Oz in the News 1.15.16

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The Road Much Traveled  Clearly, Baum and Neill were on cordial terms despite Baum’s occasional peevishness. One letter, undated, typed on Oz Film Manufacturing stationary, reads, “Dear Johnny Neill: Sharpen your pencil, sip an absinthe frappe and try to imagine this character in “The Scarecrow of Oz.” It is an Ork, quite a prominent actor in the story, and I quote this introduction from the text: (here follows an excerpt from the manuscript) You will observe the Ork is not a water creature, although it first appeared in a cavern, where it had escaped from the clutches of a whirlpool, as had Trot and Cap’n Bill. During the story it flies thru the air with Trot upon its back. There is also the “Bumpy Man” in the story: a fellow with little bumps all over him…. The principal character (sic) are Trot, Cap’n Bill, Dorothy, Ozma, Glinda, Wizard, Ork, Bumpy Man, Scarecrow, Button Bright, King Krawl, of Jinxland; Princess Gloria, his niece; Googly Gee, a wealthy old courtier; Pen, a gardener’s boy; a Wicked Witch named Blinkie. Warm regards; congratulations; affection; admiration–to our Johnny from (signed) L. Frank Baum.”

BBC Witness  In August 1939, one of the most popular musicals of all time had its premiere in Hollywood. Featuring the young Judy Garland, the Wizard of Oz brought to life a well-known American fairytale. It made Garland a star for the rest of her troubled life. Witness brings together BBC archive recordings of members of the film’s cast and crew.

 

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