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The Wizard of Oz
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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!
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Top Customer Reviews
This is the "B" movie of its day. The bad guys have names like Kruel, Wikked, and Vishuss, while the good guys are lead by Prince Kynd. The DVD has a simplistic musical background, one that might be part of a 1980'd Nintendo sound track. The printed words are read to us. The story is a slightly different version of what we have been used to seeing, but not as bad as Asylum's adaptation of "Moby Dick."
The production borders on camp. When the characters are introduced the actors who play the role are also printed on the screen. The restoration is excellent as the grainy aspect has been removed, although the film remains dark around the borders. The movie also includes Frederick Ko Vert, a female impersonator who wears peacock feathers. His appearance frightens the residents of Oz. Prince Kynd laughs at Frederick and says, "That's a lot of applesauce." Applesauce means "nonsense" but is sometimes used as a code word to describe a sexy female. This might pass as "adult humor" in that age. There is also much slap stick humor.
Oliver Hardy is not the fat man in this film. That is Fatty Alexander. Dorothy turns 18 and the farm hands are interested in courting her...reminded me of the SNL skit, Olsen twins turn 18. There is also a black man, Spencer Bell, eating a watermelon in the movie, something that wouldn't be there today. His real name is fictitiously listed as "G. Howe Black." The race jokes don't end there, there are more.
The plot has holes big enough to drive a truck through.
As entertainment for the family the movie would be a sad flop for modern times.Read more ›
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.
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
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. Read morePublished on March 25 2004 by Andre M.
Just read the book "Silent Clowns" and found out that is Oliver Hardy in one of the roles prior to his legendary teaming With Stan Laurel.Published on Nov. 15 2003 by John Weber
I'm not complaining about the quality of the film. I love old movies and this was no exception. I'm upset about the content. Read morePublished on Feb. 20 2003
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