Ned Brown and Al Badham were completely fictitious characters with no real-life equivalent. A tall tale exists that Baum was challenged to a duel over mention of a bride's "roughish" smile in The Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer (called the Dakota Pioneer in the film). In tellings previous to the film, both men ran from the duel at the sound of apparent gunshots. A version of this story first appears in print in Baum's 1912 novel, Aunt Jane's Niece's on Vacation, and was recounted for The Baum Bugle in a series of biographical articles by Harry Neal Baum. Nancy Tystad Koupal's research into the Pioneer (see the introduction to Our Landlady) shows that the only instance of "roughish" was in a story in which Baum recounted having unwittingly walked in on a community theatre rehearsal, and the smile of an actress. The film's depiction of "big" presented as "pig" was fictitious. The identity of the duelist, if the story is true, has never been identified, so the filmmakers had to invent a character, whom they named Al Badham, simply to present the anecdote. There is no indication that this story actually inspired the Cowardly Lion. 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 »
This has to be the best movie I have ever seen. John Ritter was/is wonderful. The writing was excellent, too. If I could get a copy of this movie I would give it a special place in my home. When you watch this movie you will sure to be moved as I was. I loved to see how L. Frank Baum came to write 'The Wizard of Oz'. It is not easy to imagine just how an author comes to compose a story. As many times as I have seen the film, The Wizard of Oz, and that is dozens of times, I never once thought to myself, "I wonder where Mr. Baum got his inspiration... you will be pleasantly surprised when you find out. I am very surprised and a bit dismayed that this film has not made it to the re-run stage. What a shame!
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