THE WIZARD OF OZ

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dulcinea
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THE WIZARD OF OZ

Post by dulcinea » Sun Nov 12, 2006 9:41 pm

I read the novel before I watched the Fleming film, so I was immediately aware of the many liberties taken with the original text: no Kansas character has a counterpart in Oz; Dorothy is five to six years old, not a seventeen year-old; Glinda does not appear until the end; the witch who receives Dorothy is the Witch of the North, who is an old lady; the Munchkins dress mostly in blue; a Golden Cap is needed to command the Winged Monkeys; the ruby slippers are of silver; most important of all, Oz is a real place, to which Dorothy will return several times. Why all these changes? Didn't the creators of the film pay attention to the book?
Let every thing that has breath praise the Lord! Alleluya!

Brendan

Post by Brendan » Sun Nov 12, 2006 9:57 pm

I'm just grateful they made it the way they did when they did. The old adage "In Hollywood, eveything is created sequel" has morphed into "trilogies" and franchises rather than sequels. The original seems to be so sacred that no one in Hollywood will touch a remake - even if they remade Casablanca, made a sequel to Gone with the Wind etc.

But one Oz movie is surely enough for anyone. Do we really need a movie of Tik-Tok of Oz? Then again, Hollywood needs all the ideas it can get . . .

moldyoldie
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Post by moldyoldie » Sun Nov 12, 2006 10:17 pm

Brendan wrote:The original seems to be so sacred that no one in Hollywood will touch a remake - even if they remade Casablanca, made a sequel to Gone with the Wind etc.

But one Oz movie is surely enough for anyone. Do we really need a movie of Tik-Tok of Oz? Then again, Hollywood needs all the ideas it can get . . .
Don't forget The Wiz with Diana Ross as Dorothy. :wink: Sorta, kinda remake, reworking, whatever. Plus, I believe a film was made of Baum's sequel Return To Oz. Don't remember it? Exactly.

Brendan

Post by Brendan » Sun Nov 12, 2006 10:39 pm

moldyoldie wrote:
Brendan wrote:The original seems to be so sacred that no one in Hollywood will touch a remake - even if they remade Casablanca, made a sequel to Gone with the Wind etc.

But one Oz movie is surely enough for anyone. Do we really need a movie of Tik-Tok of Oz? Then again, Hollywood needs all the ideas it can get . . .
Don't forget The Wiz with Diana Ross as Dorothy. :wink: Sorta, kinda remake, reworking, whatever. Plus, I believe a film was made of Baum's sequel Return To Oz. Don't remember it? Exactly.
Doh! I also recall a very ordinary Australian film that was a remake of Wizard of Oz back in the Seventies, now that you mention that Diana Ross effort I had happily forgotten. :?

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Re: THE WIZARD OF OZ

Post by Ralph » Sun Nov 12, 2006 11:00 pm

dulcinea wrote:I read the novel before I watched the Fleming film, so I was immediately aware of the many liberties taken with the original text: no Kansas character has a counterpart in Oz; Dorothy is five to six years old, not a seventeen year-old; Glinda does not appear until the end; the witch who receives Dorothy is the Witch of the North, who is an old lady; the Munchkins dress mostly in blue; a Golden Cap is needed to command the Winged Monkeys; the ruby slippers are of silver; most important of all, Oz is a real place, to which Dorothy will return several times. Why all these changes? Didn't the creators of the film pay attention to the book?
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Why should they have? They made one of the greatest movies ever.
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Post by jack stowaway » Mon Nov 13, 2006 3:32 am

Judy Garland has always struck me as a disconcertingly 'mature' Dorothy. I think the movie would have benefitted from a less obviously grown-up actress in the part, even if that meant dubbing the famous song.

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Re: THE WIZARD OF OZ

Post by jbuck919 » Mon Nov 13, 2006 8:45 am

dulcinea wrote: Didn't the creators of the film pay attention to the book?
Didn't L. Frank Baum pay attention to the creators of the movie?

The Oz books are bizarre and slightly frightnening to young children (as I suppose is the movie, but at least that is entertaining). Stick to Winnie-the-Poo.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
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moldyoldie
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Re: THE WIZARD OF OZ

Post by moldyoldie » Mon Nov 13, 2006 9:23 am

dulcinea wrote: Didn't the creators of the film pay attention to the book?
The 1985 film Return To Oz is supposedly quite faithful to Baum's vision and doesn't sanitize the proceedings nearly as much as the '39 classic. I haven't seen it, but people whose opinions I respect recommend it.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089908/

IMDb has a plethora of viewer comments which seem to skew favorably toward it.

Ted

Post by Ted » Mon Nov 13, 2006 10:48 am

I remember there was a scene in the book that really impressed me as a kid: When the Lion had to leap over a deep crevasse ferrying a single member of the party on his back—then leaping over again until all were safely on the other side—a scene not in the movie
I mention this without further negative commentary on the original ridiculous premise of this thread

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Post by Richard » Mon Nov 13, 2006 5:36 pm

A bit of trivia having to do with the Wizard of Oz, which I find downright spooky.
In the movie, the actor Frank Morgan played 5 characters.."Prof. Marvel (the "snake oil salesman", an Emerald City doorman, a cabbie, one of the Wizard's guards, and the Wizard of Oz. For the role of Prof. Marvel, they needed an old frock coat or jacket..none was available on the set. So, they sent a crew member downtown to a second-hand clothing store to look for a suitable coat. The did find an old, black frock coat that seemed to be perfect for the Prof. Marvel role. Frank Morgan did wear the coat in the movie. At one point, between takes, he was fumbling around one of the pockets, of the old coat, and came across some embroidery work. He then realized the embroidery was of the name of the previous owner of the coat. The named embroidered, in the pocket, was "L. Frank Baum"..the man who wrote the Wizard of Oz. As they were in communication with Baum's widow, in the Chicago area, they sent her a telegram to ask if she ever did embroidery work on the pocket of one of her late husband's old coats. She replied "yes" and identified the coat as that belonging to her late husband. It somehow mangaged to work its way from a second-hand clothing store, in the Chicago area, to a Hollywood second-hand clothing store:

Claim: A second-hand coat selected as part of the costume for Professor Marvel in the film vesion of The Wizard of Oz was later discovered to have been owned by Oz author L. Frank Baum.
Status: True.


The story behind the jacket selected for this second shot (and ultimately used in the film itself) is one of the most curious of all Oz anecdotes. Published only once before (as "an example of the lies press agents are willing to tell in order to get a story in print"), the story was retold by Aljean Harmetz in her book The Making of The Wizard of Oz:


What definitely did occur on The Wizard of Oz -- perhaps the most astonishing thing that did occur -- was dismissed as a publicity stunt. Yet it is vouched for by [cinematographer] Hal Rosson and his niece Helene Bowman and by Mary Mayer, who served briefly as the unit publicist on the picture. "For Professor Marvel's coat," says Mary Mayer, "they wanted grandeur gone to seed. A nice-looking coat but very tattered. So the wardrobe department went down to an old second-hand store on Main Street and bought a whole rack of coats. And Frank Morgan and the wardrobe man and [director] Victor Fleming got together and chose one. It was kind of a Prince Albert coat. It was black broadcloth and it had a velvet collar, but the nap was all worn off the velvet." Helene Bowman recalls the coat as "ratty with age, a Prince Albert jacket with a green look."
The coat fitted Morgan and had the right look of shabby gentility, and one hot afternoon Frank Morgan turned out the pocket. Inside was the name "L. Frank Baum."

"We wired the tailor in Chicago," says Mary Mayer, "and sent pictures. And the tailor sent back a notarized letter saying that the coat had been made for Frank Baum. Baum's widow identified the coat, too, and after the picture was finished we presented it to her. But I could never get anyone to believe the story."

dulcinea
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Post by dulcinea » Mon Nov 13, 2006 6:45 pm

Ted wrote:I remember there was a scene in the book that really impressed me as a kid: When the Lion had to leap over a deep crevasse ferrying a single member of the party on his back—then leaping over again until all were safely on the other side—a scene not in the movie
I mention this without further negative commentary on the original ridiculous premise of this thread
Is it ridiculous to take seriously the original vision of the writer of the story without which the USA would not have one of its hallowed holiday classics?
Let every thing that has breath praise the Lord! Alleluya!

Ted

Post by Ted » Mon Nov 13, 2006 7:01 pm

Is it ridiculous to take seriously the original vision of the writer of the story without which the USA would not have one of its hallowed holiday classics?
First of all it’s not a holiday classic, secondly having read the book upon which the movie is based I’ll go out on a limb and say Bravo to MGM, Arlen and Harburg Victor Fleming and of course LFB

dulcinea
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Re: THE WIZARD OF OZ

Post by dulcinea » Mon Nov 13, 2006 7:32 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
dulcinea wrote: Didn't the creators of the film pay attention to the book?
Didn't L. Frank Baum pay attention to the creators of the movie?

The Oz books are bizarre and slightly frightnening to young children (as I suppose is the movie, but at least that is entertaining). Stick to Winnie-the-Poo.
I very much doubt that it was Baum's intention to be the American AA Milne. Furthermore, expecting all juvenile literature to be judged by the standards of Pooh Bear would mean that many children's classics would no longer be rated as suitable for children--something that has happened to the Oz books more than once.
Let every thing that has breath praise the Lord! Alleluya!

Alberich
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Post by Alberich » Tue Nov 14, 2006 8:41 pm

What a specious argument is presented
by this thread...

Who cares what Hollywood did or did not
select from Baum's original - or what amplifications
were added. How many films are literal translations
of the book from which they are taken? Very few.

The movie is one of the classics of cinema -
why get all worked up about its basis? Watch it and enjoy.
It's perfect the way it is.

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Post by living_stradivarius » Tue Nov 14, 2006 10:14 pm

Who has time to think of William Jennings Bryan while watching the movie??
moldyoldie wrote:
Brendan wrote:The original seems to be so sacred that no one in Hollywood will touch a remake - even if they remade Casablanca, made a sequel to Gone with the Wind etc.

But one Oz movie is surely enough for anyone. Do we really need a movie of Tik-Tok of Oz? Then again, Hollywood needs all the ideas it can get . . .
Don't forget The Wiz with Diana Ross as Dorothy. :wink: Sorta, kinda remake, reworking, whatever. Plus, I believe a film was made of Baum's sequel Return To Oz. Don't remember it? Exactly.
Yes! I love The Wiz :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Post by dulcinea » Wed Nov 15, 2006 9:26 am

Alberich wrote:What a specious argument is presented
by this thread...

Who cares what Hollywood did or did not
select from Baum's original - or what amplifications
were added. How many films are literal translations
of the book from which they are taken? Very few.

The movie is one of the classics of cinema -
why get all worked up about its basis? Watch it and enjoy.
It's perfect the way it is.
Did you like the remakes of THE LITTLE PRINCESS of Shirley Temple and THE SECRET GARDEN of Margaret O' Brien? A retelling of THE WIZARD is therefore not that unthinkable, if necessary in the form of a TV mini-series. That's what TV does best: tell in several hours stories that are too long to compress into the two-hour format.
Let every thing that has breath praise the Lord! Alleluya!

dulcinea
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Post by dulcinea » Wed Nov 15, 2006 4:20 pm

The point of my "specious argument" is that Baum deserves recognition as more than just the almost accidental inspiration for Judy Garland's most famous vehicle. He was as imaginative as Milne, Lewis and Tolkien, and deserves to have more of his work portrayed on the screen.
Let every thing that has breath praise the Lord! Alleluya!

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