The Wonderful Land of Oz
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (October 2006)|
The Wonderful Land of Oz is a 1969 film by Barry Mahon, based on the novel The Marvelous Land of Oz by L. Frank Baum. A low budget but faithful adaptation, the film stars Mahon's son, Channy (Chandos Castle Mahon, now a producer) as Tip, Zisca Baum (no relation) as Mombi, Caroline Berner as General Jinjur, George Wadsworth as Jack Pumpkinhead, Gil Fields as H. M. Woggle-bug T. E., Michael R. Thomas as the Scarecrow, and Al Joseph as the Tin Woodman. Ozma is played by Joy Webb. Jellia Jamb and Omby Amby appear, unbilled. The Gump is voiced by Ray Menard, the production designer, also unbilled, but remembered by Thomas, who also remembers that Hilary Lee Gaess, who played Glinda, had extreme bouts with stage fright.
Mahon told The New York Times that he was planning to get Judy Garland to narrate the film, but the film has no narration. Popular rumor is that Jinjur's Army of Revolt is composed of actors who had previously appeared in Mahon's nudie films. This is, however, not the case. The nudie films were made in New York City, while the children's films were made in Florida. Mahon did not bring any of his former performers to appear in the film.
The film played in Saturday kiddie matinee venues, but was not released on VHS until after it had been issued on DVD, making it something of a lost and often misreported legend. Some sources, such as Allan Eyles's 1985 book, The World of Oz claim that Dorothy Gale accompanied Tip on his journey in this film, but this is not the case. (It is, however, the case in Ozu no Mahōtsukai.) Another oft-repeated error is the claim that the songs are by Loonis McGlohan and Alec Wilder. This is derived from the fact that they wrote music for the Land of Oz theme park in Banner Elk, North Carolina, released on a vinyl record titled The Land of Oz. Their songs were inspired by The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, not The Marvelous Land of Oz. The songs for the film were composed by George Linsenmann with lyrics by Ralph Falco. The experimental rock group Daiquiri often performs "I Don't Want to Be a Statue" as part of their act, as has The New Zip Code Rapists.
Mahon, Linsenmann, and Falco would re-team for Jack and the Beanstalk and Thumbelina. All three films are owned by Jeffrey C. Hogue. The film was released on VHS in 2001 and DVD in 2002, as a double feature with Jack and the Beanstalk, by Something Weird Video. That it remained unavailable on VHS until the 21st century may explain the rumors published by Eyles and others.
- "The Land of Oz"
- "The Powder of Life"
- "I Don't Want to Be a Statue"
- "I've Watched You"
- "On That Great Take Over Day"
- "Try to Touch a Star"