In an expressionistic, sepia-toned (beige) opening, young adopted orphan Dorothy Gale (16 year old star Judy Garland, whose real name was Frances Gumm) hurries down a flat, dusty Kansas country road with fences on either side, accompanied by her small black terrier dog Toto. [Teenaged Judy Garland was far too old for the part of young 9 year-old Dorothy in Baum's storybook - so her breasts had to be bound to flatten them and make her appear younger. She wears a blue-and-white gingham pinafore, and sports pigtails.] Obviously being chased or pursued, Dorothy is breathlessly concerned about the welfare of her pet:
Chaplin was an unconventional perfectionist whose meticulousness was wholly focused on creating and sustaining an emotional pitch. The best example comes at the end of City Lights , a sublime shot/reverse shot that cuts back and forth between the flower girl and the Tramp. It’s a testament to what critic Dave Kehr once called Chaplin’s ability to turn “fragments into emotional wholes.” The scene is engrossing and deeply moving—and yet there’s zero continuity between the two angles. In the hands of most filmmakers, it would be disjointed, but the way in which Chaplin’s reaction—a slow, half-embarrassed smile, which he covers up with his hand—plays off of Cherrill’s creates a sense of emotional continuity that makes technical continuity irrelevant.