The Wizard of Oz: An American Fairy Tale

Books & Beyond Lecture

Tuesday, May 30, 2000 (6:00 p.m.)

Jay Scarfone and William Stillman will discussed their book, The Wizardry of Oz: The Artistry and Magic of the 1939 M-G-M Classic (Gramercy Books, 1999) at the Library of Congress at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 30 in the Mumford Room in the James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Ave., S. E. Part of the Center for the Book's "Books & Beyond" author series, the presentation was free and open to the public.

Film Series

RESERVATIONS must be made by phone, beginning one week before any given show. Call (202) 707-5677 during business hours (Monday—Friday, 9:00 am to 4:30 pm). Reserved seats must be claimed at least 10 minutes before showtime, after which standbys will be admitted to unclaimed seats. All programs are free, but seating is limited to 64 seats. The Mary Pickford Theater is located on the third floor of the Library of Congress Madison building.

If you would like to subscribe to our program guide you can submit your name and mailing address either by calling the Pickford Theater reservation line at (202) 707-5677 (24 hours a day) or by sending e-mail to pickford@loc.gov.

Friday, May 5, 2000 (7:00 pm)

  • The Wizard of Oz (MGM, 1939). Dir.: Victor Fleming. Cast: Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, Bert Lahr. (101 min., sd., b/w and col., 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Warner Bros.)

    Our tribute to L. Frank Baum's timeless classic begins with the obvious choice: MGM's spectacular 1939 musical version beloved by generations. Yes, through the magic of video you can see it every day, but trust us, it's better on the big screen.

Thursday, May 18, 2000 (6:30 pm)

  • The Patchwork Girl of Oz (Oz Film Co., 1914). Dir.: J. Farrell MacDonald. Cast: Haras Dranet, Frank Moore. (65 min., si., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll.)
  • His Majesty, the Scarecrow of Oz (Oz Film Co., 1914). Dir.: Violet MacMillan, Frank Moore. (48 min. [incomplete], si., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll.)
  • The Magic Cloak of Oz (Oz Film Co., 1914). Dir.: L. Frank Baum. Cast: Mildred Harris, Frank Woodward. (38 min. [incomplete], si., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll.)

In 1914, L. Frank Baum founded the Oz Film Manufacturing Company to capitalize on the growing success of his Oz empire. It failed the following year, but did leave behind three rarely seen films we screen tonight. The Patchwork Girl of Oz is a reasonably faithful adaptation of the original story, while The Magic Cloak of Oz is essentially the film version of Baum's 1905 book Queen Zixi of Ix. His Majesty, the Scarecrow of Oz departs so radically from The Wizard of Oz that Baum used it as the starting point for his 1915 novel The Scarecrow of Oz.

Tuesday, May 30, 2000 (7:00pm)

  • The Wiz (Universal, 1978). Dir.: Sidney Lumet. Cast: Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Richard Pryor. (133 min., sd., col., 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Universal).

    Film adaptation of the stage hit, set in New York City. Easy to criticize for the unfortunate casting of Diana Ross as Dorothy, but the songs, at least, are quite catchy.

Thursday, June 1, 2000 (6:30 pm)

  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Selig, 1910). Dir.: Otis Turner. Cast: Hobart Bosworth, Bebe Daniels. (16 min., si., b/w, 35mm; print courtesy George Eastman House).
  • The Wizard of Oz (Paramount, 1925). Dir.: Larry Semon. Cast: Dorothy Dwan, Oliver Hardy. (82 min., si., b/w, 35mm; print courtesy UCLA Film and Television Archive).
  • The Wizard of Oz (NBC, 1950). Dir.: Burr Tillstrom. (30 min., sd., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll., courtesy NBC).

We opened with the first film version of the Oz story, a 1910 version starring Bebe Daniels as Dorothy. Oliver Hardy plays the Tin Woodman in Larry Semon's 1925 slapstick adaptation, and concludes with a delightful puppet rendition from Burr Tillstrom of Kuka, Fran, and Ollie fame that aired on NBC on May 22, 1950.

Friday, June 2, 2000 (7:00 pm)

  • Wild at Heart (Goldwyn, 1990). Dir.: David Lynch. Cast: Nicolas Cage, Laura Dern. (124 min., sd., col., 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Goldwyn).

    David Lynch's Southern Gothic reworking of the Oz story (based on Barry Gifford's novel) is lurid, sinister, erotic in other words, standard issue Lynch. Hotter than Georgia asphalt, indeed.

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