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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.