The Dreamer of Oz: The L. Frank Baum Story

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The Dreamer of Oz: The L. Frank Baum Story
The Dreamer of Oz.jpg
Written byRichard Matheson
Story byDavid Kirschner
Richard Matheson
Directed byJack Bender
StarringJohn Ritter
Annette O'Toole
Rue McClanahan
Music byLee Holdridge
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
Executive producersDavid Kirschner
Robert M. Myman
ProducersErvin Zavada
Laura Moskowitz
Clare Witt (associate producer)
CinematographyThomas Burstyn
EditorJerrold L. Ludwig
Running time100 minutes
Production companiesBedrock Productions
Adam Productions
Spelling Entertainment
Original networkNBC
Picture formatBlack and White
Audio formatStereo
Original releaseDecember 10, 1990 (1990-12-10)

The Dreamer of Oz: The L. Frank Baum Story is a 1990 American made-for-television biographical film starring John Ritter as Lyman Frank Baum, the author who wrote the 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and thirteen other Oz books. Also starring in it were Annette O'Toole as Baum's supportive wife, Maud, and Rue McClanahan as Baum's tough mother-in-law, Matilda Gage. John's son, Jason Ritter, makes his debut[citation needed] in it as Harry Neal Baum. At the time of its debut, O'Toole and Ritter also starred in It, a TV miniseries in which they played a couple.


The film depicts how L. Frank Baum came to create The Wonderful Wizard of Oz while undergoing and eventually overcoming professional and personal failures. The story is interspersed with the famous Oz story, shown at certain points when Baum is writing down his ideas. It is shown that he was originally telling this to a group of kids, who asked him the name of this location, to which he looks at a file cabinet with the bottom drawer marked O-Z and decided "Oz". Another idea he had thought of was to say Dorothy was born in the Dakota Territory, only to scrap that sentence in favor of Kansas.


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