Tag Archives: Jean Marsh

Return to Oz (1985) | Walter Murch



Nine months after her Oz experience, Dorothy wants to return to check in with her friends. Aunt Em thinks Dorothy is mentally ill. She seeks treatment from an experimental clinic using electroshock therapy to treat maladies of the mind. Dorothy is taken to an eerie clinic run by an uncaring Dr. Worley and the stern Nurse Wilson.

During the treatment, a mysterious girl watching over Dorothy intervenes during a lightning strike that halts the experiment. Dorothy escapes down a nearby river, washing ashore in the land of Oz again. Except the Yellow Brock Road is demolished. The Emerald City is in ruins and its inhabitants, including all of her old friends, have been turned to stone by the mad Nome King. Except for the Scarecrow, who ran Emerald City in her absence, who has been imprisoned. Along with her hen Billina, a broomstick figure with a pumpkin for a head named, obviously, Jack Pumpkinhead, a robotic soldier named Tik Tok, and a flying beast of burden named The Gump, it’s up to Dorothy to stop the mad Nome King and the evil Princess Mombi from destroying the Oz that once was for good.

Fairuza Balk stars as Dorothy in her debut feature film. Walter Murch directs and co-writes this nightmarish cult adventure.


Willow (1988) | Ron Howard



The story involves Willow Ufgood (Warwick Davis), a farmer who dreams of becoming a sorcerer’s apprentice among the Nerwyns, which are a race of little people. One day, he encounters a baby who has washed onto the riverbank near his farm. The baby, who we come to learn is named Elora Danan, is a Daikini, a race much larger than the Nerwyns, but Willow’s brethren don’t think it’s a good idea to keep her. The evil-witch Queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh) has minions, including her warrior-princess daughter Sorsha (Joanne Whalley) and vicious skull-faced warrior General Kael (Pat Roach), actively searching for this baby smuggled out from under her nose because she may be the prophecy foretold to end her reign, a child with a special mark upon its arm. Willow accepts the mission to return the baby back to the first Daikini he meets, with a few other Nerwyns in tow.

Along the way, they encounter and recruit that first Daikini, Madmartigan (Val Kilmer), a skilled but down-on-his-luck mercenary, who agrees to take the baby for release from capture.  THe Daikinis are in the midst of a war with the legions on Bavmorda’s side, putting Elora’s fate in jeopardy should they fall short. However, Willow gets another directive from a fairy to find the good witch on a remote island. With Madmartigan and a couple of Brownies, who are from a human-like race even smaller than the Nerwyns, only nine inches in height, Willow seeks to find a way to protect the baby. Ron Howard directs this story by producer George Lucas.