After recentally watching the Netflix Western miniseries Godless, I started to notice things, especially things pertianing to the character Alice Fletcher (Michelle Dockery), that reminded me of both The Wizard of Oz (1939 Film + novels) and Alice Adventures in Wonderland (books).

Cinematagraphy: Godless uses special colorization techniques. Flashbacks tend to be in black and white with random coloring fixating on a specific object, part of the body or face, and/or landscape focusing (ie: black and white in the forground, color tint on a hill in the bakcground). Sometime though it's more like a color-fading/bleeding or scenes have a bit of a color tint at times. (I wish I had more examples, but I am having trouble finding screencaps)

Roy, Frank


The film version of The Wizard of Oz was originally released in black and white and later re-released in technicolor. The technicolor version however chooses to have all of the Kansas scenes depicted in a sepia tint to convey a sharp contrast between the drab farm life of rural Kansas and the whimsical colorful fantasy of Oz.


The Character Alice Fletcher:

Obviously the name Alice might make one think of Alice from 'Alice in Wonderland'. It's also believed that Frank L. Baum's Oz novels owes something to and may have barrowed from Lewis Carroll's Alice Adventures in Wonderland novels; both being about young girls taken to a fantasy world, where each, in their own ways, explores what it means for these young ladies to find themselves, learn responsibility, and grow up.


Godless' Alice Fetcher looks more iconic to how the film version depicts Dorothy being an auburn-brunette, wearing gingham on at least one occation (the one where she tells Roy her "story"), and often wearing a braid (a signature hairstyle). She also comes to live with 3 companions during the course the series. Her son, her mother inlaw, and Roy Goode.

Alice with Roy

In addition the character tells Roy Goode about what happened to her first husband and how she came from Baltimore to live in New Mexico. The story itself comes off as a fantasy or a myth, and IMO conveys colors and concepts (albiet from a flashback we see it's much darker then the tale Alice tells Roy) that seem similar with the colored version of The Wizard of Oz. Like cloulds/storms = tornado, the green cloud and water = wicked Witch of the WEST, the yellow dress/gold = yellow brick road---> the way "home", etc...

Threats from Wicked Witch of the West

Alice: There's some lore about finding gold under the fence posts. They say that's where the old ranchers use to hide it from the Indians and Outlaws. Of couse, I never found any myself. Never had that kind of luck.

Roy: Do you mind me asking how the three of you ended up in this place?

Alice: Well that's a bit of a story. I was only 17 and I came out here to marry the son of my father's buisness partner. All I knew about him was that his name was Henry and he was to meet me at the train station. He sent me a new yellow dress, so I'd stand out and told me to wear it the day I arrived so he'd know me. On the way back from the station, Henry wants to take a ride around the property, show off his land. "Our land", he said. After a while, the horse pulling the buggy starts to get antsy. I look up and see this strange cloud. Black with green around the edges. Henry says, "Looks like we got a bit of rain coming." Next thing we knew, the could was gone. Just vanished. Now the horse starts to rear in the traces. Henry helps me out of the wagon when I hear a rumble. I turn around and see a six-foot wall of water coming right at us. Henry, the horse, the buggy they all got washed away right in front of me. I almost did, too, but my new yellow dress got hung up on some mesquite. Saved my life. I wondered off for eight days in the wrong direction before I was found.

Many believe Godless itself is about the ivention of the myth and turns the idea of Western myth on it's head a bit, by subverting from more often overused cliches, but yet remianing true by having some myths within it's own universe seemingly present, despite the story is somewhat a tragedy. The Wizard of Oz is also allegorical and one could maybe see the "The Great Flood" in this story as well as other Biblical mythos and/or philosophical constructs of what "God" is (given the title and Frank's way of thinking) in this series.

Other factors: Godless is in part not just about one women and her journey, but really several. It's somewhat a womens' survivalist story. La Belle is a place that was a mining town where a tragedy happened, where almost all the men died in mining accedent, leaving the women to fend for themselves---until one day other men come to take over and mine again--Even the idea of digging for "gold", jewels, or resources of wealh are similar to things like the Yellow Brick Road & Emerald City---things that almost seem too good to be purley true...

So my question is, are these intentional references & allusions to either The Wizard of Oz and/or by extension Alice Adventures in Wonderland?

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