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Road to Oz: The Evolution, Creation, and Legacy of a Motion Picture Masterpiece, The

Scarfone, Jay
Stillman, William
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Lyons Press
Film Studies

The Road to Oz is a complete retelling of how The Wizard of Oz was influenced and created, and attained its iconic status. The new volume by Jay Scarfone and William Stillman will reflect recent research and much more through newly discovered period interviews, media resources of the era, transcriptions and unique contemporary interviews with those who were there. Additionally, never-before-published imagery accompanies the text. In its truth and candor, this new historical contribution is ideal to tie-in with the 2018-19 80th anniversary of the 1939 movie. Tantalizing highlights of the text include: ·A thorough synopsis of L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900) and the script, inspired by the book, of the 1903 Broadway musical-comedy extravaganza. ·An overview of the plots of prior silent film adaptations of Oz and how they influenced the M-G-M film. ·An analysis of newly-discovered audio transcriptions of Wizard of Oz radio programs from 1931-32 and 1937-38—all of which were previously unknown. ·A complete accounting of Sam Goldwyn’s proposed (and aborted) 1934 Technicolor musical version of Oz starring Eddie Cantor (including commentary from Cantor’s sole surviving child). ·A thorough analysis of the October 10, 1938 M-G-M shooting script (provided by descendants of comedian and Cowardly Lion actor Bert Lahr) that predates the beginning of production by seventy-two hours. ·Startling revelations about the operetta that seemingly inspired “Over the Rainbow.” ·Judy Garland’s trials and tribulations with the studio, including the threat that M-G-M was grooming a sound-alike who tested for Oz. ·The supporting player who was cast in two roles in Oz’s fantasy sequence—the second role revealed for the first time in Scarfone and Stillman’s text. ·The Munchkin midgets’ pre-1939 Wizard of Oz connection. ·Oz’s film editor with a direct connection to Walt Disney and Snow White. ·Studio nepotism, favoritism and politics at the height of Hollywood’s golden age on the making of the world’s most famous film.

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