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Oz incarnations

With the release of 'Oz the Great and Powerful,' we're celebrating 103 years of the wizard on-screen

By Bryan Reesman
Special to MSN Movies

L. Frank Baum's classic children's story "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" was transformed from an early 20th-century best-seller into one of the most revered movies of all time. The funny thing is, the classic 1939 film brightened up and sanitized the darker, more violent tone of the original tale. (And some might argue that it nixed the sociopolitical undertones as well.) Regardless, MGM created a classic family film that has endured for nearly 75 years, although other filmmakers have been inspired to try their hands at different renditions of the tale, some exploring other books in the series.

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With "Oz the Great and Powerful" getting ready to take over theaters, MSN Movies looks at various Oz incarnations on film from the last 103 years. Yes, we said 103 years (the first Oz incarnation being a silent short film created in 1910). The first of 14 Oz books came out in 1900, and the series material received many silent-film treatments before the 1939 Technicolor musical that changed everything. Given how many books Baum wrote, there has been a wealth of material to choose from. Not surprisingly, most of the well-known ones stick to the first book, but there are some notable exceptions.

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(Walt Disney Pictures)