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11/12/17 Episode 75: His Majesty, the Scarecrow of Oz (1914), The Wonderful World of Oz (1910), and Jokes My Folks Never Told Me (1978)


Listen to Let's Watch A Full-Length Movie on YouTube podcast and watch His Majesty, the Scarecrow (1914), aka The New Wizard of Oz, embedded above, at the same time. Start with the podcast. Click here to launch the podcast in separate browser.


The Wizard of Oz is beloved by generations but for different reasons. Our generation knows the landmark movie, and the countless variations derived from it, like the misogynistic Oz the Great and Powerful (2013). But the initial generation who embraced the 1900 book know a different story, mainly because the screenwriters of The Wizard of Oz (1939) took the aimless children's book and morphed it into the template of modern movie storytelling. The antagonism between Dorothy and the Wicked Witch, the "Surrender, Dorothy" sky-writing, the Witch's anticipation of Dorothy's visit, the hero's voyage - all conceits the movie added. The book has Dorothy visiting the Wizard, then getting the Witch's broom, then traveling elsewhere in Oz for its concluding chapters. Then the 13 subsequent sequels go off in crazy directions the movie never allude to. 

Author L. Frank Baum had a theater background and staged Oz adaptions to various degrees of success. Jumping into silent movies made sense, and the earliest one, The Wonderful World of Oz (1910), is embedded after the break. His Majesty, the Scarecrow of Oz (1914), written by Baum, is more batshit crazy. It begins gloriously with the grinning head of Dorothy wearing an Oz tiara then focuses on lesser-known characters like Mombi the Witch and Saw Horse. Wizard of Oz, Dorothy, Tinman (now a king), and others prance around until the end, where the Scarecrow reigns his own domain. The director is terrible at his job, which, apparently was to place the camera in one spot, regardless of framing. Co-Host Carl says Baum took original ideas from this movie and incorporated them into future volumes.

We promised in Episode 74 to watch a film that is unriffable. There's no way we can talk over Jokes My Folks Told Me (1978). It's a feature-length collection of reenacted bar jokes. It's for mature audiences (if you find bordello jokes mature) and is also after the break. 




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