‘Wizard of Oz’ draft scripts head for auction block

Author: 
Reuters
ID: 
1541678521073304100
Thu, 2018-11-08 12:00

LOS ANGELES: A collection of draft scripts for “The Wizard of
Oz” and other material from the archives of the 1939 film are
going up for auction in December and could fetch up to $1.2
million.
Los Angeles auctioneers Profiles in History said on Thursday four
handwritten draft screenplays by Noel Langley were being sold.
Langley, who died in 1980, was one of about a dozen screenwriters
who worked on the big screen adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s
children’s book that catapulted Judy Garland to fame and became
an enduring movie classic.
Langley’s first three original drafts, dated between April 5 and
May 14, 1938, are being sold alongside a fourth draft of the
screenplay, written by Florence Ryerson and Edgar Allan Woolf, and
a fifth draft from August 1938 by Langley.
“It is the single most important manuscript in Hollywood
history,” Brian Chanes, head of consignment at Profiles in
History, told Reuters.
Chanes said the more than 150 pages of handwritten manuscript notes
and pages were “the genesis of ‘The Wizard of Oz,’” tracing
its development and changes from first draft to the final
version.
Some 16 photos of special effects, including the tornado sequence
that transports Garland’s Dorothy from Kansas to the magical land
of Oz, will be included in the single lot.
The archive is being sold by an anonymous private collector who
bought it years ago from the late Los Angeles memorabilia
collector, Forrest J. Ackerman, Chanes said.
Profiles in History put an estimated sale value of $800,000 —
$1.2 million on the archival material, which will be auctioned
during its Hollywood memorabilia sale in Los Angeles from Dec.
11-14.
Langley, Ryerson and Woolf all received credits for the screenplay
when the movie was released in 1939, but several others also made
uncredited revisions and contributions.
“The studio assigned a number of script writers and each
scriptwriter did not know the other was working on it. The others
kind of fizzled out,” Chanes said. “Noel Langley is the one
that really set the stage.”
“The Wizard of Oz” won just two Oscars — for its music —
after it was released in 1939 but went on to become one of the
best-known musicals in Hollywood history. In 1989, it was among the
first to be preserved by the National Film Registry.

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‘Wizard of Oz’ draft scripts head for auction block