Farnsworth presents ‘Oz’ times two

Mar 04, 2014
The 1925 silent “The Wizard of Oz” features, from left, Oliver Hardy, Dorothy Dwan and Larry Semon.

Rockland — On Saturday and Sunday, March 15 and 16, the Farnsworth Art Museum will present two movie versions of “The Wizard of Oz.” First, on Saturday, the 1925 film version will be presented at 1 p.m. in the downtown museum’s auditorium. On Sunday, the 1939 classic film adaptation starring Judy Garland will screen at 2 p.m. at the Strand Theatre, 345 Main St. The Strand screening will be preceded by an Oz-inspired dance performance by Midcoast students.

The 1925 silent film was directed by Larry Semon, who also appears in a leading role — that of a farmhand disguised as the Scarecrow. The only completed 1920s adaptation of L. Frank Baum's novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” this film also features a young Oliver Hardy as the Tin Woodman; the American comic actor would later become famous as one half of Laurel and Hardy. This film departs radically from the novel upon which it is based, introducing new characters and exploits.

Saturday’s screening will be introduced by Willard Carroll, whose collection is on display at the Farnsworth through March in the exhibition “The Wonderful World of Oz.” The screening is free with museum admission.

The Strand and Farnsworth co-presentation is being a 75th anniversary special showing of a 35mm “library copy” of the 1939 classic. The definitive film adaptation of Baum's 1900 children's fantasy, the movie made Garland a star for her heartfelt performance as Dorothy Gale, a young orphan girl living a drab black-and-white existence on a dusty Kansas farm with her aunt and uncle. Dorothy yearns to travel "over the rainbow" to a different world, and she gets her wish when a tornado whisks her and her little dog, Toto, to the Technicolor land of Oz.

Sunday audience members are encouraged to be in their seats at 2 p.m. sharp in order to view a special added attraction. Dorothy, performed by Emma Gross, a junior at Camden Hills Regional High School, and other Midcoast students, will greet attendees as they arrive, then perform a short dance inspired by the Land of Oz.

Tickets for the Sunday show are $7.50 matinee pricing for all seats and will be available at The Strand box office one hour prior to the screening.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

A poster for 1955 British reissue of MGM’s “The Wizard of Oz” is pictured in "The Wonderful World of Oz: An Illustrated History of the American Classic" by John Fricke (Down East Books).
Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.