Friday, December 31, 2010

"If I only had a brain ..."

I watched The Wizard of Oz over Christmas, and again swooned at one of my first movie-crushes.

Though the entire cast gives fantastic performances, I have always harbored a special love for Ray Bolger's portrayal of the Scarecrow. I really believe he is stuffed with straw as he flails his limbs, and quivers over lighted matches. Also, while he bemoans his lack of intellect, he always proves the smartest and bravest one of the bunch. Secretly, I believe he saves Dorothy from the Wicked Witch of the West at the end. She seems to appreciate (and crush on?) him too with her super-tear-jerking line "I think I'll miss you most of all," before she departs from Oz.

Despite my admiration for the Scarecrow, I do not know much about Bolger, and I do not think I have seen him in another film. According to Wikipedia (I know, but I always go there first for some initial info), he seemed mostly a stage actor and television actor, although he did score some fancy film credits with The Great Ziegfield (1936) and Babes in Toyland (1961). Also, interesting to note how he got the the Scarecrow role. I knew Buddy Ebsen played the Tin Man for a bit, but dropped out due to an illness the make-up caused. However, I did not know Ebsen apparently first signed on to play the Scarecrow, while Bolger played the Tin Man, and the two switched roles to accommodate Bolger's preference.

I wish Bolger had more screen credits, as I would love to see him outside his Scarecrow/Hunk personas. But I am still happy watching him do the same routines over and over.


Shybiker said...

To learn about films and actors, I go to the best source of information: The Internet Movie Database ( Their listing for Bolger has all of his films (there were quite a few), his time on Broadway, a bio, and his guest-appearances on TV shows.

Happy New Year, Francy!

billy said...

he was a very talented actor/dancer. I lked him. Thanks for remembering him

tess said...

I haven't watched The Wizard of Oz in years...definitely need to give it another viewing

emma wallace said...

Ooh! He was always my favorite too! He is in "The Harvey Girls" - a musical with Judy Garland and Angela Lansbury - you should check it out!

Happy New Year!