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His Majesty the Scarecrow of Oz (Full Screen)

Violet MacMillan , Frank Moore , L. Frank Baum    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 14.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but.... Sept. 6 2003
Format:DVD
This is a good purchase for $4.99, especially if you like the more unusual films to come out of the silent era, or any of the Oz books. It's a fun romp through Oz, and has some decent special effects.
The film itself has deteriorated substantially, and it appears no effort was made to restore it. That's understandable, especially for such a cheap movie. The bad part of this disc is the audio. The music is a mix of ragtime and various other types. It has some relevance, as the mood does change with the film, but that's about all. The voice-over for the title cards, on the other hand, is just wrong.
My conclusion: Buy the movie, but turn the audio off.
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4.0 out of 5 stars L. Frank Baum directs as well as he writes March 13 2003
Format:DVD
This is a fun 1914 version of an 'Oz' book, directed by L. Frank Baum himself. There are some great special FX, (the 'freezing heart' is fantastic!), and the acting is fairly good as well. The music and narration on this edition, as it is on the 1925 version of 'Wizard Of Oz', is redone and not very well. However, for the price, this film is worth having! Great fun for children but requires an attention span, because it's not as 'flash-bang-zippo!' as modern films, because of no sound effects.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I LOVED IT!!!!! May 15 2002
By Andrew
Format:DVD
I bought this recently, when i was about to watch it I thought it was going to be the stupidest thing i have ever seen. But after the first few minutes i loved it. The special effects were good (for 1914) The only thing i didnt like is the WEIRD music and the naration. Whats wrong with panio or organ music?
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Baum's Oz on Film Sept. 9 2001
By Kevenn T. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
I found this...and bought it, and I didn't regret it! I loved it. I raised myself on Baum's Oz stories, and this is one that he made himself. This movie is an original story that Baum wrote using his Oz characters, and later, story plots from this movie were used in his book, "The Scarecrow of Oz" - most notably the story of Princess Gloria and Pon, the Gardener's son and King Krewl. Dorothy features prominently in the story, though we're not told how she gets to Oz. Mombie is the witch, instead of Blinkie in the book. Other Oz characters that appear are Button Bright, the Tin Woodman, the Cowardly Lion, the Wizard, the Sawhorse, a Winged Monkey, and (I think) Hank the Mule. The music is really "Ozzy," and I really enjoyed it. It's a silent film, but the narration cards are read by an actress who does a pretty good job. The special effects are pretty impressive for its time. The is a scene reminiscent of "The Wizard of Oz" book, where the Scarecrow, pushing a raft, gets stuck on the pole. He slides down underwater, and the underwater affects surprised me for such an old film. There are fish swimming around, and even a mermaid makes an appearance. I also liked they way they showed Princess Gloria getting her heart frozen by Mombie and her fellow witches that she summons. At one point, they even take off flying on their brooms, which looked really awesome!
The costumes and makeup are also exellent. Dorothy wears the same dress and bow style that she does in John R. Neill's illustrations. The Tin Woodman's costume is a little funky, but is ok. I was impressed with how well the Scarecrow's makeup and clothes hold up in water. Mombie looks like The Witch of the West and Neill's Blinkie in the book. Princess Gloria is beautiful and looks like a wistful Fairy princess. The animal costumes were very kewl. I especially like Hank the Mule's costume, and enjoyed seeing him fight off Mombie. There's also other really nice pices of detail, like the little "Oz" pieces on the Sawhorse's bridle, which he has in Neill's illustrations.
There were also some very funny parts, like the Scarecrow discovering water and playing in a stream, to the dismay of Dorothy and Button Bright. They even had the Wall of Water, which was interestingly done with camera angles.
There is also a Little Rascals short on the disk about Alfalfa fighting a masked wrestler that's funny as well. But if you're looking for Baum's Oz, then this is for you.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars L. Frank Baum directs as well as he writes March 13 2003
By KNO2skull - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a fun 1914 version of an 'Oz' book, directed by L. Frank Baum himself. There are some great special FX, (the 'freezing heart' is fantastic!), and the acting is fairly good as well. The music and narration on this edition, as it is on the 1925 version of 'Wizard Of Oz', is redone and not very well. However, for the price, this film is worth having! Great fun for children but requires an attention span, because it's not as 'flash-bang-zippo!' as modern films, because of no sound effects.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Curious, Period Piece from Oz's Original Creator April 30 2005
By John A Lee III - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I have been an Oz fan all of my life and usually jump at the opportunity to add something to my Oz collection. So it was that I was glad to find this piece. Watching it, however, was not all I had hoped for.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was written and directed by L. Frank Baum, the author of "The Wizard of Oz" as well as the later sequel, "The Scarecrow of Oz". As such, I expected it to be a very faithful adaptation of the book. In this, I was surpised by two things. The first was that the story was much less like the book that I would have expected from the book's author. The second is how good a job was done in a film dating from 1914.

The basic story is that of the book. Princess Gloria has her heart frozen by an evil witch to prevent her from marrying a commoner. The Oz characters come to her rescue. The way this comes about, however, deviates significantly from the book and several characters are changed or are missing alltogether. This was a dissapointment to me but may not be to others.

The state of the art for motion pictures was not all that developed in 1914. With that in mind, this movie does achieve some remarkable things. The "trick" are easy to identify but they do not detract from the progession of the story itself. These special effects include an underwater scene with the scarecrow, the actual freezing of the princess's heart and the decaptitation of the evil witch. They do blend well with the story. There is none of the "how did they do that" feeling but there is a "I'm surpriised they managed that" feeling to replace it.

In appearance, it seems like Oz is located in the American plains of the midwest. This is particularly apparent when the scarecrow is seen in his cornfield with "Indians" dancing around him. So too do the river scenes seem more like a bit of Americana than the fantasy land of Oz. So too do the witches seem to come from Salem as opposed to the fairy land. This is another instance of something that distracted me but may not affect anyone else.

Staple Oz characters making an appearance include Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, the Cowardly Lion, the Wizard, the wooden Sawhorse, Old Mombi, Button Bright (as a girl instead of a boy!) as well as those specific to this story line like Gloria, Pon, King Krewl and Googly Goo. Notably absent are Trot, Captain Bill and Betsy Bobbin. It is possible that Hank the mule makes an appearance but I don't know if that is intentional or a coincidence and the character is not named.

This film is well worth buying for serious Oz fanatics. It does provide a diverting hour of entertainment and follows the basics of the story. So too might it appeal to silent movie fans who like silent movies for their own sake. The Little Rascals short is a nice additional touch as well.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but.... Sept. 6 2003
By Harmless Gryphon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a good purchase for $4.99, especially if you like the more unusual films to come out of the silent era, or any of the Oz books. It's a fun romp through Oz, and has some decent special effects.
The film itself has deteriorated substantially, and it appears no effort was made to restore it. That's understandable, especially for such a cheap movie. The bad part of this disc is the audio. The music is a mix of ragtime and various other types. It has some relevance, as the mood does change with the film, but that's about all. The voice-over for the title cards, on the other hand, is just wrong.
My conclusion: Buy the movie, but turn the audio off.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Silent-era Oz Oct. 1 2009
By Annie Van Auken - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
First a word about 'gray market' DVDs--
Often, transfers are not of the highest quality. The movies themselves are unrestored and rarely pristine (but still watchable), extras are non-existent and inclusion of artwork or liner notes varies by manufacturer.

In 1914, L. Frank Baum, author of 15 "Wizard of Oz" books, started his own film company. Baum scripted and oversaw production on all the Oz movies. Life-size puppets were used for some characters, while actors often portrayed various roles from film to film. Although primitive-looking to modern eyes, this nearly 100 year old film is really how the author wanted his classic children's books to appear on theater screens.

SYNOPSIS for "His Majesty, Scarecrow of Oz":
Princess Gloria is the hypotenuse of a love triangle. She's in love with a gardener's son, while evil King Crewl has his sights set on her.

RECOMMENDED:
This title plus three other silent Oz photoplays are available on THE WIZARD OF OZ COLLECTION 4 MOVIE PACK, from ALPHA VIDEO.

Parenthetical number preceding title is a 1 to 10 imdb viewer poll rating.

(6.0) His Majesty, The Scarecrow Of Oz (silent-1914) - Violet MacMillan/Frank Moore/Pierre Couderc/Fred Woodward/Raymond Russell
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