Friday, February 02, 2018

This Week's Oz Poem and Ephemera

The 1989 issue of Oziana was the first to have an overall arching theme—but not the one that was originally planned! The editor at the time, the late great Robin Olderman, had one idea in mind (it got pushed back to 1990, so I'll be covering that in a few weeks), but she got so much material related to another theme that she just had to go with it. And why not? The year 1989 marked the fiftieth anniversary of the famous MGM film version of The Wizard of Oz, so the entire issue was devoted to The Movie (and, to a lesser degree, all Oz movies). So, since the first item in the issue is a poem, I thought I'd take the unusual step for this issue of describing the extras and this very short piece first. So, here we go:

  • Olderman's poem pairing "Biozonnet 1"/"Epilogue" recounts a famous incident when little Oz book-loving Robin first saw The Movie, upon one of its revivals, and very loudly told the audience just what they got wrong!
  • My good, dear, late friend, Rob Roy MacVeigh, provides a terrific cover of the Wizard discovering all kinds of Oz films that are now lost, or never came to be. There were alternate takes and cut scenes from The Movie, the complete first reel of the 1914 silent film version of The Patchwork Girl of Oz, Frank and Maud Baum's home movies from their trip to Egypt and Europe, and many others. (One of them has now even been found: the color version of Shirley Temple's television adaptation of The Land of Oz. It turns out Temple had it the whole time!)
  • Two of the great Oz quizzers, Susan Hall and Fred Meyer, team up with movie expert John Fricke to write a fiftieth anniversary movie quiz.
Next week, an explanation as to why the movies and other dramatic adaptations of Oz never closely follow the books.

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