Jon wrote, in his extensive review, "The Dreamer of Oz -- which makes its long-awaited home video debut. Also re-mastered (for) the occasion, this full-length motion picture was an NBC-TV special event in 1990 and thrilled critics and audiences as it told the back story of author L. Frank Baum, "the Royal Historian of Oz." I'm wondering if Jon has reviewed this feature without actually watching it.
I found the video quality of 'The Dreamer of Oz' to be so bad that it is nearly impossible to watch without inducing eyestrain and dizziness. The blurred, flickering, fuzzy picture exhibits severe combing during motion scenes and continuous moiré lines flow from top to bottom. At first, I thought that there was something wrong with my disc, TV or Blu-ray player. I searched the Internet for a review that would substantiate my opinion that this is one of the worst home video images ever to be put on Blu-ray. I finally found one:
'The Dreamer of Oz' (SD, 92 minutes) - The late John Ritter portrays Baum in this saccharine 1990 made-for-television movie that also stars Annette O'Toole as his wife and Rue McClanahan as his mother-in-law. The fuzzy picture makes viewing a chore, and the corny enactments of Baum's imaginings (played out on garish sets) cheapen the 'Oz' characters. Unless you're a dyed-in-the-wool Baum devotee, you'll probably want to skip this drab TV production. (bluray.highdefdigest.com)
So there you go. 'The Dreamer of Oz' has magically changed from a re-mastered movie masterpiece to a fuzzy piece of idiotic claptrap. I find that the movie is somewhat better than stated in the negative review above, but it is far easier to listen to the movie than to watch it.
Thanks for this post. I tried watching 'Dreamer of Oz' for the first time yesterday and was gobsmacked at the blurriness. The fantasy sequence with the tin man is so bad, I actually wondered if this feature had been made in the old fashioned red/green 3D format). There's a constant ghosting throughout the "drama" sequences too - like watching through a badly tuned TV.
I've read reports from people saying how marvellous this TV movie is, and frankly, even if the picture was in focus, it would still be bad, over-sentimental TV tripe.
I just got through watching it [The Dreamer of OZ] off one of the two DVD sets. The picture quality did seem pretty low. There is a lot of special features on that DVD and my guess is that the 90 minute movie was compressed a bit more than it should have been. I later tried it on a smaller (19") 720p television and the moiré pattern caused by the anti-aliasing wasn't as noticeable.
All I can say is, I'm appalled by the cynicism and lack of willingness to enter into the sentiment and heart of an earlier era. This movie is a love story, from the moment of first meeting - love at first sight - to the inevitable death scene. Perhaps it doesn't play well in an era when deep feelings are scorned and love is tossed about like styrofoam packing material. But if you can embrace this emotionalism and learn to love the characters, you will be rewarded with laughter and tears and treasure this production as I do. Only be sure and buy it as a stand-alone DVD because the quality is so bad and blurry I thought my plasma screen war ruined!
You people are lucky. At least you got the Dreamer of OZ. I just purchased the 70th Anniversary 2 - Disc Special Edition and The Dreamer of OZ was not among the Special Features (According to the Amazon page's description, it was). I am going to return it immediately for a refund and then but the new 3 disc Blu-Ray special edition.
I taped (VHS) Dreamer of Oz when it was first televised. I'd watch it a few times a year. It just makes you feel good. It is one of my favorites and also one of the finest performances by John Ritter. The tape eventually was lost and I had been trying for years to find a copy. I was so happy that it came out on DVD but dismayed at the very poor video quality. It was the reason I bought the special edition. How about a new release of just Dreamer of Oz in an appropriate quality? Please????
I googled it & gapped to come across it about 5 years ago. I wanted my kids to experience the joys I had as a kid. It was a made for TV movie so basically someone taped it from there & sold it. If I can get a copy made, id be glad to send all I as is that you reimburse for the expenses incurred. please let me know what the max is you'd like to pay. I spent about $25 on mine, but It wasn't me having to go out buy a DVD, burn it & mail it out. Et me know what you'd like to do. Alyssa. Snshine91602@aol.com
If someone had any idea of "who" produced/directed/etc this film, it may be an idea for any & all to contact those parties. I too would love a "good" copy. I looked for it at the time of the 70th Anniversary edition, but you could only get it if you purchased "The Wizard of Oz", which I already had/have. I didn't need two copies of it, so I never paid the expensive cost for the both of them together. (Probably just as well, after seeing the previous critiques!) Seems like the particular production company would like to make more bucks, don't you think? Who doesn't? Just a thought. Good luck to us all on this one! P.S. Have you all seen the recent publication for the 75th Anniversary of The Wizard of Oz"? It's quite interesting with all kinds of memorabilia/history/etc. Publisher is I-5 Publishing. Cost is $9.99 & on display until July 21, 2014. Can only seem to get them in the larger book stores, though.
I haven't seen this, and I have been looking for this movie for a long time since seeing it on VHS years ago. One possibility for the terrible quality was that it was converted from a PAL master, and then maybe more complications when converting for bluray. But I'm only guessing. I should be seeing it soon. Movies converted from PAL can look washed out, but who knows. The silent movies attract me to this set (3 disc 70th anniversary bluray edition).
It's an extra on certain sets of The Wizard Of Oz. I know it's on the bluray emerald set, 70th anniversary edition with 3 discs. As far as I can tell, if it is a DVD set, it has to have at least 3 DVD discs to possibly have it, and if it is a bluray set, it has to have at least 2 bluray discs to have it. But you have to check in each case. I'm confused by the addition of 75th anniversary sets, but I would go by what I said. The quality though of it on these releases is contentious. I have wondered what difference there might be between a 70th and 75th anniversary release, but I have found no information. There are bootleg video sites on the web which have tempted me but I haven't bought it that way. I hope to see it on the emerald bluray set soon. But I'm also a fan of silent movies which is another attraction for the emerald set for me.