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87 of 87 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting collection of earlier Oz films
First off, one needs to know that this DVD does NOT contain the famous 1939 "Wizard of Oz" film with Judy Garland. Instead, these are earlier films, all silent, based on the Oz books by L. Frank Baum. The author himself started a film company in 1914 to make these, so 3 of the 4 films here, "The Patchwork Girl of Oz," "The Scarecrow of Oz," and "The Magic Cloak," were...
Published on June 17, 2006 by Anton Karidian

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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The author as filmmaker
In 1914, L. Frank Baum, author of 15 "Wizard of Oz" books, started his own film company. Baum scripted and oversaw production on all the Oz movies. Life-size puppets were used for some characters, while actors often portrayed various roles from film to film. The first three titles in this set are of particular interest, for these are how the author himself wanted his...
Published on August 25, 2007 by Annie Van Auken


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87 of 87 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting collection of earlier Oz films, June 17, 2006
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This review is from: The Wizard of Oz Collection 4 Movie Pack (DVD)
First off, one needs to know that this DVD does NOT contain the famous 1939 "Wizard of Oz" film with Judy Garland. Instead, these are earlier films, all silent, based on the Oz books by L. Frank Baum. The author himself started a film company in 1914 to make these, so 3 of the 4 films here, "The Patchwork Girl of Oz," "The Scarecrow of Oz," and "The Magic Cloak," were made in 1914 by his company. The fourth one, "The Wizard of Oz," is from 1925 and is a comedy version that strays a great deal from the original story. It features an early performance of Oliver Hardy, one half of the Laurel & Hardy duo that formed several years later. These silent films are moderately interesting and clever, and often funny. The picture quality varies a good bit, but overall is good considering their age. The special effects are amazingly good for that era too. All the films are tinted in various colors, sometimes overdone for my taste. As is typical with silent films, these are accompanied by on-sceen text for dialogue and explanations, and all have a musical score throughout. Also, this DVD is a great value as it's over 4 hours long. In sum, these 4 Oz films cannot be expected to replace the 1939 "Wizard of Oz" with its sumptuous production values including the unforgettable Judy Garland, but these should be seen as additions to that and are worth seeing in their own right.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oz before MGM, January 30, 2007
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This review is from: The Wizard of Oz Collection 4 Movie Pack (DVD)
These movies are a must have for any Oz fan. Fans who are familiar with the other Oz books will be glad to know that at least one of Baums' sequels was made into a film-"The Patchwork Girl Of Oz". The film "His Majesty,The Scarecrow Of Oz"(1914)actually inspired Baum to write the book "The Scarecrow Of Oz" a year later in 1915. "The Magic Cloak" was based on a story written by Baum that was not directly related to Oz but due to the success of his Oz creation, the movie was to be set in the land of Oz. The 1925 "Wizard Of Oz" is a movie very distant from the book and MGM version, eliminating some main characters in favor of new ones as well as a different storyline; no pairs of ruby slippers, no munchkins, a yellow brick road or even a witch. The new music dubbed into the movie is good, however it is never matched with any of the action or scenes. It's about 2 different songs for each movie that keep repeating themselves when the other is done. Each movie is also tinted. "The Patchwork Girl" is tinted a dark yellow-almost orange. "His Majestey, the Scarecrow" is tinted green, "The Magic Cloak" is yellow and "Wizard Of Oz" (1925) is tinted blue. A fun collection of movies for a generous price.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The author as filmmaker, August 25, 2007
This review is from: The Wizard of Oz Collection 4 Movie Pack (DVD)
In 1914, L. Frank Baum, author of 15 "Wizard of Oz" books, started his own film company. Baum scripted and oversaw production on all the Oz movies. Life-size puppets were used for some characters, while actors often portrayed various roles from film to film. The first three titles in this set are of particular interest, for these are how the author himself wanted his classic children's books to appear on theater screens. They are certainly a LOT different than the 1939 MGM movie and yet, still seem familiar.

SYNOPSES:

"The Magic Cloak of Oz" - Woven by fairies, the magic cloak will grant a single wish to the unhappiest child in Oz. Violet MacMillan portrays King Timothy-- later she would be Dorothy.

"His Majesty, The Scarecrow of Oz" - Princess Gloria is the hypotenuse of a love triangle. She's in love with a gardener's son, while evil King Crewl has his sights set on her.

"The Patchwork Girl of Oz" - The first-ever Oz movie. The patchwork girl, created out of rags, is the perfect servant until she develops a free will. Future 'Our Gang' dirctor Hal Roach appears as the Cowardly Lion.

"The Wizard of Oz" - After his father's death, L. Frank Baum Jr. tried reviving the series. This second cinematic telling of the original Oz story had Oliver Hardy in the cast and featured a lot of slapstick comedy. The original 1910 movie was based more on the stage musical than the book.

THE WIZARD OF OZ (Two Disc Special Edition) is the ultimate version of the beloved technicolor Oz film and is highly recommended!

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Parenthetical numbers preceding titles are 1 to 10 viewer poll ratings found at a film resource website.

(6.2) The Magic Cloak of Oz (silent-1914) - Mildred Harris/Violet MacMillan/Fred Woodward/Vivian Reed

(6.1) His Majesty, The Scarecrow Of Oz (silent-1914) - Violet MacMillan/Frank Moore/Pierre Couderc/Fred Woodward/Raymond Russell

(5.9) The Patchwork Girl Of Oz (silent-1914) - Violet MacMillan/Frank Moore/Raymond Russell/Hal Roach

(5.4) The Wizard of Oz (silent-1925) - Larry Semon/Dorothy Dwan/Oliver Hardy/Virginia Pearson
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I loved it , except for the music, June 17, 2008
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This review is from: The Wizard of Oz Collection 4 Movie Pack (DVD)
I enjoyed this set,as I do all silent films,but the music was horrible.It's like they hired some guy with a keyboard and no imagination.The music in the Patchwork Girl was so boring and redundant that I had to turn the volume down after a few minutes,because it was driving me nuts.I realize these are ancient movies and you can't beat the price of the dvd,but a little more effort by the new composer would be nice.With that said,it's still a good buy for anyone who enjoys silent films.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wizard of Oz Collection, March 22, 2007
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This review is from: The Wizard of Oz Collection 4 Movie Pack (DVD)
We all know of the Wizard of Oz, but many fans aren't aware the author L Frank Baum wrote 13 sequels, and many more were written by Ruth Plumly Thompson and other authors after Baum died.

These black and white short films are silent mini movies of Baum's sequels, and the only screen adaptations of most of them. (Later features "Return to Oz" and "Journey back to Oz" only adapt the first 2 or 3.

Any Ozophile will be glad to own and watch these,

Peter
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the Wizard of Oz Collection, September 10, 2011
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This review is from: The Wizard of Oz Collection 4 Movie Pack (DVD)
Again a collection of four movies, and again it did not tell you which ones were on the dvd's. .... but i still love it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classics in a new light, January 17, 2010
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This review is from: The Wizard of Oz Collection 4 Movie Pack (DVD)
The Wizard of Oz Collection 4 Movie Pack

In this age of computer gtenerated special effects and high power pyrotechnics, it is hard to imagine a time when what we saw on the screen was actually being performed...by human beings, if you can believe it. Readers should note that this is not the Judy Garland rendition of the Wizard of Oz, but a collection of silent movies fron the writings of Frank Baum. My only disappointment was with the music. I tend to turn down my volume and add my ofn soundtrack from my CD collection...or simply watch it in silence. It loses nothing that way and I am not distracted. Those expecting the later MGM film will be sorely disappointed, but give these films a chance. Baum authored 15 books in the series and created his own company to produce the films. The first three movies on the disc are his hantywork. The fourth is by his son. I urge readers to give this collection a fighting chance. Watch it, mull it over and revisit it. You might just find a real gem. I did!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Must-have for Oz book-fans; horrible new score, December 28, 2009
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This review is from: The Wizard of Oz Collection 4 Movie Pack (DVD)
I was so happy to finally be able to see Baum's original movies. They're odd and incomprehensible if you haven't read the books, or sometimes even if you have. But so much fun for their historical interest. The character cameos were fun, especially seeing the Braided Man as a juror in Ojo's trial. The animal puppetry was amazing, and the sets and costumes were so much like the book illustrations.

But the musical score was awful; the same fifteen seconds of "music" repeated over and over, until we turned off the sound because we couldn't stand any more. It was slow and lugubrious and had nothing to do with the hilarious action.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing look back, March 22, 2009
This review is from: The Wizard of Oz Collection 4 Movie Pack (DVD)
This DVD is an amazing display of L Frank Baum's film work. If you are fan of old silent movies or a fan of the world of OZ, this dvd is a must have.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Three charming movies, plus one atrocity, September 1, 2008
This review is from: The Wizard of Oz Collection 4 Movie Pack (DVD)
The enduring popularity of Frank L. Baum's WIZARD OF OZ books owes a great deal to the classic 1939 film adaptation starring Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, Bert Lahr, Margaret Hamilton, and Frank Morgan. But there have been numerous adaptations of the Oz books made before and after this movie milestone. This collection consists of four of the earlier adaptations.

In 1914 Frank L. Baum formed The Oz Film Manufacturing Company with the express purpose of producing live-action versions of his stories. THE PATCHWORK GIRL OF OZ, HER MAJESTY THE SCARECROW OF OZ, and THE MAGIC CLOAK OF OZ -- all from 1914 -- are surprisingly ambitious for independent productions of this nature. What they lack in big-studio polish they make up for in high spirits and ingenuity, and though these pictures probably won't peak the interest of average contemporary viewers (who don't appreciate silent movies anyway), film buffs will find plenty of antique charm on display.

Completely lacking in charm, antique or otherwise, is the feature-length WIZARD OF OZ (1925), starring rowdy silent-screen comedian Larry Semon, who also directs the picture in his typically heavy-handed, unsubtle style. With his penchant for overblown, violent slapstick and offensive racial "humor," Semon was the worst possible choice to adapt the whimsical Baum tales, and the results here prove it. This is the kind of movie that gives Silent Cinema a bad reputation. While its inclusion here is understandable, from a historical perspective, it limits this collection's appeal to silent-screen buffs and Frank L. Baum scholars. Fans of comedy legend Oliver Hardy (whose partnership with Stan Laurel was only a year or two away) may be interested in checking out his supporting role as one of Semon's foils, but even Ollie's most dedicated admirers will find this film hard to endure.
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The Wizard of Oz Collection 4 Movie Pack
The Wizard of Oz Collection 4 Movie Pack by J. Farrell MacDonald (DVD - 2005)
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