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WIZARD OF OZ (1939) (3PC) (W/BOOK) / (FULL ANIV) - Blu-ray Disc
Sep 29, 2009
Includes:The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1910) The Patchwork Girl of Oz (1914) His Majesty, the Scarecrow of Oz (1914) The Magic Cloak of Oz (1914) The Wizard of Oz (1925) The Wizard of Oz (1933) The Wizard of Oz (1939), MPAA Rating: G The Dreamer of Oz: The L. Frank Baum Story (1990) The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Nearly thirty years before Victor Fleming took movie lovers "Over the Rainbow" in The Wizard of Oz, filmmaker Otis Turner adapted L. Frank Baum's original story for the screen, teaming young Kansas native Dorothy with Scarecrow, The Cowardly Lion, and The Tin Woodman for the first time on film. Swept away to the land of Oz in a furious tornado, Dorothy and her dog Toto make their way to the Emerald City with a little help from Glinda the good witch and some exciting new friends. But Momba the bad witch is never far behind, prompting Dorothy to seek out the wizard in hopes of finding a way back home. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi The Patchwork Girl of Oz Patchwork Girl of Oz is one of a handful of extant productions from author L. Frank Baum's short-lived Oz Film Manufacturing Company. It was also the company's first release, and as such was carefully designed to entreat audiences into demanding additional "Oz" pictures. Patrick Couderc, who played the Tin Man in the later Baum productions, is here cast in female drag as the Patchwork Girl, brought to life by charlatan Dr. Pipt (Raymond Russell). Captured and by Ozma, queen of Oz (Jessie Mae Walsh, the Patchwork Girl helps the Queen release her subjects from an evil spell which has turned them all into stone (a plot device redeployed nearly seven decades later in Return to Oz. Mildred Harris, later the wife of Charlie Chaplin, appears briefly as Dorothy, while future comedy star Harold Lloyd can be briefly spotted as an extra. Patchwork Girl of Oz was released by Paramount Pictures. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi His Majesty, the Scarecrow of Oz The fifth silent film based on the fantastical Oz books by author Frank L. Baum, His Majesty, the Scarecrow of Oz is the only one directed and produced by Baum himself. Small town Kansas girl Dorothy (Violet MacMillan) gets stuck in the Land of Oz and teams up with Princess Gloria (Vivian Reed), the gardener Pon (Todd Wright), the Scarecrow (Franke Moore), and the Tin Woodsman (Pierre Couderc). King Krewl (Raymond Russell) has hired the old witch Mombi (Mai Wells) to freeze Gloria's heart in order to force her to marry the wealthy Googly-goo (Arthur Smollet). When the Tin Woodsman cuts off Mombi's head, she gets mad and turns Pon into a kangaroo. The group sails down a river until they meet the Cowardly Lion (Fred Woodward) and loads of other creatures. Eventually they meet the Wizard (J. Charles Hayden), who sets things right. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, Rovi The Magic Cloak of Oz Author L. Frank Baum adapts his own original story for the silver screen in this fantasy adventure directed by J. Darrell MacDonald. A young girl named Fluff is bestowed a magical robe that was woven by fairies, and has the power to grant its owner a single wish. Soon thereafter, Fluff and her brother Bud are selected as the new King and Princess of Noland. As they contend with a queen from a neighboring land, a portly army of Rolly Rogues descends on Noland in search of soup. Meanwhile, King Bud and Princess Fluff's runaway donkey rounds up all of his animal friends to seek revenge against the woodland bandits who tried to abduct him. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi The Wizard of Oz Popular silent film comedian Larry Semon literally sold the ranch to secure film rights to L. Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz -- then proceeded to chuck most of the Baum story in favor of his usual broad slapstick antics. In Semon's version, Dorothy (played by Dorothy Dwan, aka Mrs. Larry Semon) is the long-lost princess of Oz. On Dorothy's 18th birthday, she is whisked from her farm in Kansas back to Oz by way of a convenient tornado. Along for the ride are hired hands Semon and Oliver Hardy as well as le and African American handyman G. Howe Black. To avoid being captured by the minions of the cruel Prince Kruel, Semon disguises himself as a Scarecrow, while Hardy, rummaging through a garbage heap, dons Tin Woodman garb. And so it goes until Dorothy and her boyfriend Prince Kynde (Bryant Washburn) escape from Oz via airplane. The chance to see a young Oliver Hardy, sans Stan Laurel may be the best reason to see this film. Otherwise, the more famous 1939 version remains the definitive filmization of this classic yarn. The Wizard is played by Charlie Murray, who is heaps funnier than ostensible star Larry Semon. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi The Wizard of Oz Not to be confused with the cinematic classic starring Judy Garland that would follow six years later, this animated short film is one of countless other celluloid adaptations of L. Frank Baum's best-loved story, The Wizard of Oz. Directed by Ted Eshbaugh, the Canadian film features no dialogue and tells the story of Dorothy, Toto, Scarecrow, and Tin Man's adventures in Oz with a mix of black & white and color animation. ~ Matthew Tobey, Rovi The Wizard of Oz The third and definitive film adaptation of L. Frank Baum's 1900 children's fantasy, this musical adventure is a genuine family classic that made Judy Garland a star for her heartfelt performance as Dorothy Gale, an orphaned young girl unhappy with her drab black-and-white existence on her aunt and uncle's dusty Kansas farm. Dorothy yearns to travel "over the rainbow" to a different world, and she gets her wish when a tornado whisks her and her little dog, Toto, to the Technicolorful land of Oz. Having offended the Wicked Witch of the West (Margaret Hamilton), Dorothy is protected from the old crone's wrath by the ruby slippers that she wears. At the suggestion of Glinda, the Good Witch of the North (Billie Burke), Dorothy heads down the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City, where dwells the all-powerful Wizard of Oz, who might be able to help the girl return to Kansas. En route, she befriends a Scarecrow (Ray Bolger), a Tin Man (Jack Haley), and a Cowardly Lion (Bert Lahr). The Scarecrow would like to have some brains, the Tin Man craves a heart, and the Lion wants to attain courage; hoping that the Wizard will help them too, they join Dorothy on her odyssey to the Emerald City. Garland was MGM's second choice for Dorothy after Shirley Temple dropped out of the project; and Bolger was to have played the Tin Man but talked co-star Buddy Ebsen into switching roles. When Ebsen proved allergic to the chemicals used in his silver makeup, he was replaced by Haley. Gale Sondergaard was originally to have played the Wicked Witch of the West in a glamorous fashion, until the decision was made to opt for belligerent ugliness, and the Wizard was written for W.C. Fields, who reportedly turned it down because MGM couldn't meet his price. Although Victor Fleming, who also directed Gone With the Wind, was given sole directorial credit, several directors were involved in the shooting, included King Vidor, who shot the opening and closing black-and-white sequences. Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg's now-classic Oscar-winning song "Over the Rainbow" was nearly chopped from the picture after the first preview because it "slowed down the action." The Wizard of Oz was too expensive to post a large profit upon initial release; however, after a disappointing reissue in 1955, it was sold to network television, where its annual showings made it a classic. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi The Dreamer of Oz: The L. Frank Baum Story This sentimentalized biography of Oz creator L. Frank Baum (1856-1919) stars John Ritter in the title role. Richard Matheson's teleplay accurately depicts Baum as a business failure with the singular gift of being able to communicate with children. In keeping with Matheson's grounding in fantasy and the supernatural, Baum's characters occasionally come to life to palaver with the author and bring him inspiration. Annette O'Toole co-stars as Mrs. Baum, while Charles Haid is seen in the dual role of "Badham" and the Cowardly Lion. Also on hand as a Munchkin is Jerry Maren, who played one of the Lollipop Guild in the 1939 Hollywood adaptation of The Wizard of Oz. Made for television, Dreamer of Oz: The L. Frank Baum Story debuted December 10, 1990. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi