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William H. Cannon was Mervyn LeRoy's assistant at MGM in 1938. In preparation for the studio's production of The Wizard of Oz, Cannon submitted a four-page treatment of the story on 26 February 1938.

Cannon and other MGM personnel were wrestling with ways to adapt L. Frank Baum's story — in Cannon's words, how to represent the story as "a fairyland of 1938 and not 1900." Cannon felt that any magic should be minimized in the film, and that the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman should not be presented as Baum's fantasy creations but as dressed-up human beings — as they had been in the 1925 Oz film.

Producers LeRoy and Arthur Freed rejected Cannon's ideas, and chose to make their version faithful to the original book.


  • John Fricke, Jay Scarfone, William Stillman. The Wizard of Oz: The Official 50th Anniversary Pictorial History. Warner Books, 1989.