Due to the box office failure of “Patchwork Girl of Oz,” this movie lost its distribution deal from Paramount Pictures and was only released, in modified form, in 1917. I suppose that should disqualify it from nomination for any Century Awards, but I don’t feel I have to be as picky as the Academy is. It does seem somewhat less effective to me, in that where “Patchwork Girl” was accessible to small children by having few intertitles and clear on-screen action, this movie had a lot of intertitles, and would require an adult or older child to explain it to a pre-literate child. Another interesting difference is that “Patchwork Girl” was divided into several discrete “parts” or chapters, while this is one continuous storyline. Again, Violet MacMillan returns in the role of a boy, this time one who is randomly chosen as king of “Noland,” a city which is assaulted by Rolly Rogues and by the witch-queen Zixi. Fortunately his (or her) sister, played by Mildred Harris (who later worked with Griffith on his remake of “Enoch Arden” and “Intolerance”) has inherited a magic cloak from the fairies. Also fortunately, their loyal mule Nickodemus gathers an effective fighting force from the animals of the forest and does most of the magic cloak’s work for it.
Director: J. Farrell MacDonald
Writer/Producer: L. Frank Baum
Camera: James A. Crosby
Starring: Violet MacMillan, Mildred Harris, Fred Woodward, Juanita Hansen.
Run Time: 41 Min