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posted by martyb on Sunday May 17 2020, @06:41PM   Printer-friendly
from the following-the-yellow-brick-road dept.

'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz' Turns 120:

Playwright, chicken farmer and children's book author L. Frank Baum published "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" 120 years ago Sunday. The book would sell out its first run of 10,000 copies in eight months and go on to sell a total of 3 million copies before it fell into the public domain in 1956.

Baum would try his hand at other children's books but returned to his Oz characters time and time again, adapting them for a stage production in 1902 that ran for a while on Broadway and toured the country. Baum would write a total of 14 Oz novels, but his biggest success – a 1939 movie version – would come long after his death.

Baum's intent was to create a fairy tale along the lines of the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson. Baum also admired the character of Alice in Lewis Carroll's work and chose a similar young girl to be his fictional hero.

[...] A portion of the success of the book has been attributed to Baum's illustrator, W.W. Denslow, who he worked with closely on the project. Denslow, in fact, was given partial ownership of the copyright of the book. This caused problems later when Denslow and Baum had a falling out while working on the 1902 stage adaptation.

The most popular adaptation of Baum's first Oz book was the 1939 movie starring Judy Garland.

Wikipedia has many more details on the story and the film.

[Aside: I had heard only the land of Oz was filmed in Technicolor because it was so much more costly than black and white. I've been unable to corroborate. Are there any Soylentils here who can confirm or deny it? --Ed.]


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 17 2020, @10:48PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 17 2020, @10:48PM (#995490)

    Where does Mombi, the Shaggy Man, Tik-Tok, and the Nome King fit in with this interpretation?

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by RandomFactor on Monday May 18 2020, @12:11AM (1 child)

    by RandomFactor (3682) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 18 2020, @12:11AM (#995523) Journal

    The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, perhaps America's favorite children's story, is also an informed comment on the battle over free silver in the 1890s. The characters in the story represent real figures such as William Jennings Bryan. This paper interprets the allegory for economists and economic historians, illuminating a number of elements left unexplained by critics concerned with the politics of the allegory. It also reexamines Bryan and the case for free silver. Far from being monetary cranks, the advocates of free silver had a strong argument on both theoretical and empirical grounds.

    The "Wizard of Oz" as a Monetary Allegory
    Published by: The University of Chicago Press
    https://www.jstor.org/stable/2937766 [jstor.org]

    PDF link [rutgers.edu]

    --
    В «Правде» нет известий, в «Известиях» нет правды
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 18 2020, @04:05PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 18 2020, @04:05PM (#995889)

      Where does the Shaggy Man, Mombi, the Nome King, Tik-Tok and perhaps the Wheelers fit in with this interpretation?