Leading article: Friends of Dorothy

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The Independent Online

We were told to follow that yellow brick road and by god, that's what we've done. Almost seven decades after the release of the Technicolor marvel The Wizard of Oz, we seem even more enthusiastic about Dorothy, the tin man and wicked witches than ever. Yesterday a digitally restored version of the 1939 film was re-released in cinemas. The original costume of the cowardly lion was sold this week at auction for £357,000 (Judy Garland's gingham dress fetched £140,000 last year). In the West End, the Oz-inspired musical Wicked is doing well, after a successful Broadway run.

What are we to make of this resurgence of Oz-mania? L Frank Baum's original story was a satire on the folly of late 19th-century US economic policies that restricted money supply. Could it be time for a cut in interest rates? In the present climate, we suspect that dream will have to remain somewhere over the rainbow.

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