Film

Wizard of Oz

Title clip from 1925 Wizard of Oz movie

Wizard of Oz (1925), directed by Larry Semon, who also appears in a comic role (and featuring a young Oliver Hardy as the Tin Man), was the first major film adaptation of L. Frank Baum's novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

The film departs radically from the novel upon which it is allegedly based, introducing new characters and exploits. Along with a completely different plot, the film is all set in a world that is only barely recognizable as the Land of Oz from the books. The film focuses mainly upon Semon's character, who is analogous to Ray Bolger's Scarecrow.

The major departure from the book and film is that the Scarecrow and Tin Man (played by Hardy) are not actually characters, but are in fact disguises donned by two farm hands who find themselves swept into Oz by a tornado. Dorothy is played by Dorothy Dwan — Semon's wife. Her version of the character is a young, seductive woman who has just turned 18 and who finds herself in the middle of a love triangle between Semon and Hardy. In a drastic departure from the original book, the "Tin Man" is a villain in this version, as Hardy's jealousy over Dorothy leads him to become the henchman for the evil Prime Minister Kruel.