The Dreamer of Oz: The L. Frank Baum Story

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The Dreamer of Oz: The L. Frank Baum Story
The Dreamer of Oz.jpg
Written by Richard Matheson
Story by David Kirschner
Richard Matheson
Directed by Jack Bender
Starring John Ritter
Annette O'Toole
Rue McClanahan
Music by Lee Holdridge
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
Executive producer(s) David Kirschner
Robert M. Myman
Producer(s) Ervin Zavada
Laura Moskowitz
Cinematography Thomas Burstyn
Editor(s) Jerrold L. Ludwig
Running time 100 minutes
Production company(s) Bedrock Productions
Adam Productions
Spelling Entertainment
Distributor NBC
Original network NBC
Original release December 10, 1990 (1990-12-10)

The Dreamer of Oz: The L. Frank Baum Story is a 1990 made-for-television biographical film starring John Ritter as Lyman Frank Baum, the man who wrote The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and thirteen of the other Oz books. Also starring in this TV movie was Annette O'Toole as Baum's supportive wife, Maud, and Rue McClanahan as Baum's tough mother-in-law, Matilda Gage. John's son, Jason Ritter, makes his debut[citation needed] in this telefilm as Harry Neal Baum. At the time of the film's debut, O'Toole and Ritter also starred in It, a TV miniseries where they played a couple.


The film depicts how L. Frank Baum came to create The Wonderful Wizard of Oz while undergoing and eventually overcoming professional and personal failures. The story is interspersed with the famous Oz story, shown at certain points when Baum is writing down his ideas. It is shown that Baum was originally telling this to a group of kids, who asked him the name of this location, to which he looks at a file cabinet with one drawer marked O-Z and decided "Oz". Another idea Baum had thought of was to say Dorothy was born in the Dakota Territory, only to scrap that sentence in favor of Kansas.


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