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Wizard of Oz

USA 1925
produced by
Larry Semon, I.E. Chadwick (executive) for Chadwick Pictures
directed by Larry Semon
starring Larry Semon, Dorothy Dwan, Oliver Hardy, Spencer Bell (as G. Howe Black), Josef Swickard, Frank Alexander, Mary Carr, Charles Murray, Bryant Washburn, Virginia Pearson, Otto Lederer, Frederick Ko Vert
screenplay by L.Frank Baum jr (= Frank Joslyn Baum), Larry Semon, Leon Lee, based on the novel by L. Frank Baum

silent
Wizard of Oz

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Evil Prime Minister Kruel (Josef Swickard) rules Oz with his iron hand, but now Coronation Day nears, and the people of Oz demand the return of their rightful queen - and since the Prime Minister fears the advent of the queen would diminish his power (or worse), he tells his henchmen to find and get rid of her or at least destroy the documents that prove her identity ...

Cut to Kansas: Dorothy (Dorothy Dwan) is the rightful queen of Oz, but she was abandoned on the doorstep of uncle Henry (Frank Alexander) and aunt Em (Mary Carr) as a baby and has grown up on their farm, where she is now best friends with the three farmhands (Larry Semon, Oliver Hardy, Spencer Bell), but she is really in love with only one of them (Semon). Then the Prime Ministers arrive and try their best to kill her or get their hands on the documents ... but before you know it, a hurricane takes Dorothy, her uncle and aunt, their farm, and the three farmhands to Oz, where she much to the dismay of the Prime Minister, immediately claims her throne - and she has the three farmhands to fight by her side. However, the Prime Minister is quick to win one of them (Hardy) over (after Oliver Hardy did a bit as Tin Woodsman) and throws the others, who are now dressed up as Scarecrow (Semon) and Lion (Bell) into the dungeon. somehow though,t he two manage to escape the dungeon and set a few wrongs right - however loverboy farmhand (Semon of course) has to realize that Dorothy has since fallen for Prince Kynd (Bryant Washburn) and there is no place for a farmhand in her realm ... so after yet another chase (that disposes of Hardy, the rogue farmhand) the two remaining farmhands catch an airplane back to Kansas while Dorothy and her prince lived happily ever after.

 

A rather forgettable version of the Wizard of Oz, which is made not so much as a fantasy film (as the source would suggest) but a showcase for its lead (and director), comedian Larry Semon. Unfortunately, the slapstick and the fantasy elements in the film often clash, and when that happens Semon invariably goes for comedy, which is not always a great idea because Semon's slapstick routines (at least in this film) are not all that special (he certainly was no Buster Keaton). Add to this an unbalanced and ill-paced script and you pretty much get an idea what you're in for.

Not really worth your while.

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD