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Oz – A Rock ‘n’ Roll Road Movie (1976)

An Australian attempt to rework The Wizard of Oz for a mid-1970s youth audience.

Dorothy (Joy Dunstan) is a sixteen-year-old groupie riding with a local rock band called Wally and the Falcons in country Australia when their van is in a road accident.

oz13Hitting her head, she is knocked unconscious and wakes up in the strange land of Oz, discovering that the band has disappeared and the van has killed the town hood.

The ‘Good Fairy’ (Robin Ramsey) – who runs a dress shop and gives Dorothy a pair of red glittery shoes – tells her she should go to the city to see the last performance of a beautiful glam-rock singer, The Wizard (Graham Matters).

On the way, she meets an innocent surfie (Bruce Spence), a heartless mechanic (Michael Carman) and a cowardly biker (Gary Waddell), while pursued all the while by a murderous trucker (Ned Kelly) – brother of the dead town hood.

Ross Wilson (from Daddy Cool) supervised the soundtrack, which dominates the film and, to a great extent, dictates the rhythms, but the movie never quite develops an involving story.

Oz was not a great success with audiences in Australia and was cut by 15 minutes for its American release, under the title 20th Century Oz.

Joy Dunstan
The Good Fairy (Glyn)
Robin Ramsey
The Surfie/Bass player
Bruce Spence
The Mechanic/Drummer
Michael Carman
The Biker/Guitarist
Gary Waddell
The Wizard/Singer/Tram Guard/Doorman
Graham Matters
The Trucker
Ned Kelly
Paula Maxwell
Lorraine West
Beris Underhill

Chris Löfvén