Hello, The Wizard of Oz enthusiasts! Many authors have written about the iconic movie over the years. Two authors who have written many books about The Wizard of Oz are Jay Scarfone and William Stillman.
Both are life-long enthusiasts of The Wizard of Oz and were fortunate to author several books about the 1939 motion picture classic. One of the most recently published works is the award-winning, The Wizard of Oz: The Official 75th Anniversary Companion (HarperCollins, 2013). Learn how each of them came to know and appreciate The Wizard of Oz.
Scarfone’s fascination with the movie is attributed to the 1939 motion picture version of The Wizard of Oz. Although he cannot remember the first time he saw the film; he knew it was always there in his earliest childhood memories due to the once-a-year television broadcasts. Back then, seeing The Wizard of Oz on TV was an event—as important to so many while growing up as were Christmas and birthdays. The excitement of seeing that first television commercial announcing the year’s upcoming telecast was enough to keep him watching as many commercial breaks as he could manage (hoping to catch as many ads for the broadcast as possible), right up until the long-awaited airdate. This excitement was shared by all his classmates and teachers, to the point of ongoing school-day buzz in the days before and after Oz aired.
The annual Wizard of Oz telecasts were an Easter-time tradition when he was a youngster. He recalled more than one airing of Oz happening right on Easter Sunday, which caused a bit of anxiety amidst his excitement. He needed to know if his family would be spending the holiday at a relative’s house, and if so, would they be back home in time for the start of the movie? If not, would everyone at the gathering agree to watch the movie on the single television set in the house—and would they be quiet until it was over? Fortunately, he says, it always worked out somehow . . .
Stillman’s earliest memories of The Wizard of Oz are twofold. He recalls watching it on television in the mid- to late-1960s when it aired annually at Christmastime. In those days, he was not allowed to stay up to watch the whole movie, and he remembers having to go to bed about the time that Dorothy met the Scarecrow. Unlike the childhood memories of so many others, he was never frightened by the Winged Monkeys. However, he was most unnerved by the Munchkins! There was something about them that made him suspicious. He wondered if the Munchkins made anyone else uncomfortable.
Also, at this time, his mother read to him from a picture book edition of The Wizard of Oz. It was a condensed version with charming illustrations by Anton Loeb. (This book was in print from 1950 to the early 1980s so many readers are likely to recall it as well.) He remembers learning to recognize words by following along as his mother read to him at bedtime. He especially recalls the discussion between Dorothy and the Good Witch about the Land of Oz not being “civilized.”
As an adult, Stillman was able to own three of the original illustrations from this book.
In a joint effort, Scarfone and Stillman have spent their lifetimes researching and collecting The Wizard of Oz, especially the famous 1939 motion picture. Through their published works, including The Wizard of Oz: The Official 75th Anniversary Companion, their mission has always been to share the treasures they have discovered during their research odyssey down the Yellow Brick Road. It is always exciting to “spring” new information and—particularly—newly uncovered images in their publications for Oz fans of all ages. They avidly look forward to continuing to be a resource for all things Oz!
Scarfone and Stillman, in addition to authoring several books about the Wizard of Oz, have helped organize the International Wizard of Oz Club’s Munchkin Convention for several years. Stillman also served as editor-in-chief of The Baum Bugle. Scarfone has also served on the Oz Club’s Board of Directors.
Want to learn more about The Wizard of Oz? Pick up your own copy ofThe Wizard of Oz: The Official 75th Anniversary Companion today! You can also pick up other books the two have written about The Wizard of Oz below.
Commemorating the seventy-fifth anniversary of The Wizard of Oz, the collectible edition of The Wizard of Oz: The Official 75th Anniversary Companion delivers an interactive experience, transporting readers over the rainbow and into the Land of Oz with its host of unpublished artwork, behind-the-scenes stories from the stars, and removable special features.
Open the door to the Land of Oz and travel down the Yellow Brick Road with Dorothy and her companions on the journey of a lifetime. Learn the filmmaking tricks and techniques behind the film’s realistic tornado, why Dorothy’s shoes were ruby-colored, and how the filmmakers got a fleet of Winged Monkeys to fly. Authors Jay Scarfone and William Stillman reveal filmmaking secrets and information on everything from the film’s pre- and postproduction to early reviews and publicity to never-before-published stories from the cast and crew, making it the definitive book on the subject. Beautifully designed with an array of film stills, Technicolor™ test frames, rare artwork and photography, and costume and set illustrations, this collectible edition provides an unrivaled glimpse at the land where dreams come true.
The Wizard of Oz: The Official 75th Anniversary Companion Hardcover – October 29, 2013
Written by Jay Scarfone and William Stillman, and designed in close collaboration with Warner Bros., the book features accessible text, a host of never-before-seen memorabilia, and nine removable features. The book has 176 pages and commemorates the 75th anniversary of the release of The Wizard of Oz.
The Road to Oz: The Evolution, Creation, and Legacy of a Motion Picture Masterpiece Hardcover – October 1, 2018
This book by Jay Scarfone and William Stillman is a complete retelling of how The Wizard of Oz was created and received its iconic status. Included are newly discovered interviews from the period, transcriptions, and commentary from those who were there. The book has 392 pages.
The Wizard of Oz: The Official 50th Anniversary Pictorial History Hardcover – August 1, 1989
This is the definitive book about the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz written by Jay Scarfone and William Stillman. It offers a pictorial history of one of the most popular movies of all time. The book has 245 pages.
The Wizard of Oz Collector’s Treasury Hardcover – March 1992
This book by Jay Scarfone and William Stillman has over 90 years’ worth of memorabilia for you to enjoy. This is an astounding book has over 1000 “Ozzy” artifacts, documented, and categorized into 16 different sections. The book has 254 pages.
The Wizardry of Oz: The Artistry and Magic of the 1939 MGM Classic (Applause Books) Paperback – June 1, 2004
This is a revised and expanded edition with never-before-seen photos and information explaining the artistry behind The Wizard of Oz. Written by Jay Scarfone and William Stillman, the book has 256 pages.