The silent "Wizard of Oz"--no, not THAT one!

On Sunday, July 3, at 10:45 p.m., TCM is showing the 1910 version of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, starring little Bebe Daniels (you may remember her from 42nd Street) as Dorothy!

… You mean not the Larry Semon version?

BOOOOOO! I want racism in my Wizard of Oz!
“That’s alot of applesauce!”

And child abuse, don’t forget spouse and child abuse – different times, different ideas of what is funny.
Oliver Hardy as a wicked Uncle Ben – it is quite unbelievable isn’t it?

I saw a few of these L. Frank Baum-produced films back in 1989 at NoreasCon (It was the 50th anniversary of the Judy Garland version, so they showed as many other versions as they could get their hands on). Interesting but weird stuff. Are they planning on showing any of the others in the series?

That’s the one from the More Treasures From American Film Archives set, correct?

Yes . . . if only they followed it up with Gus Visser and His Singing Duck . . .

Does a duck’s song echo?

Only in my heart, Qadgop, only in my heart . . .

Eve, did you ever figure out what the two lines that aren’t clearly enunciated by Visser were?

Anybody try syncing this version up with Dark Side of the Moon?

God, i don’t need a new roof. I don’t need new carpet. I don’t need a new kitchen floor. I need a dish.

Okay, I need all of those things.

Just for the record, TCM shows a silent film every Sunday night (well, almost every Sunday night) at 11:00 PM CST, and they’ve had some wonderful stuff. If you’ve not been into silents, it’s a great intro – they’ve restored the print quality to perfection, and added very nice music tracks (unlike some versions that just played classical music, whether it fit or not.)

But, Eve, you said this one was earlier? Do I need to reset my TiVo?

Please enlighten me about the racism, child & spousal abuse in one of the old WoOz’s.

They’ve been showing silents a little more often through the week recently, including the occasional comedy in prime time.

Every year TCM hosts the Young Composers Contest, wherein a student composer creates a score for a silent film, to be premiered on TCM. Obviously, these films tend to be in TCM’s vaults . . .

So, here’s my plan: for the 2007 Contest, use the 1915 silent musical/comedy/adventure The Whirl of Life, the only film ever made by Vernon and Irene Castle. Downside is, the film is held by the New York Public Library, not Turner. Upside is, Turner does hold the 1939 Astaire/Rogers film The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle, which could be shown as a double feature.

I’ve seen The Whirl of Life and it’s a hugely enjoyable film–a soundtrak would only improve it. It’s got brilliant ragtime dance sequences, comic adventure, young love, villains . . . For such an early film, it’s very viewer-friendly.

And, just as the cherry on top, we could plug my biography of the Castles, which should be coming out in '07 . . .

Ooh, I want an autographed copy of a first edition!

Okay, here’s the external info:

The second of which is more complete.

I also incorrectly identified Oliver Hardy as Uncle Heny – He was instead one of the farmhands and some other roles. It has been a while and it didn’t make much of a positive impression. I own it as a completist, not a fan.


I’ll be darned! I always thought the 1925 with Dorothy Dwan was the earliest. Did my Haliwells fail me or just my memory?

Our local French station used to show Silents, but alas, no more. CBC’s given up the very early '30’s stuff in favour of almost new “Art” crappie and I can’t get out to the Ridge anymore. Drat.

I am so glad that I saw this thread earlier. I wrote a note in bright pink highlighter so I wouldn’t forget to catch this.

I haven’t seen many silent films before, but I enjoyed this; it’s much shorter than I thought it would be, though! Obviously the story was abbreviated, and according to IMDB, it’s based more on the 1902 musical than the actual novel (and it’s been years since I’ve read the Oz books).

There were some things I found a bit confusing, though. The number one scene was after the title screen that said “THE WIZARD NOW PREPARES TO LEAVE OZ” (paraphrased). Then there is a scene with girls working in a room and they suddenly stop at 12, hanging a sign that says “Union rules: no working after 12”. They all start dancing around and the wiz & Dorothy come in and stand a bit. After they gesture to the sign and dance/prance around a bit, they leave and then W and D sit down and seem to laugh. Wtf?

That was interesting, though I never realized one could put some much Beasital homo-eroticism into 15 minutes of film before(It kept looking like the Cow and Donkey were humping things).

Actually, very little of that made any sense.