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His Majesty, the Scarecrow of Oz

USA 1914
produced by
L. Frank Baum, Louis F. Gottschalk, Harry Marston Haldeman (executive), Clarence R. Rundel (executive) for the Oz Film Manufacturing Company
directed by J. Farrell MacDonald, L. Frank Baum
starring Violet MacMillan, Todd Wright, Vivian Reed, Mai Wells, Raymond Russell, Frank Moore, Pierre Couderc, Fred Woodward, Arthur Smollet, J.Charles Haydon, Mildred Harris, Louise Emmons
screenplay by L.Frank Baum, based on his novels The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and The Scarecrow of Oz

Wizard of Oz, L.Frank Baum's Oz-adaptations

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Princess Gloria (Vivian Reed) is in love with Pon the gardener's boy (Todd Wright), but her daddy, evil King Krewl (Raymond Russell), doesn't approve of it one bit, especially since he wants to marry the girl off to Googly-Goo (Arthur Smollet) - so he makes a visit to wicked witch Mombi (Mai Wells)and asks her to let his daughter's heart freeze over ...

Pon has followed the King to the witch, but he can't stop the witch from freezing Gloria's heart - and as a result grow indifferent to him, or any other man for that matter -, but what he can do is free Dorothy (Violet MacMillan), a little Kansas girl who has been enslaved by the witch, from Mombi's clutches. From now on, Pon and Dorothy are on the run, and while they are running, they bump into all sorts of creatures, like the Tin Woodman (Pierre Couderc), the Cowardly Lion (Fredd Woodward), and of course the Scarecrow (Frank Moore), the rightful ruler of Oz. Before long, the two are travelling with quite an entourage, actually.

Momby, always trying to catch them, eventually bumps into the Wizard of Oz in person (J.Charles Haydon), who uses his magic and trickery to confine her to a bottle.

The finale has everyone gathering in the palace, King Krewl is dethroned, Mombi is forced to melt the ice over Gloria's heart, the lovers are reunited again, and the Scarecrow once again becomes king.


Of course, one can't very well judge films from the teens of the twentieth century by today's standards, but I suppose even by the standards of the 1910s's, His Majesty, the Scarecrow of Oz is a rather tired affair. For the most part it looks like little more than a second rate stageplay of its time committed to film, the camera is purely static, the direction is uninventive and at best functional, the costumes fail to convince - especially the animal costumes -, and not even attempts are made at creating special effects (which a fantasy story like this naturally needs). Add too this a convoluted and confusing screenplay with way too many characters, and the outcome is a rather weak film.

Of coursse, maybe I am making the mistake of judging the film by today's standards after all, and the film certainly is of historical interest - it's just I didn't like it very much.


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




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


A Killer Conversation

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

out now on DVD