The Bad Movie Report

Greetings from the Babe of Oz!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Marc Berezin for taking the time - and having the patience - to alleviate my ignorance of all things Oz. Thanks, Marc, for helping me look smarter than I actually am!


Some people might wonder what's up with me and Oz. I know I do.

I mean, I've had the usual exposure to L. Frank Baum's creation, by which I mean the 1939 movie was crammed down my throat every holiday by network TV. Maybe more than the usual exposure, as I actually bothered to read the book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (if you have not yet, it is an eye-opening experience). But starting with the beginning of this year, when I reviewed Barry Mahon's cardboard version of The Wonderful Land of Oz, this formerly faraway land has crept more and more into my life. The DVDs for the two movies I examine this week practically fell into my lap, causing me to delve more deeply into Baum's neverland than I had ever intended. I find myself itching to watch Return to Oz again, and that almost frightens me.

These movies hail from a different time, a remove so far as to almost border Oz itself: the silent era. If the general population seems only vaguely aware that there are more than a couple of Oz books, they are probably completely unaware that there were at least eight Oz movies before the 1939 Judy Garland vehicle, and numerous shorts.

The Who in The What?The movie which began this journey for me opens with the legend "LARRY SEMON in WIZARD OF OZ". Now again, you may be wondering, "Larry who? And how did he get his name above the line?" I know I did, and I flatter myself as being fairly knowledgeable about film. Larry Semon was a silent comedian, a contemporary of Chaplin, Keaton and Lloyd; in his heyday, he was a bigger draw and was paid more than the latter two. And Wizard of Oz is arguably the movie that provided the deathblow to his career.

Going further into the movie provides us with Semon himself as an old toymaker, working on doll versions of Dorothy, the Scarecrow, and the Tin Woodman. He is interrupted by his granddaughter, who begs him to read the Oz book to her; the pages of the storybook become the opening credits. So far, so good.

Then things get… interesting, shall we say.

First, we are told that about eighteen years ago, a baby princess – the rightful ruler of Oz – disappeared, and Oz is currently being governed by Prime Minister Kruel, aided of course, by Lady Vishuss and Ambassador Wikked. Now, it may have taken nearly two decades, but the people of Oz are now in Kruel's palace, angrily demanding the return of their queen. They are barely held in check by their spokesman, Prince Kynd.

Now, Baum did at one point write of a King Krewl (note different spelling), but it was farther along in the Oz timeline, as it were (and farther along in this review, too). The other characters appear to be total persiflage, but let's get on with it. Kruel is having a grand episode of silent movie angst at this popular uprising, until Wikked suggests that he use "The Wizard". An intercard informs us that "The Wizard was just a medicine-show hokum hustler, but he fitted in nicely as the Prime Minister's 'yes-man'." Which is close enough to the actual Wizard that the viewer starts to feel like he may be watching the movie in a fever-dream delirium (as if pondering the fact that Oz seems to be located in either Eastern Europe or Russia didn't already do that) - but truthfully, you ain't seen nothing yet.

Behold!  The Terrifying Transvestite of Oz!At Kruel's command, "Do your stuff, Wizzy!" the Wizard produces, from a huge wicker chest, "The Phantom of the Basket", a terrifying transvestite whose impromptu dance number does a terrific job of cowing the pre-Rocky Horror Picture Show peasants, despite Prince Kynd's laughing assertion that it's all "a load of applesauce".

Meanwhile, back at the toymaker, the Moppet says, "Oh, Grammpy – I don't like that. Read me about Dorothy, the Tin Woodman and the Scarecrow." Audience worldwide doubtless chant "Go, Moppet, Go, Moppet, Go!" At least those who were not chanting, "Gimme my money back! Gimme my money back!" Of course, I am being sarcastic in advance, but that's only because I've already seen the movie.

First we are assured that "In Kansas there bloomed a rose," before we are introduced to Dorothy (Dorothy Dwan), who is a more mature protagonist than we are used to, quite beyond the 16 year-old Judy Garland in the later version. Dwan was around twenty at the time of filming, and even with the strange Clara Bow-type lipstick that makes her look like she is constantly puckering up for a kiss, it's obvious that Ms. Dwan is a indeed a very pretty lady. Of course, she's also shot very well, as we are looking at the future Mrs. Larry Semon. She looks like an Alphonse Mucha print come to life. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Hardy, Dwan. Semon, CakeThe movie does a quick job of introducing the remainder of our cast – Auntie Em (Mary Carr), who will quickly vanish from the proceedings; Uncle Henry (Frank Alexander), a man whose girth is so large he is practically a cylinder; and two farmhands/suitors to Dorothy, who are never given names, but are played by Larry Semon and a very young (and almost thin) Oliver Hardy.

Special mention must be made at this point to another character: Snowball (Spencer Bell), who is a stock character familiar to anyone who's made a study of popular entertainment in the first half of the 20th Century – the Comical Negro Rascal. Yes, CNR's were a fixture of low comedy in those days, a carryover from the blackface minstrel shows on the vaudeville circuits which were still traveling the country at the time. You can count on certain things from a CNR: 1) Excessive laziness; 2) General tremulousness, usually coupled with extreme superstition; 3) Komedic density in the brains department; 4) An obsession for watermelon. The CNR reached its nadir in the studio-created persona of Sleep'n'Eat (actually comedian Willie Best), and reached its apex in the various terrified, but no less warmly human, characters essayed by the great Mantan Moreland.

Oh, man... comedy is NOT pretty.It would be easy to dismiss the character of Snowball out of hand as mere stereotypical racist humor – note how Bell is here saddled with the pseudonym G. Howe Black (and I am deeply ashamed for not noticing that atrocious pun the first time through). But to do that would actually diminish the fine work done here by Bell and later comedians like Moreland: working within the strictures imposed on them by the studios (and yes, the mores of the time): these men manage to turn in some tremendously funny performances. Everyone in this production of Wizard of Oz is a cartoon character (some toons, I think, would be insulted by that comparison), and if you choose to be offended by Spencer Bell earning a living, you might as well also be offended by the indignities visited upon Frank Alexander simply because he is obese, and therefore a target of many punch lines. You're never going to see another CNR in these times (well, not outside Spike Lee's pictures, anyway), but I'll bet I'll see some fat guy humiliated on TV sometime this week, or at the very least in Troma's latest offering.

Dang, how did that soap box sneak under my feet? Where was I?

Aaaah!  The Cadbury Eggs have gone bad!It's incredibly easy to get sidetracked in examining this production of Wizard, because for the next 35 minutes or so, it is basically a slapstick comedy that has nothing to do with Baum's book (as we will see, the phrase "it is basically a slapstick comedy that has nothing to do with Baum's book" could form the entire review, and we could all go back to doing something more constructive, like grumbling that every movie forthcoming from Hollywood is going to suck). Hardy and Semon will vie for Dorothy's affections, a variety of farm animals will expectorate on Semon in a variety of ways (it is oddly creepy when a hen drops an egg on the napping Semon's head, and in order for the mess to show up against Semon's white facial makeup, the goo inside the egg is black), and a swarm of cartoon bees will affix themselves to Frank Alexander's ponderous ass. Hilarity ensues.

There are some plot points, though. Dorothy was left on Em and Henry's doorstep when but a baby, with a note saying an attached, sealed letter should not be opened until her 18th birthday. Kruel, it turns out, is the one who abducted the princess – Dorothy - and placed her on the doorstep. As far as Evil Plans go, this ranks somewhere slightly above giving James Bond a book entitled How To Foil My Evil Plans For World Domination For Dummies and then strenuously hoping he doesn't read it. But only slightly. Admittedly, it does give Kruel eighteen years to think of something better, but it is also apparent that he has been doing nothing but playing that new Godzilla game on the GameCube for the last couple of decades, as the best thing he can come up with is to send Wikked to Kansas to steal the letter before Dorothy can read it and realize she is the rightful Queen of Oz.

Tremble at the sight of the villainous Gauchos of Oz!Wikked and four henchmen – dressed, for some reason, like gauchos (maybe they're in disguise? I can hear it now: "Gauchos in Kansas? No one will suspect a thing!") - arrive in a biplane and demand the letter. When Henry tells them to get lost, Wikked bribes Hardy to find the letter, and when that fails, has his men hoist Dorothy to the top of a tower (its exact purpose on the farm unknown) and set fire to the rope supporting her until Henry relents and hands over the letter.

As we will soon see, this is another standard in Larry Semon movies – people in jeopardy on tall structures. In fact, during this segment, Hardy will pursue Semon to the top of a grain silo. It's like watching proto-Jackie Chan material, except it is obvious from the reliance on far shots that it's not Semon, but a stuntman who does the dangerous work, like leaping from the silo into a wagon full of hay (which doesn't diminish the thrill of the stunt, I might add). Hardy similarly leaps from the silo (okay, stuntman again), but Semon has moved the wagon. Luckily, the impact doesn't seem to harm Hardy much. Similarly, Dorothy dangling from the rope is patently a man. When the rope finally breaks, Semon races below to catch her, resulting in both actors extricating themselves from a deep impact crater.

I told you these were cartoon characters.

Snowball defies the Dark Side of the Force.Anyway, after thirty-five minutes of such nonsense, God has had enough and throws a tornado at the movie. Mysteriously, it is Hardy, Semon, Henry, Wikked and Dorothy who are airlifted in a small storage barn to Oz. Snowball – after cartoon lightning has komedically and uselessly bounced off his noggin several times – is pursued across the sky by lightning so he winds up in Oz, too.

Hey, we’re finally in Oz! And judging from the onion domes in the cityscape, it is in Russia. A welcoming committee comprised of Kynd, Kruel, and a flock of soldiers greets them. Although Kynd reads the letter and realizes that Dorothy is the rightful queen returned to them, Kruel accuses the others of being the kidnappers and commands the Wizard to turn them into "monkeys… anything!" Realizing they are all in the same boat, the Wizard appeals to Hardy and Semon to help him out, and…

…Are you ready?… Are you sure?

…in the ensuing chase scenes, Semon takes refuge in a cornfield, and Hardy hides in a junkyard full of cast-off metal parts. When Kruel demands to know the refugees whereabouts, the Wizard replies he has transformed them – and enter Semon and Hardy disguised as the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman.

Um hm.

"Larry, are you sure the audience will buy this?"  "Relax!  No problem!"Unfortunately, Larry didn't Hardy any close-ups as the Woodman.This terrifies the soldiers for a bit, until Wikked pulls out a literal cannon and starts lobbing shells at our heroes. They surrender, and are taken into Oz, where Kynd tells them that until he has time to sort things out, the "guilty ones" will have to stay in the dungeon. Hardy, being slightly overweight and therefore a villain, proclaims Semon to be the guilty one. In a moment that, to my embittered post-modern eye seems a case of racial profiling, Snowball is the only one tossed in the dungeon. But then Semon goes down the hole, too, but in the interim the ladder has been removed, so the comedian – still in Scarecrow drag, as he will be for the rest of the picture- falls from a great height. Again.

Did I mention the dungeon seems to be run by pirates? Yeah, I thought that was strange, too. Maybe Oz is landlocked and they just couldn't find any other employment. Though it must be said that they seem to be having a grand time of it. I guess it's just in their nature to try and find some enjoyment in whatever they do. I envy people like that.

"Bwah ha ha!  Ye'll have pirate penance up the ying-yang, ar!"Anyway. For his part in this treachery, Hardy is proclaimed "the 'Knight of the Garter' – so in the future no metal could touch him" and Henry is made "The Prince of Whales", har de frickin' har. Auntie Em, we must hope, has sold what was left of the farm in Kansas and is now living the high life in Vegas. Kruel plots to retain his grip on power by wooing Queen Dorothy, while Prince Kynd – hell, I don't know what Kynd is doing, but he sure doesn't seem to pursuing his investigation. Maybe he's got a GameCube, too. Semon and Snowball are still in the dungeon, where the pirates are filling up a vat with something gooey. The mind offers all sorts of possibilities of what that gooey something might be. Molten lead, mud, poop – for all I know it's chocolate syrup. Then for some reason they toss one of their own into it and he doesn't seem to enjoy the experience. A pirate informs Semon he's next. Or maybe they'll throw him to the lions. Yep, they keep lions in the dungeon. Strange place, that Oz.

Enter the Wizard, who has Snowball put on a lion suit to terrorize the guards. Because I know you were wondering, where exactly is the Cowardly Lion? And I say unto you: ask and ye shall receive…sucker! In the ensuing chaos, Semon sneaks back upstairs to warn Dorothy of the plots against her. This results in a) Uncle Henry falling into the vat of goo (komedy gold!); and b) an extended chase scene as Hardy and his minions pursue Semon through the dungeons. This is a pretty good scene, as Semon keeps hiding in wooden crates and magically teleporting out of them before Hardy smashes them. Eventually though, Semon unwittingly takes refuge in the lion cage, and of course mistakes a real lion for Snowball in that costume.

Snowball pretty accurately mirrors the audience's reaction to the goings-on.Meanwhile, Kruel puts the moves on Dorothy with all the subtlety of a frat boy after a keg and a half. This scene of sexual harassment is interrupted by Kynd, and the resulting swordfight is interrupted by even more treachery, as one of Kruel's henchmen surprises Kynd from behind. Semon save Kynd's butt, not once, but twice, and his reward? Dorothy gives him a kiss and declares her love for Prince Kynd. I think even the women in the audience are, at this point, thinking, "Bitch!"

Well, no time for that, Hardy and his minions come from the dungeon to pursue Semon some more. Up a water tower (another Semon motif), no less. Semon pauses long enough on the ladder to turn and send Hardy plummeting. Once atop the tower, Semon is seemingly trapped when Wikked once again employs that damned cannon... until Snowball arrives, flying a biplane. Semon grabs the dangling rope ladder, and all seems well, until the rope ladder snaps…

And the Moppet awakens from a dream, snatches away the Scarecrow, Woodsman and Dorothy dolls for safe keeping, and runs back up the stairs, away from the Toymaker and this strange, hellish vision of Oz, doubtless to cry herself back to sleep. After all, Hardy's dead body doubtless lies shattered after his fall from the tower, Semon's corpse is splattered all over some borscht field, and the feckless Dorothy is makin' whoopee with some guy in a uniform whom she just met. If there is any sunshine offered by this turn of events, it is that hopefully Snowball found out that there were fully loaded machine guns on the biplane, and is currently merrily strafing a Ku Klux Klan rally.

Look! It's either MOZcow or VladivOZstok!  (No hit! No hit!)I, personally, was desperate for some denouement here, where it might be revealed that the Toymaker can't really read, and has been making up everything we just saw to simply satisfy his grand-daughter and get the little hellion to shut up; but that particular comforting straw is snatched from my grasp, as the old man returns to his book and reads, "And Queen Dorothy and her Prince lived happily ever after! The End."

You are likely thinking something along the lines of '-the hell?" after reading this description. Chances are, so were the audiences of the time, though with an additional layer of resentment and dismay.

Like his contemporaries, Larry Semon was attempting to make the transition from two-reel comedies to feature-length entertainment. By all accounts, the comedian had wanted to make an Oz movie for quite some time, and after the critical and box office failure of his first feature (the 1924 The Girl in the Limousine), he paid a large amount to the Baum estate for the movie rights and spent some time working with Baum's son on the script. Then, somehow, for some reason, he transformed all this into an 83 minute Larry Semon two-reeler.

At this point I'll have to defer to an expert. Richard M. Roberts, in an exhaustively researched and excellent series of three articles for Classic Images magazine, puts it this way:

For years, the available Semon films were the ones from his years of decline, the 1924-28 Educational comedies, including his unfortunate remake (yes, remake, don't forget L. Frank Baum had made films in the teens) of The Wizard of Oz. What was apparent from these films, and the few Vitagraph films that were extant, was not only the hectic quality of his filmmaking, but the sameness of it all. One could almost compose a standard recipe for a Larry Semon comedy:


  1. 1. Larry Semon;
  2. 2. A heroine (usually Larry's current girlfriend or wife);
  3. 3. A fat guy (usually Oliver Hardy to play the villain);
  4. 4. A really fat guy (usually Frank Alexander, to play Larry's current girlfriend's father);
  5. 5. Several stuntmen, one to play Larry in everything but mid-close shots and close-ups, and several more to be thrown off things;
  6. 6. Things to throw the stuntmen off of, usually water towers, barns, silos, smokestacks, or buildings in general;
  7. 7. Gooey or messy things, frequently utilized to dump onto the really fat guy or the really fat guy into. Includes but is not relegated to, mud baths, wet cement, large washtubs filled with eggs, flour sacks, feather pillows, and large pots or buckets labeled in large block letters GLUE, INK, JAM, MOLASSES, etc., and filled to the brim with said items;
  8. 8. Several mechanical means of transportation, including airplanes, motorcars, trains, and motorcycles;
  9. 9. Explosions, frequently used to destroy the things listed in numbers 6 and 8;
  10. 10. Plot (optional).


Now what exactly IS the purpose of this contraption on the farm?That is sheer genius and there is no way I can improve upon it. Each and every one of these things does indeed appear in Wizard of Oz, and it was this stolid sameness, even more than the cavalier discarding of actual elements from the book, that caused the negative audience response. Even within the movie, it gets repetitious: the climbing up a tall structure at the slightest provocation, and in defiance of all logic; the constant goo, the dogged ignoring of any plot line in favor of komedic opportunities. The same setup is used twice: Semon trying to escape something menacing, but to be frustrated when even the tiniest step is harried and chivvied by the menace – first by animated lightning, then a prop lion's paw.

But then I also have to say that unlike then-contemporary audiences, I haven't been watching Larry Semon comedies for the last ten years, and though I didn't find anything truly new or innovative in Wizard of Oz, it is all very well and professionally done. Once I got used to the fact that I was watching a slapstick comedy (and, at best, the reels of film might have once sat in the same room with a copy of the book whose name it bears), I was actually entertained and downright amused several times. Technically, there is some amazing stuff in here, clever use of animation, double exposure, and miniatures. This Wizard of Oz might have bankrupted everybody even remotely associated with it, but a generous portion of the budget is on the screen.

I suppose the major reason I find myself writing about this is that, yes, Virginia, it proves a point, and that is the much-derided trend for "re-imagining" properties in Hollywood is about as new as this 1925 production, ie, not at all (let's not forget the silent version of Romeo and Juliet with the happy ending). Why Larry Semon paid good money for a property and then turned it into a fabulously expensive rehash of his entire career is lost to the ages - Semon himself suffered a nervous breakdown and then expired from pneumonia in 1928. Although all but unknown here in America, he is still popular in Europe, and on the basis of this one movie I can see why. As an adaptation of Wizard of Oz, it fails in a classically tragic manner, but as a Larry Semon movie, it is perfection – especially as a single dose.

L. Frank Baum, take me away!It also propelled me into examining another relic from the silent age, in fact, one made even earlier – His Majesty the Scarecrow of Oz, written and directed by L. Frank Baum himself. Its pedigree should surprise no one, as Baum was involved in theatrics of one kind or another throughout his life. Let's see if I can get through this without rapping out another 3500 words. The fact that the small DVD player I have wired to my computer refuses to have anything to do with the Brentwood disc might make that easier.

Once again we start with King Krewl – but relax, this time he's Canon – who wants his daughter Princess Gloria to marry a courtier named Googly Goo. Gloria, however, realizes that "Mrs. Goo" is not a monicker she wants to carry around for the rest of her life, and turns the fop down flat. Besides, she's fallen in love with the gardener's son, Pon – something that does not sit well with Krewl (well, come on, with a name like that, how could it?).

In the meantime, some guys assemble a scarecrow in a field, only to have some 1915 hotties in Indian drag materialize from the cornfield and do a dance around the straw man, bringing him to life. Then, they vanish, leaving the poor guy hung up on his crosspiece. The lesson learned here, just as in Children of the Corn, is that those cornfield spirits are real jerks.

It's like Riverdance, only with corn and fake IndiansIn the meantime meantime, a girl from Kansas named Dorothy is wandering around Oz – never mind how, we don’t have time for that – and is captured by the evil witch Mombi, who puts the girl to work in her kitchen, just in time for Krewl and Googly Goo to bring in the unwilling Gloria. Krewl commands Mombi to "freeze her heart, so she'll never love another mortal." Mombi calls upon her three sister witches to aid in this, and these four witches are an absolute stitch, one of my favorite parts of the movie (I especially like the crone in the bat getup). The three weird sisters then turn into three hotties to work the spell. You know, Oz can be a strange, frightening place, but I'm sure it's current allure to me is the fact that it seems to be densely populated by hotties. Sure, there are problems with witches and large, strange animals, but hell, that sounds just like Texas.

Anyway. Through a series of dissolves, Mombi actually removes Gloria's heart – no surprise, it's shaped like a valentine – makes icicles grow on it, and then replaces it. This is witnessed by a horrified Dorothy and Pon, who manage to escape with the somewhat comatose Princess Gloria, with Mombi in hot pursuit.

And therein lies your basic plot for the picture: they free the scarecrow from his perch, Pon gets turned into a kangaroo, they come upon the Tin Woodman – as usual, rusted into immobility – and eventually the Cowardly Lion and even the Wizard get entangled in the proceedings. If you're wondering about the title of the picture, our heroes eventually lay siege to the castle of King Krewl, and when the Scarecrow captures the ramparts by simply ignoring all the arrows festooning his body – well, the cowardly, superstitious bad guys immediately make him king. Wouldn't you? And if you don't think everything will come out all right in the end, you don't know your children's fantasy very well.

Hank the Mule prepares to put the finishing move on Mombi... but she's brought a foreign object into the ring!As a compare-and-contrast with Larry Semon's "version" (and I can feel the quotation marks wincing as they are forced to bracket that word), Baum's last movie is going to be heavy on the contrast side; if Semon barely acknowledges the existence of the mythology of Oz, His Majesty the Scarecrow is soaked in it. Produced closer to the series' peak in popularity, there are going to be several instances when today's audience is going to be totally at sea, as they're unfamiliar with the series as a whole. They're going to wonder why a jackass is engaged in Mortal Kombat™ with Mombi because they won't recognize Hank the Mule; similarly, when the Wizard makes his appearance in a wagon drawn by the Sawhorse, anybody unfamiliar with Tip's creation from the second book is simply going to assume that this guy and his creature wandered in from a nearby David Lynch movie. It also doesn't help that the picture plays very loose with the established Oz timeline. After all, we start with Dorothy's arrival and the origin of the Scarecrow – then, later, Dorothy and the Scarecrow will greet the Tin Woodsman and the Wizard like old friends, but Dorothy will not recognize the Cowardly Lion, though the Scarecrow and Woodsman do. It can make your head hurt, it can.

And I must pause here to make special mention of Frank Woodward, who plays all the animals in this movie – The Cowardly Lion, Hank the Mule, the kangaroo, a giant jackdaw, a cow – the man puts on a bewildering variety of costumes, uses forearm crutches to give himself properly long front legs, and manages to make every creature an individual. In most examinations of this movie, you'll find folks giving Woodward praise for his work here, and I'm not going to be any different. A large part of the magic ambience of this Oz rests on his shoulders, and he is more than capable of bearing that burden.

"And let that be a lesson to you!"Speaking of disturbing – remember, we were, back with David Lynch? You tend to forget just how violent a place Oz can be. That's one of the things I carry with me from my youthful reading of the first book – the Woodman got to use that axe a lot, protecting the others. Similarly, the Lion wasn't all that cowardly, when some of the fierce wild creatures of Oz attacked. In this outing, we get to see the enraged Mombi take the living Scarecrow apart with her bare hands (yeah, that happened in the '39 version, too, and it scared the crap out of me then), and later, the Woodman will return the favor by lopping off Mombi's head. That would also be frightening if the mechanics of the effect weren't so transparent – the black bag over the actress' head is too well lit from the side for it to be truly effective.

But if you want really frightening… well, it's interesting to compare how far along the craft of cinema had come in the ten years between these two pictures. Semon's storytelling, while hectic, is pretty well streamlined; the acting, while melodramatic, is clear and concise. In 1915, in defiance of the fact that the movie is silent, the actors seem to jabber constantly, their mouths perpetually working. For me – and I can find no rational reason for this – that practice transforms the Scarecrow from a lovable, loose-jointed character to a gibbering, flailing homunculus that fills me with some eldritch, superstitious dread. It is the damnedest thing, that a scene in which the Scarecrow discovers water by falling into a stream, and reacts with delight, instead frightens me deeply.

Do your stuff, Wizzy!Ah, well, the '39 version gave me nightmares, too.

Yes, Baum may not have been technically the filmmaker that Semon was, but his movie version possesses something the later comedy does not: whimsy, that quality that cannot be learned or bought, but must be produced full-born from the heart. Baum had both in great quantities, and His Majesty the Scarecrow of Oz, though strange and not a little remote to our modern eyes, is a fine testament to that fact. Both movies are well worth seeking out – but only if you are willing to meet them on their own terms, as they are similar in name only and wholly disparate in intent.


Wizard of Oz

Own It!

Scarecrow of Oz

Own It!

Finally, turn off the sound - the audio on these discs is horrible.

- June 2, 2003