The Royal Magician of Oz Trilogy is a 3 volume tale of magic and wonder that recalls the cherished values of friendship, loyalty and courage. This timeless tale of Oz reminds us of the value of overcoming our deepest fears and conquering the challenges that might otherwise defeat us.

Volume One; Magician of Oz, Volume Two; Shadow Demon of Oz and Volume Three; Family of Oz are now available for your reading enjoyment, as well as The Ozian Adventure of Pickleless & Blu.

The Emerald Slippers of Oz
, featuring an Introduction by Roger S. Baum; great grandson of L. Frank Baum, as well as Tails of Oz are also
available for your reading enjoyment.

The newest adventure in Oz, entitled: Nomes of Oz is now available and fast becoming a best-seller in the Land of Oz.

All are available in both paperback and Kindle.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Wizard of Oz and The Patchwork Girl of Oz Silent Film

In my last post, I featured a film about the Land of Oz which was not produced by L. Frank Baum, but which was based on both his books and stage play.

Here is an example of how L. Frank Baum went about making a silent film adaptation of his book, The Patchwork Girl of Oz (1914).

It is an odd film, to say the least, but L. Frank Baum had decided to further cash in on the popularity of his Oz children’s books by producing his own motion picture adaptations. This allowed him to control the cinematic productions, presumably to ensure they captured the tone of his books, but also to reap more profits than if he’d simply license the stories to another film company. The adaptations were inexpensively and imaginatively made, but the company lasted only a few months before production was suspended.
The Patchwork Girl of Oz (1914) features the familiar Baum characters, including Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodsman and the Cowardly Lion, and also other characters that are familiar to Oz book fans, including Scraps, the patchwork girl.

In a supporting role as Dorothy is Mildred Harris, only four years before she became the first wife of Charles Chaplin.

This was one of several films Baum produced and each has its own uniqueness and odd flavor. These were, after all, very different times than today and moving pictures was still in its infancy.

James C. Wallace II
Royal Liaison of Oz

Monday, September 16, 2013

Wizard of Oz and the Silent Films of L. Frank Baum

With the upcoming premier of the original 1939 MGM film, The Wizard of Oz; now in 3-D, I thought I would visit a number of topics related to L. Frank Baum, his books about Oz and his efforts to make them more appealing to the masses... and maybe make a buck or two in the process.

L. Frank Baum, of course, is the author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900) and 13 other books (sequels) about the Land of Oz, as well as other children's books which weren't quite as well loved as his Oz stories.

The Oz Wiki describes L. Frank Baum's movie venture thus:

"In 1914, having moved to Hollywood years earlier, Baum started his own film production company, The Oz Film Manufacturing Company, which came as an outgrowth of the Uplifters. He served as its president, and principal producer and screenwriter. The rest of the board consisted of Louis F. Gottschalk, Harry Marston Haldeman, and Clarence R. Rundel. The films were directed by J. Farrell MacDonald, with casts that included Violet MacMillan, Vivian Reed, Mildred Harris, Juanita Hansen, Pierre Couderc, Mai Welles, Louise Emmons, J. Charles Haydon, and early appearances by Harold Lloyd and Hal Roach. Richard Rosson appeared in one of the films, whose younger brother Harold Rosson photographed The Wizard of Oz (1939). After little success probing the unrealized children's film market, Baum came clean about who wrote The Last Egyptian and made a film of it (portions of which are included in Decasia), but the Oz name had, for the time being, become box office poison and even a name change to Dramatic Feature Films and transfer of ownership to Frank Joslyn Baum did not help. Unlike with The Fairylogue and Radio-Plays, Baum invested none of his own money in the venture, but the stress probably took its toll on its health."

Here's an example of how Oz was portrayed in the silent film era.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" is a 1910 silent fantasy film and the earliest surviving film version of L. Frank Baum's 1900 novel, made by the Selig Polyscope Company without Baum's direct input. It was created to fulfill a contractual obligation associated with Baum's personal bankruptcy caused by The Fairylogue and Radio-Plays, from which it was once thought to have been derived. It was partly based on the 1902 stage musical, though much of the film deals with the Wicked Witch of the West, who does not appear in the musical

We'll take a look at the musical in our next installment about L. Frank Baum and The Wizard of Oz.

James C. Wallace II
Royal Liaison of Oz