If you’re alive and over the age of 25, you have probably seen — and fallen in love with — The Wizard of Oz. And if you’ve seen it, you have also fallen in love with Dorothy’s ruby slippers. In fact, it seems everyone is in love with the ruby slippers. The Slippers, a documentary by local director Morgan White, looks at the creation of the ruby slippers, how they were saved from obscurity by an intrepid costumer named Kent Warner, and how they have become some of the most coveted objects in movie memorabilia.
The Slippers is part historical document, part mystery, and nearly pure heartbreak. The story behind these red shoes not only fascinates, but enlightens the fact that Hollywood didn’t start caring about its own history until it became profitable, further proving that the people who make movies aren’t disillusioned about the fact that they are not making art, they are making money.
White’s directorial style proves to be the film’s greatest asset. He is obviously a fan of old Hollywood, but the film is not made from the perspective of a fan, it’s made from the perspective of an investigator.
What the film is not, however, is the history of The Wizard of Oz, something it smartly steers quite clear of. Instead, this is the story of two people (Kent Warner and Debbie Reynolds) who understood the meaning film had long before its remnants became an industry unto themselves. It’s inspiring and devastating at the same time.