Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Popular silent film comedian Larry Semon literally sold the ranch to secure film rights to L. Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz -- then proceeded to chuck most of the Baum story in favor of his usual broad slapstick antics. In Semon's version, Dorothy (played by Dorothy Dwan, aka Mrs. Larry Semon) is the long-lost princess of Oz. On Dorothy's 18th birthday, she is whisked from her farm in Kansas back to Oz by way of a convenient tornado. Along for the ride are hired hands Semon and Oliver Hardy as well as le and African American handyman G. Howe Black. To avoid being captured by the minions of the cruel Prince Kruel, Semon disguises himself as a Scarecrow, while Hardy, rummaging through a garbage heap, dons Tin Woodman garb. And so it goes until Dorothy and her boyfriend Prince Kynde (Bryant Washburn) escape from Oz via airplane. The chance to see a young Oliver Hardy, sans Stan Laurel may be the best reason to see this film. Otherwise, the more famous 1939 version remains the definitive filmization of this classic yarn. The Wizard is played by Charlie Murray, who is heaps funnier than ostensible star Larry Semon.
dream, fantasy-world, homecoming, journey, lion, magic, scarecrows, tornado, witch, wizard
High Historical Importance