Wizard of Oz – Book review (Part 1)

James / January 5th, 2017

I talk about the classic 1939 Wizard of Oz film, and its literary source, and why Hollywood has not yet taken advantage of adapting the rest of the books.


  • January 5, 2017 at 9:18 pm

    I *love* this! James, please consider doing more book reviews such as this and your review of nostalgic scary books.

  • January 5, 2017 at 9:48 pm

    The Wizard of Oz is actually an allegory for 1890s U.S. politics and monetary policy. Frank L. Baum’s main message in the story was the support of what was called bimetallism, which is monetary standard in which the value of a currency is defined as equivalent to both gold and silver. See more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_interpretations_of_The_Wonderful_Wizard_of_Oz

    • Weldin Dunn

      January 6, 2017 at 3:36 pm

      1863 – 1900 had to be the most boring time in American politics. XD

      • FJMcCloud

        January 7, 2017 at 3:11 am

        Boring? Your livelihood today would be greatly improved had decisions been made differently from 1873-1913. Other fun fact is the 1892 Chicago World’s Fair directly inspired L. Frank Baum’s Emerald City. It also inspired Frank Lloyd Wright, Walt Disney — whose parents worked on it, and everything from foods you eat today to the very German cannons of the World Wars. Heck, even the very term “Midway Games” comes from that. One single event that had a shocking effect on so much of the twentieth century and no one seems to realize it.

      • FJMcCloud

        January 7, 2017 at 3:16 am

        “1892 World’s Fair”. Sorry, actually opened in 1893, but to commemorate 1892. Also known as the “Columbian Expo”. There’s a fantastic documentary DVD about it narrated by the late Gene Wilder. Chicago also has an Oz Park dedicated to L. Frank Baum.

      • TheFreakMachine

        February 7, 2017 at 4:57 pm

        @ FJMCCLOUD: are you trying to…educate me?

  • Scott Mclaughlin

    January 5, 2017 at 9:50 pm

    Maybe the witch didn’t tell Dorothy how to get home until she had fulfilled her destiny.

  • Allen Lucas

    January 5, 2017 at 10:03 pm

    The way the described the gory moments in that book, I want somebody to make an R-rated remake of that book and maybe launch a series of R-rated Oz films a’la Deadpool. The only change I would suggest that instead of killing the Wicked Witch with water, she should be killed by fire much like the witches of historical past.

    As much as I liked Oz the Great and Powerful for what it is, I do wish Sam Raimi make the sequel PG-13 than PG and make it a dark comedy. After all, a dark comedy/fantasy version of Oz would be more exciting.

  • Satnav

    January 5, 2017 at 11:38 pm

    It doesn’t really matter that Glinda didn’t tell Dorothy, since it’s all a dream anyway. 😉 Plus, even if you take it as is, Glinda probably wanted Dorothy to be the one to help all the others together and get them their heart and courage and so on.

  • January 6, 2017 at 2:34 am

    I think what James is missing is that apart from “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” itself, the other books just aren’t solid enough to hold a film, which is why attempts at adaptation of them generally turn out poorly. That, and the wider world the books are set in is kind of hammy and over-cluttered, as compared to more thoughtful and better planned out fantasy worlds that Lewis and Tolkien would come up with later in the century.

  • Jamiesonofabitch

    January 6, 2017 at 8:43 am

    This is completely unrelated, but you should review ‘It’ before the new film comes out later this year. I would love to hear your take on it.

    • Hanglyman

      January 7, 2017 at 10:34 pm

      I’d like that too. It’s one of my favorite books, but there’s a lot in it, both good and bad. It’d be nice if he started doing a whole book series, like he did with board games.

  • January 6, 2017 at 11:53 am

    James, have you read the Dark Tower series by Stephen King?

    He includes some cool bits from the Wizard of Oz. I wonder if the movies coming out will include that or not?

  • January 6, 2017 at 11:55 am

    Technically, Oz The Great and Powerfull, does have a sequel.

  • Pablo1989

    January 6, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    Hey James what did you not filmmake Wizzard of oz book series? As Cinemassacre you are not to shy show violence stuff 😀

  • January 6, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    the book is scary to kids now in the modern areas, back in the 1900 i dont think it was anything because violence was pretty common and more awful things were going on, would really love to see the original book version on film.

  • January 6, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    have you seen tinman that was on syfy i think few years back?

  • frostare

    January 6, 2017 at 6:34 pm

    I may be the only person who really isn’t that enthralled by the 1939 movie. The effects and techniques were precious, but the way the characters INTERACT… um. Well anyway, the tales themselves seem amazing! These could indeed take back newer generations into great habits and I’m glad the characters are done justice at their source. Have you read this webcomic called Namesake? It’s amazing and it’s where I learned the Oz universe could be badass. =)

  • Paulballsftw

    January 7, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    I would love to see a darker verion from Tim Burton. I think they could do one that is more serious but have some comedy in it that doesn’t come out as goofy. They can make it more PG or PG13 even. I do understand why no one has jumped on it. To me the story is old and isn’t something that can be done for real life times. It would have to be fantasy like. No place like home actually don’t sound too good anymore cause people don’t really feel safe anymore in their own towns these days. I am sure Kansas isn’t that great of a place now either. People would probably want to stay in that place and not want to come home. lol

    • Pablo1989

      January 7, 2017 at 7:57 pm

      About Dark theme
      American McGee had plan to made Oz video game after Alice but plans was scrapted…shame

    • Don Skiver

      January 27, 2017 at 4:50 pm

      I like Kansas just fine. Nothing wrong with it. I feel safer in Kansas than I do in Missouri.

  • The Wicker Man

    January 13, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    I had a great “audio book” series back in the day which had the scenes you mentioned that weren’t in the movie. You listened to the cassette tape while flipping through the huge book (it was around A2 sized pages if I recall) with fantastic illustrations. I wish I still had it all but it got passed on to younger family members and has been lost to the depths of time.

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