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#51
Old 08-08-2006, 12:48 PM
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Did Gable have anything to do with Cukor losing his job. Depends on who you ask.

One of the directors of OZ, Cukor was undoubtedly homosexual.

Do I find sexual images in other children's books? I didn't see these (in Oz) until the OP asked the question and I started researching the topic. Just because you choose to dismiss the possibility doesn't make them false.
and I resent the implications of this statement.
Quote:
It says much more about how your mind is working than about the objective content of the story.
DrFidelius this is GQ and I have yet to insult anyone and the findings I presented in the thread are responses I have found that others have made before.

The OP simply asked : There is a stereotype that gay males like Judy Garland*, but that doesn't make much sense to me, either. What is the history behind these associations? (and The Wizard of Oz)

Answering the OP, that's all I am attempting to do. Sort them out as false or true or simply rumors and speculation as you like, that's irrelevant. The fact is that these ideas are not new and are part of the history behind the associations to which the OP was inquiring.

What I believe is totally irrelevant.
#52
Old 08-08-2006, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Otto
Well, Judy's father's "association with the gay community" goes back quite a bit farther than that... (he was gay)
.
I had heard it was more bi-Sexual?
#53
Old 08-08-2006, 01:08 PM
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[QUOTE=jimbeam]One of the directors of OZ, Cukor was undoubtedly homosexual.\/QUOTE]Not one of the scenes in Wizard of Oz was directed by Cukor. He worked on the production for three days during the interim while producer Mervyn LeRoy was looking for a replacement for director Richard Thorpe. He did hair and makeup tests of Judy Garland, and advised her to remember she was playing a girl from Kansas and "not to act in a fancy-schmancy way." Cukor didn't write the script, either.
#54
Old 08-08-2006, 01:39 PM
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Yeah I know what Cukors contribution was. He changed Dorothy's hair color from Blond and took the makeup off her face to make her look like a poor Kansas girl.
A few other costume adjustments etc.

I'll try to make my point again.

What are the gay associations in OZ?

the lead actress was a gay rights supporter
her father was ...
her daughter is ...
the temporary director was ...
There are several metaphors and scenes in the movie and books that MIGHT be interpreted as gay and obviously HAVE been by many over the years.
The author Baum has a history of Oz films which include sexual inuendo.

There are just a few of the associations which can be made.
These and others, whether they are fact, fiction or fantasy matters not. They are undoubtedly ideas that have been connected to the film for years.
#55
Old 08-08-2006, 02:05 PM
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jimbeam, have you had a chance to look through the books and substantiate any of your claims yet? I also don't remember quite a bit of what you claim is in there, although I think I only read the frirst three books, so perhaps they are in others.

In particular, I do not remember, and would appreciate cites (page numbers would be great, chapters if you can't do that) for:

Your claims in post 7:
Quote:
You realize this movie was based on a series of short stories.
As was pointed out, this is not the case.
Quote:
In the book there are several reference to the queer people and queer this and that.
Can you show me anywhere the current meaning of "queer" was used, and not the contomporaneous meaning "strange".
Quote:
The lion really is a daisy in the book and talks about feeling gay.
WTF? Daisy? Again, a cite for this, please. While you're at it, how about a cite that daisies are gay or associated with gay culture before the book was written.
Quote:
The tin man cries at the drop of a hat
I don't understand what this has to do with gay people. Surely you're not saying gay people cry more often than straight people?
Quote:
and Dorothy is at first kissed by the good witch of the north.
Romantically? Cite, please. My grandmother kisses me every time I see her. I'm not into homoerotic incest.
Quote:
Then later practically falls in love with a princess she meets and later is kissed by the good witch of the south.
Again, romantically?

in Post 9:
Quote:
But the passage was about the cowardly lion skipping through the flowers talking about how happy and gay he was feeling. Not too macho, especially for a lion.
Again, what does this have to do with gay people? The question was about homosexuals, not gender norms.

In Post 27:
Quote:
Is the tin man gay? I dunno, he had a fiance but broke up with her.
This may well be the case. Can you cite the passage please, because I don't remember it. I also don't see why it's evidence he was gay.
Quote:
He is highly emotional despite his lack of a heart. He cries at practically every little thing and is somewhat embarrased by this. Doesn't mean he's homosexual but it may be a trait some folks can appreciate.
Again, so what? What does this have to do with being gay?
Quote:
The FACT is that Dorothy's companions have characteristics that considered by society then and now as less than manly.
AH! So it's a book for children about adults that act like children. It's a book about growing up and creatures who haven't quite found the resources to grow up yet. At the end of the book, they become grown-ups, after being put through trials and finding that they possess the courage, love and intelligence of adults. This seems a much more likely moral for a children's author than some gender twisting homosexual agenda.
Quote:
Your absolute statement "but nobody at the time they were published thought of the books as being about homosexuality"
You know this.
Surely you don't think there was no gay culture then.
There was no gay culture like there is now. There were certainly not children's books with overtly gay themes the way there are now.

I don't doubt the OP's assumption that the movie The Wizard of Oz is nowadays associated with gay culture. But I don't think you've made a convincing argument that the books were when published.
#56
Old 08-08-2006, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbeam
Did Gable have anything to do with Cukor losing his job. Depends on who you ask.
Walloon has cited two primary sources which state that Gable did not play a part in Cukor's firing. Please cite your primary sources in support of your position.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbeam
the lead actress was a gay rights supporter
I'm unaware of any particularly strong public stance taken by La Garland on the topic of gay rights. Other than marrying at least one and allegedly dallying on the Sapphic side of the street on the rare occasion herself, the connection between her and the gay community was largely one-sided.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbeam
her father was ...
Her father was gay or bisexual, and publicly indiscrete (the story goes that the family had to leave Minnesota because of his indiscretions), but again made no public statements on the topic of gay rights of which I'm aware.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbeam
her daughter is ...
Copmpletely irrelevant since her daughter was not born at the time TWOO was made.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbeam
the temporary director was ...
George Cukor was not a public gay rights supporter for the days he was attached to TWOO and IIRC was never publicly demonstrative on the topic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbeam
What I believe is totally irrelevant.
Then maybe you should stop stating opinions in the fact-based GQ.
#57
Old 08-08-2006, 02:48 PM
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Since the OP said this thread may end up in IMHO at the very beginning, he obviously had the foresight to realize the question called for opinions as well as facts.
Dismiss the rumors deny the facts, whatever.

I guess you're all right... there is no association with gays and Oz.
They really don't care about the movie or Judy Garland.
Judy never said or did anything to support the gay community.
Gays have no reason to see similarities to their struggles and the Oz characters.
There is NO possible way to interpret anything in OZ as such.
Cukor being homosexual and associated to the film would have been ignored by gays at the time and later as well.
Baum really didn't allow any sexual inuendo in his first Oz flicks.
All the examples of characters in drag was purely innocent.
etc. etc.

I say Uncle

All better now?
#58
Old 08-08-2006, 03:29 PM
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The content of the movie alone is the major factor in its becoming a gay icon — the disassociation of the main character from her drab surroundings, where nobody appreciates her, into a colorful fantasy world where she's the center of everybody's attention.

Add to that the usual gay worship of singing divas: Maria Callas, Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand, Diana Ross, Madonna.

Cukor's minor association to the movie was irrelevant (not to mention unknown until long after it had achieve gay icon status.) You don't see big gay followings for David Copperfield, The Philadelphia Story, or Pat and Mike, pictures he actually directed.
#59
Old 08-08-2006, 04:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbeam
I say Uncle

All better now?
Poor little flower...dropped her petals and folded her tent.

Oh wait, wrong gay icon.
#60
Old 08-08-2006, 05:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Otto
Poor little flower...dropped her petals and folded her tent.

Oh wait, wrong gay icon.


Actually I'm just in a lot of pain today and don't feel like arguing right now.
I'll be back asap w/ some cites. I've taken a couple hydrocodone some vicodine some acetominophine and some sodium naproxin... can't get rid of it.
I'll see ya later~JB

Maybe that's what I'll try next, a big glass of JB
#61
Old 08-08-2006, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbeam
I've taken a couple hydrocodone some vicodine some acetominophine and some sodium naproxin...
Judy? Is that you?
#62
Old 08-08-2006, 07:57 PM
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I'm not buying the angle that "Judy was a gay rights supporter, ergo gays like The Wizard of Oz."

If it was about Judy Garland, including or not including or father or daughter, why not "A Star Is Born" or "Girl Crazy" or "Gay Purr-ee?"

If it's all about Oz, why the Judy Garland version of the movie? Why not the 1902 stage play or the 1910 film, or the 1921 or 1925 versions of Oz?

Also bear in mind that it didn't break even when it came out — it made $3M when it came out, but it cost $3.8M to make. (For the time, admittedly, that's still one heck of a lot of tickets sold.)

There have been plenty of people in Hollywood, for some time, who were either themselves gay, tolerant of gays, or downright supportive of gays. There have also been plenty of other books and plays written — during Baum's time and before! — that have used some kind of gender-changing schtick, apart from Oz. I name you one for free: "As You Like It" by William Shakespeare. I could probably find another half-dozen books/movies/plays from 1900-1930 with similar themes.

So I'm gonna go out on a limb and say it doesn't much matter who made it, or who was in it, or who directed it, etc. My best guess: just like the Beatles, it was in the right place at the right time.

One, it's a children's film, which has the right undercurrents of alienation and belonging, of inadequacy and acceptance — so for people likely to resonate with the theme, it catches them early. This may be why it continues to catch the attention of such people today.

Two, though it was released the 30s, it was re-re-released and re-played on TV during the birth of the television era for millions of boomer-age children. This may be why it attained iconic status, so widely, so quickly.

Three, it's got monkeys. (Hey, I said I was guessing.)
#63
Old 08-08-2006, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Beware of Doug
I realize now why the Village People had a construction worker, and not a deconstruction worker.
Single best post of the month. Pithy, yet speaking volumes.

Brilliant.

I'd also heard the Garland/Stonewall connection. I'm surprised to hear it is an urban ( urbane ? ) myth. Got cites that prove it is a myth ?


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#64
Old 08-08-2006, 09:53 PM
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From p. 260 of the book Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution, by David Carter:
Quote:
Having considered what did cause the riots, it is worth considering another event that is often said to have caused them — the death of Judy Garland. The bibliography — that humble and uniquely useful research tool — gives us four essential pieces of information relevant to the theory that Garland's death caused the riots: (1) No eyewitness account of the riots written at the time by an identifiably gay person mentions Judy Garland. (2) The only account written in 1969 that suggests Garland's death contributed to the riots is by a heterosexual who sarcastically proposes the idea to ridicule gay people and the riots. (3) "D.D.'s New York," the gossip and news column of the New York Mattachine Newsletter, discussed the riots once . . . . [W]hat is conspicuous here is that the gossip maven makes the fallout from Stonewall the leading story, places six news items between Garland's death and the Stonewall Riots, and never connects the two events. . . . (4) Esquire magazine carried an article at the end of 1969 about the emergence of the "New Homosexual" in the riots' wake that briefly discusses Garland but does not credit her death with inspiring the riots . . . . Although the author notes that Garland's passing coincided with the riots, he sees this as symbolic, because he sees Garland as emblematic of the "Old Homosexual," who, already out of touch, became hopelessly pass้ with the changes the riots precipitated. Rather than inspiring the riots, Garland is seen as symbolically allied with the old order the riots ended and hence as a contrasting or oppositional symbol.
#65
Old 08-08-2006, 10:15 PM
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Finally some relief! Sorry about before.

Here goes a little backup on some of my stuff. I'll get it though, just gimme a list. I didn't make this shit up. I was just regurgitating what I'd ran across in my quest.
I'm not going to list the exhausting amount of sites that I have read during the course of this debate. I will address some of the questionable points you've made with limited cites.

Did Gable have Cukor kicked off the set of GWTW?

Quote:
However, the director's reputation as a "woman's director" (and homosexual) may have gotten him kicked off the set of Gone with the Wind (1939), when star Clark Gable allegedly said, "I won't be directed by a fairy." (Another version of this story has Gable's refusal to work with Cukor motivated by his belief that the director knew of the actor's own earlier same-sex escapades.)
http://glbtq.com/arts/cukor_g.html

Quote:
(He dismisses out of hand, for example, longstanding rumors that Gable got George Cukor fired from "Gone With the Wind" because the director knew of a homosexual incident in his past.)
http://variety.com/review/VE1117...ryid=1010&cs=1

Quote:
Selznick used Gable's complaints as an excuse to get rid of Cukor, whose directorial style he did not like
Quote:
"Selznick did fire George," Katharine Hepburn said, "but I don't think he really understood it. I think that Gable didn't like George...
Quote:
According to Cukor, in the last interview he gave, Gable had more compelling reasons for wanting him off the picture. Cukor knew of Gable's days as a hustler on the Hollywood gay circuit, when the actor first arrived in LA.
http://emanuellevy.com/article.php?articleID=1841

There's a few cites including the actors words on the subject. Not that this is a great issue regarding Oz just one of many.

Let's try another one:

Sexual content in pre 1939 versions of GWTW?

Quote:
At Kruel's command, "Do your stuff, Wizzy!" the Wizard produces, from a huge wicker chest, "The Phantom of the Basket", a terrifying transvestite whose impromptu dance number does a terrific job of cowing the pre-Rocky Horror Picture Show peasants, despite Prince Kynd's laughing assertion that it's all "a load of applesauce".
Quote:
Meanwhile, Kruel puts the moves on Dorothy with all the subtlety of a frat boy after a keg and a half. This scene of sexual harassment is interrupted by Kynd...

Quote:
Hardy's dead body doubtless lies shattered after his fall from the tower, Semon's corpse is splattered all over some borscht field, and the feckless Dorothy is makin' whoopee with some guy in a uniform whom she just met. If there is any sunshine offered by this turn of events, it is that hopefully Snowball found out that there were fully loaded machine guns on the biplane, and is currently merrily strafing a Ku Klux Klan rally.
bolding mine

http://stomptokyo.com/badmoviere.../wizard25.html

NOTE: L. Frank Baum played a role in most if not all of these pre '39 Oz films. Either as director, producer or screenwriter. So don't go there.

Again, there are numerous cites available if you just look.
Why do I mention pre-1939 Oz? To establish that Oz was already in Hollywood and that they weren't the happy colorful fantasy that we all know and love.

Maybe that'll do for now. Be back w/ more soon.

~JB
#66
Old 08-08-2006, 10:54 PM
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Without having looked at all of your links, i question the value of the ones I did look at, since they are unsourced. One inparticular, I'm sorry to say, you're completely misreprsenting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by your version
"Selznick did fire George," Katharine Hepburn said, "but I don't think he really understood it. I think that Gable didn't like George..
Quote:
Originally Posted by from your cite
"Selznick did fire George," Katharine Hepburn said, "but I don't think he really understood it. I think that Gable didn't like George, because he would be very careful with Vivien Leigh. He would be much more interested in the woman's character than in the man's." According to Hepburn, Cukor probably thought of Gable as "just one more character to present himself, whereas Leigh was a new personality. Disappointed, Gable might have thought, 'What the hell am I going to do? George is fascinated by Vivien Leigh and doesn't pay any attention to me.'"
This has nothing to do with any alleged homoseual past of Gable's and everything to do with Gable's fear that Cukor, having a reputation as a "women's director," would favor the women over him in a part that Gable was already insecure about doing.
#67
Old 08-08-2006, 11:19 PM
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All the quotes posted were accessable by the links I provided.
The one Hepburn quote did not address homosexuality. It was meant to show there was animosity between Gable and Cukor. Hepburn simply supports the idea that Gable may have been part of the reason Cukor was terminated. Whatever the reason was is debateable. If you read the previous quotes, Cukor said he knew of Gable's gay past and that was part of the reason.
Gable dismissed the rumor...thereby admitting the rumor existed.
But then you've got a quote where Gable says he wouldn't be directed by a fairy.
You've got both Cukor and Gable quotes admitting at the very least the rumor is true. You should know that whether a rumor is true or not matters little with the public, they're not going to ignore it either way.
Why are you so relunctant to admit that there was some problems between Cukor and Gable regarding their sexual past?
But, when you get right down to it. As far as the OP is concerned, the only thing that matters is, was Cukor gay or not?
#68
Old 08-09-2006, 12:06 AM
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Where is this "last interview Cukor gave"? The article lists no sources for any of the quotes.
#69
Old 08-09-2006, 12:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbeam
Finally some relief! Sorry about before.

Here goes a little backup on some of my stuff. I'll get it though, just gimme a list. I didn't make this shit up. I was just regurgitating what I'd ran across in my quest.

bolding mine

http://stomptokyo.com/badmoviere.../wizard25.html

NOTE: L. Frank Baum played a role in most if not all of these pre '39 Oz films. Either as director, producer or screenwriter. So don't go there.
Why should we take your machine-gun cites as anything but opinion, poorly written and even poorer researched, by you and the persons who wrote some of your links.

You spend an inordinate amount of time talking about a 1925 film by Semon. You somehow think that Baum had something to do with that movie. Hard to believe, since Baum died in 1919.
#70
Old 08-09-2006, 01:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panache45
The reason is that she was Judy, and the others weren't.
This reminds me of an exchange from Orgazmo:

"I am Sancho!"

"That's great... but what do you do?"

"What do I do? I am Sancho!"

"And?"

"And there are many Geoffs in the world, and many Toms as well. But I.. am Sancho!"

"And?"

"Are you Sancho? No, you are not Sancho. Neither is Scott Baio Sancho. Frank Gifford, he is not Sancho. But I..."

"You... are Sancho!"



Yeah, anyway, I'd never noticed the "Gay" themes in The Wizard of Oz (seeing it more as a perfect encapsulation of 1930s escapism, what with the Depression being on and so forth), but I can't say it's something I ever looked for, either.
#71
Old 08-09-2006, 02:21 AM
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I can see y'all are going to fight me tooth and nail over every detail.

1)Can all agree that Cukor was gay?
AND that he was temporary director on Oz if only for three days. right?

2)Can we also agree that Judy Garland was the lead actress and is an icon in the gay community?

Hey, I'm gonna try and get there one step at a time. I will discuss relevance if and when I get some idea of what we agree on.

Let's try it again.

Quote:
Throughout the 1910s, traveling road companies brought the The Wizard of Oz to cities and towns across the country. In fact, the play was so successful and so well known that subsequent editions of the The Wonderful Wizard of Oz were retitled The Wizard of Oz to reflect the popularity of the stage production
Quote:
Attempts to capture The Wizard of Oz on film date to 1910, when the Selig Polyscope Company created four one-reel silent movies based on the Wizard and other Oz books. In 1914, L. Frank Baum founded his own Hollywood film company. Its five silent features and several shorts based on Baum's stories were not successful — Baum sold the studio to Universal in 1915. In 1925, yet another silent film version also disappointed at the box-office.
http://rs6.loc.gov/ammem/today/may15.html
If you'll keep up with the links you'll see that Oz was a huge success and widely popular for years. Much more popular than the 1939 version when it initially came out.

BTW, I didn't say Baum did the 1925 version. Just that he played an active role in most of the pre 1939 Oz material.
The 1925 references were to simply show the differences from the '39 film.

I merely wanted to show evidence that Oz had a large fan base prior to '39.
If I can get that point conceded, I will continue and attempt to show how that is relevant.

So, do I get that point or not?

If so, I will continue.
#72
Old 08-09-2006, 02:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbeam
2)Can we also agree that Judy Garland was the lead actress and is an icon in the gay community?
This sounds dangerously like circular logic to me: Judy Garland is (is, present tense) because she was (past tense) in The Wizard of Oz, which is an iconic film among gays because Judy Garland was in it.

Or are you suggesting that Judy Garland, at age 17 in 1939, was a huge icon among gays when the movie was released?
#73
Old 08-09-2006, 02:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish
This sounds dangerously like circular logic to me: Judy Garland is (is, present tense) because she was (past tense) in The Wizard of Oz, which is an iconic film among gays because Judy Garland was in it.

Or are you suggesting that Judy Garland, at age 17 in 1939, was a huge icon among gays when the movie was released?
No, I just want concession that she IS. We'll get to the at what point did she become later. okay?
#74
Old 08-09-2006, 03:03 AM
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Okay... let's try another point. I claim that the word Gay was used in the early 1900's as reference to a persons sexual practice and/or preferences.

Quote:
The use of the term gay, as it relates to homosexuality, arises from an extension of the sexualised connotation of "carefree and uninhibited", implying a willingness to disregard conventional or respectable sexual mores. Such usage is documented as early as the 1920s
The word started to acquire sexual connotations in the late 17th century, being used with meaning "addicted to pleasures and dissipations". This was by extension from the primary meaning of "carefree": implying "uninhibited by moral constraints". By the late nineteenth century the term "gay life" was a well-established euphemism for prostitution and other forms of extramarital sexual behaviour that were perceived as immoral.

A cartoon from Punch magazine from 1857 illustrating the use of "gay" as a euphemism for prostitution.

Butbolding mine

By the mid-century "gay" was well-established as an antonym for "straight" (respectable sexual behaviour), and to refer to the lifestyles of unmarried and or unattached people. Other connotations of frivolousness and showiness in dress ("gay attire") led to association with camp and effeminacy. This range of connotation probably affected the gradual movement of the term towards its current dominant meaning, which was at first confined to subcultures. The subcultural usage started to become mainstream in the 1960s, when gay became the term predominantly preferred by homosexual men to describe themselves.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay

Okay according to Wiki.. the term gay was used early on to refer to sexual promiscuity and then later in reference to homosexuality. Then we get to the middle part of the 1900' and the definition changes due to social norms. Not again until the 60' or 70's does it reacquire sexual connotations.

Point conceded? Yes or no?
#75
Old 08-09-2006, 03:13 AM
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Now if there are no objections I'm gonna claim these points on agreement.

1) Cukor was a temporary director in the 1939 version of TWOO and he was a homosexual.

2) Judy Garland was the lead actress of Oz and she IS currently considered a gay icon.

3) The Wizard of Oz was a Success before the 1939 film.

4) The term "gay" was used in the past in reference to a person's sexuality.

If we can agree thus far let me know.
#76
Old 08-09-2006, 03:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Otto
Um...yes?

And it's "Cukor," as in George Cukor. And while the stories about his supposedly tricking with Gable while Gable was being gay for pay have been around for decades, I've never seen a reputable source for it.
[hijack]I can't help wondering what kind of "reputable" source there could be for such a thing. A receipt signed by Gable himself?

For example, plenty of people have insisted that James Dean engaged in a certain amount of gay sex while at the same time plenty of others just as strongly deny it. What kind of "reputable" source should we expect to confirm or disconfirm these claims? I can't think of anything other than rigorously examined explicit photographs!
#77
Old 08-09-2006, 03:54 AM
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Fish's reply in Post 62 seems as good as anyone's to me. I'm a gay man, but from my own experience and that of my gay friends, I have only the most meagre clue as to why TWoO has been singled out, at least as seen in the media, to have some special resonance with gay males. I've never actually met anyone who fits the media's stereotype in this regard. Personally, I still like it just because I liked it as a little kid and it's a good, fun story with a nice message, nothing more.

So I think that TWoO is homosexually iconic only to a subset (and probably a small one) of gay males, and primarily because it was held to be iconic to the much more closeted and cliquish Old Homosexuality that an earlier poster mentioned. In my opinion, the rest is just plain old stereotyping and media misrepresentation and perpetuation of obsolete mythology, just like the old saw about gays liking show tunes (another thing that no gay man I know actually likes).
#78
Old 08-09-2006, 04:07 AM
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There's a gay Canadian cartoonist named Maurice Vellekoop who drew a story about this specifically, in an early issue of Drawn and Quarterly. If I recall correctly, he said the movie was perfect, that gay culture has a preoccupation with perfection, and that it was of a piece with Swan Lake in this regard. Not the clearest explanation, but he gave it an honest shot.
#79
Old 08-09-2006, 05:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krokodil
There's a gay Canadian cartoonist named Maurice Vellekoop who drew a story about this specifically, in an early issue of Drawn and Quarterly. If I recall correctly, he said the movie was perfect, that gay culture has a preoccupation with perfection, and that it was of a piece with Swan Lake in this regard. Not the clearest explanation, but he gave it an honest shot.
Doesn't that only push the question back a step? On what possible basis could it be said that "gay culture has a preoccupation with perfection"? And even if it does, why should that be the case any more than the idea that TWoO is iconic to a small subset of gay males for no very compelling reason at all?
#80
Old 08-09-2006, 06:10 AM
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One more point before I knock off for awhile. Y'all hash it out and decide if I've made any points to which you can agree. I promise to tie it all up nice and pretty for you later.

Let's try to establish whether a gay culture existed in film prior to 1939 Oz.

http://musicals101.com/gay4.htm

"As silent film became a major industry, there were numerous intentional depictions of homosexual stereotypes, usually for comic effect -- effeminate cowboys, etc. However, few film goers of the early 20th Century were aware of the tremendous contribution gay talent made to early Hollywood. "

"Top silent stars Ramon Novarro and William Haines had legions of female fans who never suspected that they were homosexuals – well, the public didn't know, but damn near everyone in the film industry did. "

"Homosexual stereotypes had been common in silent films. It is perhaps appropriate that the first depiction of a blatantly homosexual character in a sound film was in the first all-sound movie musical, MGM's The Broadway Melody (1929). "

"There were many other examples of obvious homosexual characters in early musical films. For example, the first screen version of the stage hit The Desert Song (1929) "

"Heterosexual actor Bert Lahr minces and camps as The Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz (MGM 1939), but since his limp-wristed character shows no attraction to other males, code administrators viewed his sexuality as a non-issue. While we're on the subject of Oz .". .
"Why did The Wizard of Oz become a lasting focal point of gay culture? Consider the core plot: a misunderstood child yearns to escape a boring middle-American upbringing and learns that one must face life with brains, heart and courage – a blueprint that carries special resonance for many gays and lesbians. "

Just read the article I think it establishes the fact that there was a strong gay culture at work in Hollywood in the early days.

concede? disagree?

So what's that?

1) Cukor was a temporary director in the 1939 version of TWOO and he was a homosexual.

2) Judy Garland was the lead actress of Oz and she IS currently considered a gay icon.

3) The Wizard of Oz was a Success before the 1939 film.

4) The term "gay" was used in the past in reference to a person's sexuality

5) There was a large Gay culture at work in Hollywood from the start.

see ya later~JB
#81
Old 08-09-2006, 06:13 AM
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And, re: the above, let's grant for the purposes of discussion that Vellekoop's rather bizarre thesis is correct and gays adore perfection. I wonder what he thinks is so "perfect" about TWoO? I'm a gay man and in my experience, gay men rarely like movies or stories about women or girls very much; again it's a rank stereotype of gay men to assume very many of us are effeminate or admire women or stories about women over men. The Judy Garland/Marilyn Monroe worshippers are considerably more rare than the media and popular culture suggests or even outright states.

Furthermore, like people of any sexuality or gender, I rank films in my estimation based on far more important factors than the hidden or overt sexuality/homosexuality in them. In any case, I don't see anything to suggest TWoO is as or more "perfect" than, say, 2001: A Space Odyssey or Raiders of the Lost Ark. Why should other gays find it so?
#82
Old 08-09-2006, 06:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbeam
Quote:
"Why did The Wizard of Oz become a lasting focal point of gay culture? Consider the core plot: a misunderstood child yearns to escape a boring middle-American upbringing and learns that one must face life with brains, heart and courage – a blueprint that carries special resonance for many gays and lesbians. "
2001: A Space Odyssey: A misunderstood intelligence yearns to escape a boring middle-American upbringing and learns that one must face life with brains. Or: 2001: A Space Odyssey: an allegory of Nietzshe's Also Sprach Zarathustra that describes the evolution of the ape to man to Superman, a misunderstood space child who yearns to escape a boring middle-American upbringing and learns that one must face life with brains, heart and courage.

Raiders of the Lost Ark: A misunderstood archeologist has escaped a boring middle-American upbringing to learn that one must face life with brains, heart and courage.


In other words, your source hardly answers the OP.
#83
Old 08-09-2006, 08:01 AM
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If it's a stereotype, it isn't a very tightly-fitting one. Maybe it's found more in certain social, cultural, or geographical circles, but is not universal.

Salman Rushdie, for example, seems pretty non-gay to me. The last book by him that I read was Wizard of Oz (London: BFI, 1992), an appreciation of the movie. Rushdie went into great length about all the ways the movie has been an aesthetic inspiration his whole life, and gave as an example his nightmare version of Indira Gandhi in Midnight's Children, he just copied her from Margaret Hamilton's Wicked Witch.
#84
Old 08-09-2006, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbeam
Okay... let's try another point. I claim that the word Gay was used in the early 1900's as reference to a persons sexual practice and/or preferences.
Yes it was. So what? I would be willing to wager that the vast majority of the American public had no association between gay and homosexual at the time TWOO was released, and possibly not for years or decades later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbeam
Let's try to establish whether a gay culture existed in film prior to 1939 Oz.
Of course it did (for lack of a better term than "gay culture"). Again, so what?
#85
Old 08-09-2006, 09:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbeam
I can see y'all are going to fight me tooth and nail over every detail.
I, for one, am not really trying to fight "tooth and nail". I'm trying to understand if what you're presenting is made up by you (which is really all right - you're allowed to have your own ideas and opinions, but by SDMB conventions, they should be clearly labeled as such) or whether there's outside support for your assertions. (Otherwise known in SDMBese as "cite?")

And I can see that you're going to completely ignore my questions about your assertations about the book, as well as any points you make that later become inconvenient to your ever-shifting theses. Frankly, I'm no longer sure what point you're trying to make. But I am truly interested in what you're trying to say, so I'm willing to play Plato to your Socrates, as long as I can ask questions for clarification.

Quote:
1)Can all agree that Cukor was gay?
I can agree it's possible he was gay. I think, since I never met him, I'll never know for sure.
Quote:
AND that he was temporary director on Oz if only for three days. right?
The facts of this part seem undisputed, so yes, I'll agree.

Quote:
2)Can we also agree that Judy Garland was the lead actress and is an icon in the gay community?
Check and check

Quote:
Hey, I'm gonna try and get there one step at a time. I will discuss relevance if and when I get some idea of what we agree on.
Great! I can't wait.

Quote:
I merely wanted to show evidence that Oz had a large fan base prior to '39.
If I can get that point conceded, I will continue and attempt to show how that is relevant.
Absolutely, mostly due to the stage musical (although the book did quite well as well.)

Quote:
So, do I get that point or not?
Yep.
Quote:
If so, I will continue.
Please do.

Quote:
Let's try to establish whether a gay culture existed in film prior to 1939 Oz.

http://musicals101.com/gay4.htm

"As silent film became a major industry, there were numerous intentional depictions of homosexual stereotypes, usually for comic effect -- effeminate cowboys, etc. However, few film goers of the early 20th Century were aware of the tremendous contribution gay talent made to early Hollywood. "

"Top silent stars Ramon Novarro and William Haines had legions of female fans who never suspected that they were homosexuals – well, the public didn't know, but damn near everyone in the film industry did. "
(bolding mine)

If the public didn't know (and gay people are, I'm assuming, part of "the public") then how is this evidence for a gay culture or not?

Perhaps they were simply actors playing roles.

Is there a current Scientology culture? There are a hell of a lot of Scientologists in Hollywood - a far higher percentage than in the population at large. They're writiers, directors, actors, producers - yet save the occassional Battlefield Earth, there are few directly Scientological movies made. Are there Scientological undercurrents and themes in our movies simply because Scientologists are involved in the filmmaking process? Are they subconsciously appealing to a closeted Scientologist audience? Or are they professionals, like everyone else, acting the roles they're paid to act and writing the screenplays they're paid to write?

Quote:
"Homosexual stereotypes had been common in silent films. It is perhaps appropriate that the first depiction of a blatantly homosexual character in a sound film was in the first all-sound movie musical, MGM's The Broadway Melody (1929). "

"There were many other examples of obvious homosexual characters in early musical films. For example, the first screen version of the stage hit The Desert Song (1929) "

"Heterosexual actor Bert Lahr minces and camps as The Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz (MGM 1939), but since his limp-wristed character shows no attraction to other males, code administrators viewed his sexuality as a non-issue. While we're on the subject of Oz .". .
Again, mincing and prancing on stage (while it seems rather appropriate in musicals, 'cause, you know, they're musicals!) is funny. The fact that gay people have to put up with it as indicitive of their sexual choice is ridiculous, and something I've never understood.

But I'll grant that there were homosexual characters in movies before the Baby Boomers invented sex ( ). I'm not willing to grant that The Cowardly Lion was gay, however. I still maintain that Occam's Razor defends "child's story" and "comedic actor" as the more likely explanations.
Quote:
"Why did The Wizard of Oz become a lasting focal point of gay culture? Consider the core plot: a misunderstood child yearns to escape a boring middle-American upbringing and learns that one must face life with brains, heart and courage – a blueprint that carries special resonance for many gays and lesbians. "
And the blueprint, as has been pointed out, for countless coming-of-age stories, from Hercules and the Twelve Labors to The Once and Future King to Star Wars to The Lion King to The Matrix and beyond. Are they ALL gay movies?

Quote:
Just read the article I think it establishes the fact that there was a strong gay culture at work in Hollywood in the early days.
It certainly establishes that there were gay people working in Hollywood in the early days, but I don't think that one can say that's the same thing as a gay culture at work.

If a gay culture was at work, then why were the references so (pardon the pun) sly? Culture is not people. Culture is what they make, create, say and do. The gay people in Hollywood were so stiffled by The Powers That Be that they couldn't say much of anything unless they deeply hid their gayness.

Quote:
1) Cukor was a temporary director in the 1939 version of TWOO and he was a homosexual.
Yes and perhaps. If it'll help for the sake of your argument, I'll even pretend for a minute that we know Cukor was gay, although I don't think all the posters are willing to do that.

Quote:
2) Judy Garland was the lead actress of Oz and she IS currently considered a gay icon.
Yes, and the question of this thread was sort of asking why this is. I mean, I think we all take it for granted that her appearance in Oz has something to do with her being a gay icon, but we don't know why exactly.

Quote:
3) The Wizard of Oz was a Success before the 1939 film.
Yes.

Quote:
4) The term "gay" was used in the past in reference to a person's sexuality
Hold on buddy! You're playing loose with your own quotes again. Your own quote says:
"The subcultural usage started to become mainstream in the 1960s, when gay became the term predominantly preferred by homosexual men to describe themselves." Oz was made long before the 1960's

This sentence: "By the mid-century "gay" was well-established as an antonym for "straight" (respectable sexual behaviour), and to refer to the lifestyles of unmarried and or unattached people. Other connotations of frivolousness and showiness in dress ("gay attire") led to association with camp and effeminacy." makes it clear that "straight" and "gay" were not about heterosexual and homosexual orientation, but about acceptable sexual expression (i.e. married sex) and unacceptable sexual expression (i.e. prostitutes, bachelorhood, etc.)

And this sentence: "This range of connotation probably affected the gradual movement of the term towards its current dominant meaning, which was at first confined to subcultures." besides containing "probably" and no citation, indicates that the current meaning of "gay" was well confined to gay people themselves before 1960.

Since your assertion that the characters are "gay" in the modern sense comes from the fact that the word is used in the book, now you'll have to show evidence that Frank L. Baum was homosexual before 1960, since that's the only way he'd use that meaning (by your own quote's logic, anyway).

Quote:
5) There was a large Gay culture at work in Hollywood from the start.
Nope, not granted. That there were gay people working, highly closeted and afraid to tell anyone they were gay, I'll grant. That it had any overt influence on their work, I'm not yet willing to conceed, unless you have a different argument or some cites that aren't speculative (or are less biased.) What it has to do with The Wizard of Oz in particular, you have yet to articulate, although you keep saying your Manifesto is forthcoming.
#86
Old 08-09-2006, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ambushed
[hijack]I can't help wondering what kind of "reputable" source there could be for such a thing. A receipt signed by Gable himself?
The problem with the story is that:

1. It comes fourth hand (William Haines to George Cukor to unnamed friends of Cukor to author Emmanuel Levy).
2. It first saw light of day more than sixty years after the alleged events.
3. The author did not name his source(s).
4. The author did not provide any direct quotation from his sources.
5. In none of the interviews that Cukor gave on the subject of GWTW did he ever make such a claim. (Note that in the article you linked to above, no source is given for this alleged last interview with Cukor, and the only person not quoted in the article is Cukor!)

On the other hand, we have primary accounts (the memos of David Selznick) and secondary accounts (Cukor's private talk with Susan Myrick) of why Cukor was fired that date from 1938-1939, plus numerous interviews Cukor gave over the years on the topic of GWTW and his firing.

Can you see why trusting an anonymous, fourth-hand story more than six decades after the event might not be preferable to trusting primary and secondary evidence that dates to the time of the events? This is just plain journalistic common sense.

And finally, jimbeam yes, of course Cukor was homosexual. No one says he wasn't. But what does that have to do with The Wizard of Oz becoming a gay icon? Cukor's minor involvement* was unknown until long after the movie attained that status. You haven't explained how, given that fact, Cukor is relevant to your argument. As I said, there aren't big gay followings of David Copperfield, The Philadelphia Story, or Pat and Mike, films he actually directed.

* Cukor did it as a favor for producer Mervyn LeRoy. Cukor said, "I wouldn't have dreamed of doing it. I was brought up on grander things." He thought The Wizard of Oz was "a minor book full of fourth-rate imagery."
#87
Old 08-09-2006, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by WhyNot
I can agree it's possible [Cukor] was gay. I think, since I never met him, I'll never know for sure.
Are you willing to take Cukor's word for it? Because he said many, many times that he's gay.
#88
Old 08-09-2006, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Otto
Are you willing to take Cukor's word for it? Because he said many, many times that he's gay.
Absolutely. I'll take his recorded word for it. It'd be nice if jimbeam could link to such a quote (unless I missed it, which is possible), just out of a sense of decency. But if you're willing to vouch for that fact, I'll take it.

What I won't take is, as Walloon puts it, "an anonymous, fourth-hand story" about a specific relationship.

Again, I don't want to come across as pounding the crap out of jimbeam. For all I know, he's hit the nail right on the head. I just want to know why he thinks what he thinks.

We are still in GQ, after all, and not IMHO.
#89
Old 08-09-2006, 10:18 AM
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Not that I don't agree with you entirely but for the sake of accuracy:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walloon
2. It first saw light of day more than sixty years after the alleged events.
The story is included in either Hollywood Babylon or HB2 9looked it up yesterday for this thread and can't remember which) which were published in 1959 and 1981 respectively. So the story was known a little earlier than 60+ years after the fact.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Walloon
As I said, there aren't big gay followings of David Copperfield, The Philadelphia Story, or Pat and Mike, films he actually directed.
Interesting choices among Cukor's filmography...in fairness it must be mentioned that a number of his films do (or did) have strong gay followings, including among others Sylvia Scarlett, Dinner at Eight, Travels With My Aunt and of course The Women.
#90
Old 08-09-2006, 10:27 AM
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The story doesn't appear in Hollywood Babylon.
#91
Old 08-09-2006, 10:31 AM
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. . . and the first edition of Hollywood Babylon II was published in 1984 — which would be about sixty years after the alleged Haines-Gable thing.
#92
Old 08-09-2006, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhyNot
I'm not willing to grant that The Cowardly Lion was gay, however. I still maintain that Occam's Razor defends "child's story" and "comedic actor" as the more likely explanations.
The Lion is the classic stereotypical sissy. Which in the absence of an actual on-screen "gay" identity is as close as Hollywood in the 30s is going to get. Certainly seen through the eyes of 21st Century sophistates such as ourselves Lion is going to read as gay, and would also have read to those who knew how to read it back in the day, IOW, the gay subculture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Walloon
. . . and the first edition of Hollywood Babylon II was published in 1984 — which would be about sixty years after the alleged Haines-Gable thing.
Wikipedia says 1981 but who knows if that's right, but either way I'll manfully concede the point.
#93
Old 08-09-2006, 12:14 PM
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It's gonna be hard to make a connection if we can't agree on a few simple points which are clearly true.
I don't have time right now but I'll get back to this later this evening.

Cukor not gay? please
The definition of gay in the 20's not sexual? read the cite
No gay culture in the 20's? Whether the public knew this is irrelevent, the OP asks "why gays associate w/ Oz." It doesn't matter what the public knew or didn't know about it.

If you're gonna just outright dismiss the obvious there's not much point in trying to explain myself.
Like I said, I'll be back later.
#94
Old 08-09-2006, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbeam
the OP asks "why gays associate w/ Oz."
The OP actually asks why there is the gay identification with the 1939 Wizard of Oz. So while the discussion of the books and the earlier silent versions and what-not is entertaining and all, it really isn't responsive to the OP.
#95
Old 08-09-2006, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbeam
Like I said, I'll be back later.
I hope when you return you...

not going to say pie, not going to say pie

...include a citation of exactly when it can be said to have achieved iconic status with gays, and base your justifications on what was known by the public at that time — not retroactively apply to 1939 what was only known later.

Wikipedia's cite, for what it's worth, doesn't explicitly mention a gay subculture, but claims the movie didn't reach iconic status until after it had been on television repeats for years. It's been difficult to find corroboration for the exact timeline of when the film entered the public consciousness in that fashion.
#96
Old 08-11-2006, 05:45 AM
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Originally Posted by jimbeam
Cukor not gay? please
Here comes strawman, next to the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion.

Nobody said Cukor wasn't gay! I clearly said he was.
#97
Old 08-11-2006, 06:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walloon
Here comes strawman, next to the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion.

Nobody said Cukor wasn't gay! I clearly said he was.
Well, you have to admit that of all possible threads to bring up a straw man in, this is the obvious one!
#98
Old 08-11-2006, 06:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walloon
Here comes strawman, next to the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion.

Nobody said Cukor wasn't gay! I clearly said he was.
strawman funny

I know YOU didn't say it. I heard it somewhere though, along with the dismissal of some rather obvious points.
Anyway, I had a few days off when we started this but I'm gonna have to hit and miss another day or two.

Try this on.

Quote:
Since its emergence in the English language in the 16th century (related to the German quer, meaning or'across, at right angle, diagonally or transverse'), queer has generally meant 'strange', 'unusual', or 'out of alignment'. It might refer to something suspicious or 'not quite right', or to a person with mild insanity or who exhibits socially inappropriate behavior. The expression 'in Queer Street' was used in the UK in the early 20th century for someone in financial trouble. It gained its implication of sexual deviance (especially that of homosexual and/or effeminate males) in the late 19th century; an early recorded usage of the word in this sense was in a letter by John Sholto Douglas, 9th Marquess of Queensberry to his son Lord Alfred Douglas.
[ibolding mine[/i]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queer

Sorry, I haven't been able to get back to this. I really want to so be patient.

While I'm here I thought I'd drop a link.
The word gay AND queer were both used in reference to sexual "deviance" and/or homosexual behavior. NOW I'm not saying that Baum was either. I am only saying that the words were used in his books. Used probably in their conventional sense only but used nonetheless.
However when Oz hit the stage and screen they were subject to interpretation by the individuals who brought the books to life on stage and screen.
Considering this, the nature of the characters and everything else. It only makes sense that the existing gay culture would find Oz appealing.
Remember Oz was huge then. It was more successful than the 1939 version initially was.
I don't have time to continue but...food for thought.
Why did Baum's film adaptations fail so miserably? But afterwards, Baum sold his studio and Oz was recast and refilmed, it became a success again?

... gotta run ~JB
#99
Old 08-11-2006, 06:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbeam
I heard it somewhere though
Nowhere in this thread did anyone say that.
#100
Old 08-11-2006, 06:52 AM
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You sure? Okay, my mistake. I coulda swore somebody said that. Anyway, no problem I'll be back asap. Have a good day.
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