was busty. All boobs and legs and loud voice. 
Title: Re: "I guess I'll go be a gay icon."
Post by: Trekker4747 on January 18, 2014, 03:39:32 AM
I think FLB pretty much said she was 11 in a cryptic way without outright coming out and saying it.  In the movie I prefer to think of Dorothy as being the age of Garland so I don't feel as creepy finding her attractive.

And the more I think about it, the more likely I think it is Dorothy in the movie was supposed to be a teenager, albeit a naive farm-girl teenager, and not a child like she is in the books.  Because I believe there was supposed to be "something" of a connection between her and the farmhand whose alter-ego is the Scarecrow. Something treading on a romantic connection, in an earlier draft of the script she promises to write him as he goes away for college. This is why she'll miss Scarecrow "most of all" when saying goodbye to everyone.   So given that it's more likely Dorothy in the movie is supposed to be a teenager rather than a little girl.  Unless we want to open some *really* creepy doors.

They probably binded Garland's "assets" to make her look less developed to better portray a midwestern teenage girl. (Which, granted, Garland was a teenager herself at the time but too well endowed to be Dorothy.)  Interestingly in the Blu-Ray of the movie the clarity allows you to see more through Garland's blouse to see the under-garment/corset restraining her.

Title: Re: "I guess I'll go be a gay icon."
Post by: stansimpson on January 20, 2014, 01:29:05 PM
Surprised this hasn't been mentioned yet. IIRC, when the gay community adopted the rainbow as a symbol, Dorothy/Judy Galrand became a patron saint of sorts (y'know, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow", etc.). You'll see men dressed as Dorothy a lot at gay pride parades because of this. Arrested Development did a send-up of this trope when Tobias was in jail ("friends of Dorothy").
Title: Re: "I guess I'll go be a gay icon."
Post by: losingmydignity on February 07, 2014, 03:45:04 PM
Well, I've heard "Are you a friend of Dorothy?" used to be asked by one gay man to another to see if he was gay back in the day. Personally I think it has less to do with Dorothy than her friends, who are considered, I guess, to act "gay" (the riffs are aimed at this, too, so don't get mad at me). Since Dorothy is kind to them and aids them and they aid her, well....

I also remember seeing signs saying "Surrender Dorothy" in the West Village which obviously has some ulterior meaning too.
Title: Re: "I guess I'll go be a gay icon."
Post by: Trekker4747 on February 07, 2014, 04:22:32 PM
The only "gay" riffs seemed to be aimed at Tinman who did act sort of "fey" in a "stereotypically gay" sort-of way.

I still find the connection between homosexuals and Dorothy to be odd.  Just an odd connection to make or thing to latch onto.

Title: Re: "I guess I'll go be a gay icon."
Post by: losingmydignity on February 07, 2014, 05:18:22 PM
The only "gay" riffs seemed to be aimed at Tinman who did act sort of "fey" in a "stereotypically gay" sort-of way.

I still find the connection between homosexuals and Dorothy to be odd.  Just an odd connection to make or thing to latch onto.

My theory is that they latched onto Oz because there was little to latch onto in those days. In musicals men could be a bit "fey" as you say the Tin man is. And I suppose, gays, as outsiders tended to latch onto underdogs or outsiders...as the characters in this are. And where the heck are Scarecrow's, etc, (their human counterpoints--forgot their names) wives? They're a little old to still be bachelors ; )
Title: Re: "I guess I'll go be a gay icon."
Post by: Trekker4747 on February 07, 2014, 06:03:31 PM
In another version of the script, Scarecrow's Kansas counterpart (Hunk) is soon to go off to college and promises to write Dorothy. The suggestion being some sort of connection (romantic?) between the two. Possibly another reason to go with the Dorothy of the movie is Garland's age (late teens) and not a child as she was in the books.  The other farmhands (Zeke, Hickory) for all we know very well could have wives and family that live nearby and they're just simply workers on the farm.
Title: Re: "I guess I'll go be a gay icon."
Post by: losingmydignity on February 07, 2014, 06:38:18 PM
Well, you certainly know more about the film than I do...make Dorothy an adult and this certainly gets interesting...
Title: Re: "I guess I'll go be a gay icon."
Post by: Trekker4747 on February 07, 2014, 06:54:49 PM
Well, her being in her teens and still in high-school and "Hunk" being in his later teens or even early 20s and going off to college certainly wouldn't have been an unusual or all together odd relationship in the 1930s.  In the movie I prefer to think of Dorothy as being maybe around 15 or 16 and just a naive farm girl. Maybe as young as 14.  That's make her young/innocent enough to fit her behavior in the movie (again, granting her that she's a naive farm girl without much exposure to the world) and Hunk being probably around 19.   This makes the age gap between them safely "normal" for there to be a relationship without it being *too* creepy, again, given the time and small-town/farm culture.

Judy Garland was in her late teens when she made this movie and wore binders to contain her bosom to make her "look younger."  I take this to mean that the movie makers felt she was too developed to "realistically" pass for a girl in her teens (even though she *was* in her teens.) She might have just been more developed than most girls her age and certainly most girls Dorothy's age if she was supposed to be in her early teens.

Incidentally there is remnant of the connection between her and "Hunk" in the movie as this is the reason why she says she'll miss Scarecrow (Hunk's Oz counterpart) "most of all" during her farewells.  She's the closest to him/his Kansas counterpart.

 

Title: Re: "I guess I'll go be a gay icon."
Post by: losingmydignity on February 08, 2014, 02:27:13 PM
So I guess they missed their chance to riff "a hunk a hunk of burnin' love...."