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The Wizard of Oz

2.1 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Dorothy Dwan, Charles Murray, Oliver Hardy, Mary Carr, Virginia Pearson
  • Directors: Larry Semon
  • Writers: Larry Semon, Frank Joslyn Baum, L. Frank Baum, Leon Lee
  • Producers: Larry Semon, I.E. Chadwick
  • Format: Black & White, Color, DVD-Video, Silent, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Bci / Eclipse
  • Release Date: May 1 2003
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.1 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B00005KHJH
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #174,401 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

This long-forgotten 1925 silent version of the children's classic, cowritten by L. Frank Baum's eldest son, had a character named Dorothy and a house transported to Oz by a tornado, but you won't recognize much after that. This film served mainly as a vehicle for comedian Larry Semon, who played the Scarecrow. You'll also have a chance to see an early appearance by Oliver Hardy, playing the Tin Woodsman, two years before he first teamed up with Stan Laurel. Its slapstick comedy routines and surrealistic setting make this an interesting curio and a treat for silent movie fans. --Elisabeth Keating --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

This original 1925 version of The Wizard of OZ is slightly different than the MGM version starring Judy Garland, but it is every bit as entertaining. In this film, which was adapted from L. Frank Baum's classic story, silent film legend Larry Semon is hilarious as the Scarecrow and Oliver Hardy (Laurel and Hardy) is wonderful as the Tin Woodsman. On her 18th birthday, Dorothy finds out that she is the rightful heir to the throne in the Kingdom of OZ and she must travel there to claim her throne. With the help of the Wizard, the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodsman and the Cowardly Lion, Dorothy must overcome the wicked ruler of OZ who is doing all he can to keep her form the throne. AS in all of Baum's classic stories, good triumphs over evil!

Customer Reviews

2.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
when people write a review and say things like this is the worst movie I have seen I don't usually believe them....I mean come on how bad could it be? Well this one IS the WORST movie I have seen by horrible movie can even compare to how bad this is. In fact if the people who wrote about other movies as being the worst movie they ever seen saw this they would change thier review and appologize. It is so unwatchable and boring that you MUST fast forward while watching if you want to see the whole thing. The music is bad the lady reading the crap to us is bad everything is bad!!! There is a reason this movie is $4 believe me. And no it's not so bad that it is good. If it was flushable I would wipe myself with it and save money on toiletpaper. (This movie doesn't deserve one star I had to give it at least one) If this movie wasn't called the wizard of oz the people who released it would have known not to because they wouldn't have sold a single disk........instead they decided to release it looking for a quick buck for those who are oz fans. If you buy it you WILL be dissapointed. I could have thrown the $4 out the window and been more satisfied!!!
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Format: DVD
It's not really fair to call this movie, "Wizard of Oz", although it is based, very loosely, on that story. Essentially,Dorothy in this story is a 17 year old about to turn 18, when she is to discover she is the ruler of Oz. There are designs to keep her from ascending the throne by the evil Emperor Kruel and cohorts. The tin-man, cowardly lion, and scarecrow are disguises taken on by Dorothy's friends to avoid detection. The wizard is truly a shyster, and only vaguely useful.
The highlight is Oliver Hardy in an early role. The low points are stereotypifications of the one African American actor; especially a scene where he eats watermelon and a scene where 'dark meat' is referred to jokingly in regards to a lion's dietary preference. However, this actor was very humorous in the slapstick role he performed, and most of the main actors are involved in slapstick roles throughout.
There are some nicely done 'stunts' performed that seem amazing for the time. The print it was taken off of was very good, although the music and narration were not only unnecessary, but inapproprate. For the low dollar amount, this film is worth having in your collection. I'd much prefer the 1910 "Wizard of Oz" made by L. Frank Baum if it was available.
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Frank Joslyn Baum felt that he, as L. Frank Baum's eldest son, was the best person to carry on the Oz series, and was struck aghast when his father's publisher employed Ruth Plumly Thompson after his father died, and with his mother's approval. Later on, they even halted the publication of his Oz Big Little Books (the first of the intended two has become one of the most sought after BLBs of all time due to its low print run--and its publication is still barred to the present day). Despite a 1918 letter from LFB praising how much better written FJB's letter to him was than anything he had written, FJB, like most of his other descendents clearly did not have the talent of his father (though Roger S.--directly descended from FJB, is the worst).

The younger Baum, however, was able to negotiate business deals that brought about this film, the 1933 animated short (which he wrote), and the 1939 MGM musical.
For some reason, the younger Baum, who even had the audacity to bill himself as "L. Frank Baum, Jr." (even though L. Frank Baum would never have named his son "Lyman") decided that the material made a suitable vehicle for Larry Semon, a second-string star battling alcoholism (and who would die of stomach cancer a few years later), and proceeded to change it heavily.
Taking a partial cue from his father's 1914 film, _His Majesty, the Scarecrow of Oz_, which was based on _Wizard_, but so heavily different that Baum expanded it into the novel _The Scarecrow of Oz_ the next year, FJB , with Semon and Leon Lee, wrote this all-a-dream story about the politics of the Emerald City, which was also a major subject of the 1902 musical, though much more successfully.
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Folks, don't let the title fool you. This story is only loosely connected to the L. Frank Baum books or the 1939 film that is the definite version. Basically, this is a cornball slapstick-happy tale about 1920s comic Larry Semon fighting for Dorothy's hand in marriage. Filled with bad puns and corny gags (an African-American character is billed as "G. Howe Black"-a real knee slapper ain't it)? The only reason anyone would have to watch this (Baum himself died by this time and had nothing to do with the story) is because of the early appearance of Oliver Hardy as the tin man (and this is not one of his better roles). Nah, see it just for curiousity and read the Baum books or the Judy Garland film for the real deal. Early in the film, a little girl who is having this tale read to her (she must have been really naughty to deserve such punishment) says, "Oh Grampy, I don't like that!" Trust me, you'll say the same.
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