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|His Majesty, The Scarecrow of Oz|
|Directed by||J. Farrell MacDonald|
L. Frank Baum
Louis F. Gottschalk
|Written by||L. Frank Baum|
J. Charles Haydon
|Music by||Louis F. Gottschalk|
|Cinematography||James A. Crosby|
|Distributed by||The Oz Film Manufacturing Company|
|59 minutes (5 reels)|
His Majesty, the Scarecrow of Oz is a 1914 film, directed by J. Farrell MacDonald and written and produced by L. Frank Baum. It stars Violet MacMillan, Frank Moore, Vivian Reed, Todd Wright, Pierre Couderc, and Fred Woodward.
The film had a troubled distribution history; it opened on October 14, 1914, to little success, though it was received as well above average fare by critics of the time. Early in 1915, it was reissued under the title The New Wizard of Oz and was slightly more successful.
The film is loosely based on Baum's book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, but in the screenplay Baum introduced many new characters and a large new story that later became the basis for the 1915 book The Scarecrow of Oz. Similar to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the Scarecrow's origin is revealed, although his life is now attributed to "the Spirit of the Corn", who appears as a conventional Hollywood depiction of a Native American. The Tin Woodman is found rusted stiff and oiled, but he is already Emperor of the Winkies. Dorothy is a slave to Mombi (Wells) who looks like W.W. Denslow's depiction of the Wicked Witch of the West. The Cowardly Lion is encountered only briefly, and battles The Lonesome Zoop, a character who appears in all three films. All of the animal roles are attributed to Fred Woodward, though too many appear in the same shot at once for him to have played them all.
King Krewl (Raymond Russell) is a cruel dictator in the Emerald City in the Land of Oz. He wishes to marry his daughter, Princess Gloria (Vivian Reed), to an old courtier named Googly-Goo (Arthur Smollett), but she is in love with Pon, the Gardener's boy (Todd Wright). Krewl employs the Wicked Witch named Mombi (Mai Wells), to freeze the heart of Gloria so she will not love Pon any longer. This she does by pulling out her heart (which looks somewhere between a valentine and a bland representation of a heart without any vessels) and coating it with ice. Meanwhile, a lost little girl from Kansas named Dorothy Gale (Violet MacMillan), is captured by Mombi and imprisoned in her castle. However, Dorothy runs away with the now heartless Gloria, accompanied by Pon and eventually meet the Scarecrow (Frank Moore). Mombi catches up with the travelers and removes the Scarecrow's stuffing, but Dorothy and Pon are able to re-stuff him; Gloria abandons them and wanders off.
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