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The Wonderful Land of Oz

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A promotional poster for the film.

The Wonderful Land of Oz is a low-budget 1969 film adaptation of L. Frank Baum's second Oz book, The Marvelous Land of Oz. It has been acclaimed as the worst Oz film ever made.[1]


The movie was written, produced, and directed by Barry Mahon, who made low-budget "nudie" films for the "grindhouse" circuit during the 1960s, like Nudes on Tiger Reef (1965) and Fanny Hill Meets Lady Chatterly (1967) among others. By the end of the 1960s, the trend toward more overtly pornographic films drove family-man Mahon away from the genre and into children's pictures. His Oz film was his first venture in this new genre, though he would go on to make a Jack and the Beanstalk and a Thumbelina (both 1970) among other titles.

The Oz film was made on a skeletal budget of only $50,000. (Mahon also had to offer his distributor $90,000 for advertising and promotion.) Mahon employed many beginners and newcomers in both cast and crew, who received on-the-job training in filmmaking through making the film. It was also a family affair: Mahon's youngest son Channy (Chandos Castle Mahon), then ten years old, starred as Tip. Channy's mother Clelle was the movie's script supervisor.

Unfortunately, Channy Mahon was "an incredibly bad child actor" whose "ill-timed, lethargic performance"[2] was the central element in a largely inexperienced ensemble. The film's production values, in terms of sets, costumes, and effects, are crude and primitive.

The movie was quickly forgotten after its initial appearance in the summer of 1969. Yet the modern proliferation of obscure video, aided by the Internet, has brought renewed attention to the film, mainly from those interested in cult movies and the ironic "so bad it's good" outlook.[3]

The movie features songs by Ralph Falco and George Linsenmann.



  1. Marc Berezin, "Oz on a Budget: The Making and Selling of Barry Mahon's The Wonderful Land of Oz," The Baum Bugle, Vol. 53 No. 1 (Spring 2009), pp. 41-6.
  2. Rob Craig, quoted in Berezin, p. 43.
  3. Berezin, p. 46.
OzIcon Films and Television OzIcon
Silent films Fairylogue and Radio-Plays (1908) • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1910) • His Majesty, the Scarecrow of Oz (1914) • The Patchwork Girl of Oz (1914) • The Magic Cloak of Oz (1914) • The Wizard of Oz (1925)
Live-action adaptations The Wizard of Oz (1939) • The Wonderful Land of Oz (1969) • 20th Century Oz (1976) • The Wiz (1978) • Return to Oz (1985) • Lost in Oz (2002) • The Muppets' Wizard of Oz (2005) • Tin Man (2007) • La Maga (2008) • Dorothy and the Witches of Oz (2011) • After the Wizard (2011) • Oz the Great and Powerful (2013) • The Wiz Live! (2015)
Animated adaptations Tales of the Wizard of Oz (1961) • Return to Oz (1964) • Journey Back to Oz (1974) • Dorothy in the Land of Oz (1980) • The Wizard of Oz (1982) • W krainie czarnoksiężnika Oza (1983) • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1986) • Dorothy Meets Ozma of Oz (1987) • The Wonderful Galaxy of Oz (1990) • The Wizard of Oz (1990) • The Oz Kids (1996) • Lion of Oz (2000) • Marchen Awakens Romance (2007) • Tom and Jerry & the Wizard of Oz (2011) • Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return (2014) • Save Oz! (2015) • Lost in Oz (2015) • Tom and Jerry: Back to Oz (2016)
Upcoming adaptations Yellow Brick Road (2016) • Emerald City (2016) • Wicked (2019) • The Land of Oz (2020) • L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (TBA) • Warriors of Oz (TBA) • Dorothy (TBA) • Dorothy Must Die (TBA) • Red Brick Road (TBA) • Road to Oz (TBA)
Guest appearances Shirley Temple's Storybook (1960) • Superfriends (1980) • Rugrats (1999) • That's So Raven (2003-2006) • Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (2006-) • Inkheart (2008) • Once Upon a Time (2011-) • Supernatural (2013-)
Featured challenges Project Runway (2004) • Face Off (2011)
Shorts and others Beef Ravioli commercials (2006) • After Oz (2007) • Flying Monkeys (2013) • OzLand (2015) • Unknown (TBA)

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