His Majesty, the Scarecrow of Oz is a 1914 American silent fantasy adventure film directed by J. Farrell MacDonald and written and produced by L. Frank Baum. It stars Violet MacMillan, Frank Moore, Vivian Reed, Todd Wright, Pierre Couderc, and Fred Woodward.
The film had a troubled distribution history; it opened on October 14, 1914, to little success, though it was received as well above average fare by critics of the time. Early in 1915, it was reissued under the title The New Wizard of Oz and was slightly more successful.
The film is loosely based on Baum’s book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, but in the screenplay Baum introduced many new characters and a large new story that later became the basis for the 1915 book The Scarecrow of Oz. Similar to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the Scarecrow’s origin is revealed, although his life is now attributed to “the Spirit of the Corn”, who appears as a conventional Hollywood depiction of a Native American. The Tin Woodman is found rusted stiff and oiled, but he is already Emperor of the Winkies. Dorothy is a slave to Mombi (Wells) who looks like W.W. Denslow’s depiction of the Wicked Witch of the West. The Cowardly Lion is encountered only briefly, and battles The Lonesome Zoop, a character who appears in all three films. All of the animal roles are attributed to Fred Woodward, though too many appear in the same shot at once for him to have played them all.
By The Oz Film Manufacturing Company, J. Farrell MacDonald (direction) and Frank Baum (scenario and production) (YouTube) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons