One of the most memorable scenes in movie history is from The Wizard of Oz. The wearied travelers have finally made it to the Emerald City. They find themselves in the Inner Sanctum before Oz himself.
There, a gaseous phantasm is erupting before them, thundering, “I am Oz, the Great and Powerful!” The travelers are terrified, and cowed, and rightly so. It is little Toto who proves the hero of the day, scampering across the floor and pulling back the curtain.
There, frantically working the machinery of his illusion, is “Oz,” not great and powerful but small and pitiful. He manages to make the machine bellow one last time, “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!” But the scam is blown. The travelers cannot unsee what they’ve seen. Nor, are they stupid.
The scene—in fact, the whole movie—is a cinematic adaptation of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, one of the most important lessons in the history of philosophy.