Poorly constructed documentary on many levels.
1) OK, what's with throwing those Baum books around in the opening credits.
2) Why is an "Oz Fan" a speaking head? Turned the sound off every time.
3) Using shots from unrelated films to "explain" what the narrator is saying, is doc-making at its WORST.
4) One "Historian" makes statements, containing "I think," "If I remember correctly." WHAT???
5) Long-haired guy is pompous. Listen, I went to USC Critical Studies in Film. I saw this all of the time.
6) NO, 1939 "Oz" was NOT a failure as implied, upon initial release. THAT is a myth. The critics as a whole loved it, and so did the public. The reason that it lost $1 million? It cost $2.8 million (not 2) to produce, plus marketing and distribution. It made $3.1 million. "GWTW" was not released until Jan 1940, with previews in Dec 1939. "Oz" was released in Aug 1939. They were hardly competing, as implied. Yes, films stayed in theaters for a long time then, and perhaps the tail-end take for "Oz" was a bit affected.
7) Was the 1985 "Return to Oz" even mentioned?
8) They should have covered that Disney bought the rights to the other existing books after the success of the 1939 MGM film. 1985's "Return to Oz" was an attempt to make a film before their rights to the material ran out. Now. the "Oz" books enter public domain constantly per book, not as a whole, of course. Additionally, the constant change in copyright laws has always affected the Oz books. The original "Oz" went public domain in 1956, BUT MGM owns the rights to the "images" from the 1939 film (thus, their interpretation of it). "The Land of Oz" went public in 1960 (Disney lost it at that time), thus NBC that year, utilized it in "Shirley Temple's Storybook." Etc. Etc.
9) This film is for the "Oz" novice. I knew this stuff in 1980, when I bought the Aljean Harmetz book, "The Making of the Wizard of Oz: Movie Magic and Studio Power in the Prime of MGM" IN 1977!!!
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