His Majesty, the Scarecrow of Oz (1914)

His Majesty, the Scarecrow of Oz (1914)
Article 5668 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 4-24-2019
Directed by J. Farrell MacDonald
Featuring Violet MacMillan, Frank Moore, Pierre Couderc
Country: USA
What it is: Another adventure in the Land of Oz

When the evil King Krewl is unable to make his daughter marry an unwanted suitor, he has a witch cast a spell over her so that her heart will freeze. Dorothy escapes from the witch, and finds friends to help her save the princess from her fate.

If I were to take a stab at describing this one, it would be as terminally distracted retelling of “The Wizard of Oz”, only with an entirely different plot driving the action. I’d be tempted to call it unfaithful to the spirit of L. Frank Baum, but I can’t, as Baum himself wrote the screenplay. It’s one of those movies that I don’t know how to react to; the plot becomes difficult to follow at times because it keeps being distracted by slapstick scenes with people in animal costumes, and these scenes generally bring the story to a halt. The costumes, however, are the best things about this one; it’s probably more enjoyable if you give up on trying to follow the story and enjoy the spectacle, but even that gets old after a while. All in all, this is a sporadically entertaining mess.

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