The Magic Cloak of Oz
|The Magic Cloak of Oz|
|Directed by||J. Farrell MacDonald|
|Produced by||L. Frank Baum
Louis F. Gottschalk
|Written by||L. Frank Baum|
|Music by||Louis F. Gottschalk|
|Cinematography||James A. Crosby|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|September 28, 1914|
|c. 38 minutes|
The Magic Cloak of Oz is a 1914 film directed by J. Farrell MacDonald. It was written by L. Frank Baum and produced by Baum and composer Louis F. Gottschalk. The film is an adaptation of Baum's novel, Queen Zixi of Ix.
The film had severe distribution problems, owing to the box office failure of The Patchwork Girl of Oz. Advertisements claimed that the film would be released September 28, 1914, by Paramount Pictures, but this apparently never occurred, though it was apparently released in its entirety in 1917. It was eventually reduced from a five-reel film to two two-reel films known as The Magic Cloak and The Witch Queen. The current prints are assembled from these two films, and so the film is incomplete. All of its titles are missing, and The Magic Cloak title card, which is not in The Oz Film Manufacturing Company style, is used without any additional credits. Its only allusion to Oz is a title card's claim that the fairies of Burzee are "fairies of Oz".
Intertitles confirm that the cast included Violet MacMillan as Timothy, or Bud, who becomes king of Noland due to a legal loophole; Mildred Harris as his sister, Margaret, or Fluff; Fred Woodward as Nicodemus, the mule, and possibly some other animals as well, and Vivian Reed as Quavo, the minstrel. After Juanita Hansen became better known, the fact that she portrayed the title role, Queen Zixi, was mentioned in many contemporary sources. The International Wizard of Oz Club published Scott Andrew Hutchins' "An Oz Filmography" on their website, and in an edited form in the Spring 2004 issue of The Baum Bugle, in which he postulated several other members of the Oz stock company in other roles. This information was submitted by a third party to the Internet Movie Database and has been accepted by some commentators as fact, although there is no contemporary evidence of this.
16 mm prints of this film are distributed by Em Gee and have been released on home video in various formats with different, and sometimes no, musical accompaniments. None include that which Gottschalk wrote for the film. Its highest profile release is on the third disc of the 2005 3-disc edition of The Wizard of Oz (1939 film). The film consisted of 5 reels, which translates to 38 minutes runtime, at 24 frames per second).
In 2009, a longer version of the film was released on DVD and Blu-ray (though not in high definition) as part of the Ultimate Collector's Editions of The Wizard of Oz (1939 film). The presentation runs about five and a half minutes longer than the 2005 version and does not contain musical score. Additional scenes and were included, and subplots were expanded upon, including the additions of Nicodemus getting help from 4 witches (from His Majesty, the Scarecrow of Oz ) the Roly-Rogues clapping hands on a hill and a sailor making a necktie of a piece of the Magic Cloak he bought. This version was only held in private collections and shown at private conventions prior to the home video release.
One intertitle refers to Jikki as "silly old Zixi". Later Zixi is introduced with the same name. The name Jikki is used in the book for the first character, but never in the intertitles as a result of this mistake.
Notes and references
- The Baum Bugle, Winter 2005, page 32
- The Magic Cloak of Oz at the Internet Movie Database
- The Magic Cloak of Oz is available for free download at the Internet Archive