The Dreamer of Oz (1990)

TV Movie  |   |  Biography, Drama, Family  |  10 December 1990 (USA)
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The film is the biography of Frank Baum, the children's book author and creator of the fantasy world Oz.



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Title: The Dreamer of Oz (TV Movie 1990)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Matilda Electa Joslyn Gage
Al Badham / Cowardly Lion
W.W. Denslow
Harriet Alvena Baum Neal
Courtney Barilla ...
Dorothy Leslie Gage / Dorothy Gale
Helen Leslie Gage Gage
Charlie H. Gage
Ned Brown / Farmer
Frank Joslyn Baum (5-9 years) (as Tim Eyster)
Joshua Boyd ...
Frank Joslyn Baum (3 years)
Roger Steffens ...
Salesman (as Roger Steffans)
Albert the Reporter
Frank Hamilton ...


The film is the biography of Frank Baum, the children's book author and creator of the fantasy world Oz.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

10 December 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Dreamer of Oz: The L. Frank Baum Story  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film depicts Baum acting on the stage when his father's theatre burned down. In reality, the theatre burned down during a production of his drawing room comedy, "Matches", while Baum was on tour as the male lead in another of his plays, "The Maid of Arran", and hence did not actually witness the fire. See more »


Baum is shown wincing at W.W. Denslow's cigar smoke. He smoked cigars himself, and resorted to chewing unlit cigars in public on allegations of doctor's orders. See more »


References The Wizard of Oz (1939) See more »


Main Title
From the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Music by Harold Arlen and Herbert Stothart
Arranged by Herbert Stothart
Orchestrated by Murray Cutter
Played offscreen in final scene by the M-G-M Studio Orchestra
See more »

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User Reviews

Where's the DVD or Video?
28 December 2002 | by (Sacramento, CA) – See all my reviews

This film deserves to available on video or DVD. As far as I know, this is one of the few versions of the life of Lionel Frank Baum, the author of the Oz series. The film, a made-for-TV film with John Ritter, treats the subject of L. Frank Baum's creating the Wizard of Oz book. The story is largely a fictionalized version of Baum's odyssey to creating the book and Baum purists (myself included) may be tempted to snort at the inclusion of issues that have been added into the mythology of the creation of the Oz books. However, this little slips are forgivable in the overall presentation of the life of a gentle man who truly loved children and whose works remain classics to this day. Baum was a complex individual whose works-- particularly the earlier ones-- were more complex than meets the eye. His themes touched on female voter issues (a hot issue in the turn of century, pre-feminist days), the ethics of creating life and the responsibility of science. This little movie does not go into these issues, nor should it have, for that matter. But, in any case, it should be available for those of us who would like to see it again.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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