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Encyclopedia > Return to Oz
Return to Oz

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Walter Murch
Produced by Paul Maslansky
Written by L. Frank Baum (novels)
Gill Dennis
Walter Murch
Starring Fairuza Balk
Nicol Williamson
Jean Marsh
Piper Laurie
Matt Clark
Music by David Shire
Cinematography David Watkin
Freddie Francis
Editing by Leslie Hodgson
Distributed by Buena Vista Distribution
Release date(s) Flag of the United States June 21, 1985
Flag of the United Kingdom July 10, 1985
Flag of France August 28, 1985
Flag of Italy September 6, 1985
Flag of Japan March 29, 1986
Running time 113 min.
Country United Kingdom
United States
Language English
Budget $25,000,000
Preceded by The Wizard of Oz
Allmovie profile
IMDb profile
Oz Portal

Return to Oz is an Academy Award-nominated 1985 film which is the semi-sequel to The Wizard of Oz. It was made by Walt Disney Pictures without the involvement of MGM, the studio that made the 1939 film. However, no approval was necessary, because by 1985 all of the Oz books on which the film was based were in the public domain. A large fee was paid, however, to use the ruby slippers, which were still the intellectual property of MGM at the time (the rights to the 1939 film and all elements now rest with Time Warner). The film was directed by Walter Murch, and although it did not fare well at the box office and received mixed reviews from critics, it has attracted a small cult following. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Walter Murch speaking 13 March 2005 Walter Scott Murch (born July 12, 1943) is an Academy Award–winning film editor/sound mixer. ... Lyman Frank Baum (May 15, 1856 – May 6, 1919) was an American author, actor, and independent filmmaker best known as the creator, along with illustrator W. W. Denslow, of one of the most popular books in American childrens literature, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, better known today as simply... Fairuza Alejandra Balk (born May 21, 1974) is an American film actress. ... Nicol Williamson as Merlin in Excalibur Nicol Williamson (b. ... Jean Lyndsay Torren Marsh (born 1 July 1934) is a Golden Globe-nominated English actress and writer, who is best known for co-creating the British period drama Upstairs, Downstairs with Eileen Atkins. ... Piper Laurie (born January 22, 1932) is an American actress. ... Matt Clark (November 25, 1936-) is a character actor with credits in both film and television, who has played diverse character roles in Westerns, comedies, and dramas. ... David Shire David Shire (born July 3, 1937) is an American songwriter and the composer of stage musicals and film and television scores. ... David Watkin (born March 23, 1925 in Margate, England) is an influential British cinematographer who was among the first directors of photography to experiment heavily with the usage of bounce light as a soft light source. ... Freddie Francis (born December 22, 1917) is an English cinematographer and film director. ... Buena Vista production logo, 1950s. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... is the 172nd day of the year (173rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the year. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom. ... is the 191st day of the year (192nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the year. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... is the 240th day of the year (241st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the year. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Italy. ... is the 249th day of the year (250th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the year. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Japan. ... is the 88th day of the year (89th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1986 (MCMLXXXVI) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link displays 1986 Gregorian calendar). ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... The Wizard of Oz (film) redirects here. ... Image File history File links Portal. ... Return to Oz is: Return to Oz, the 1964 animated television special Return to Oz, the 1985 motion picture Return to Oz, the song by Scissor Sisters This is a disambiguation page: a list of articles associated with the same title. ... Although he never won an Oscar for any of his movie performances, the comedian Bob Hope received two honorary Oscars for his contributions to cinema. ... // Back to the Future, starring Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd and Lea Thompson Rambo: First Blood Part II, starring Sylvester Stallone Rocky IV, starring Sylvester Stallone The Color Purple, starring Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover, Oprah Winfrey, Margaret Avery, Rae Dawn Chong, Adolph Caesar Out of Africa, starring Meryl Streep and... The Wizard of Oz (film) redirects here. ... Old logo from 1985-2006 Walt Disney Pictures refers to several different entities associated with The Walt Disney Company: Walt Disney Pictures, the film banner, was established as a designation in 1983, prior to which Disney films since the death of Walt Disney were released under the name of the... For alternate meanings of MGM, see MGM (disambiguation). ... The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ... Time Warner Inc. ... Walter Murch speaking 13 March 2005 Walter Scott Murch (born July 12, 1943) is an Academy Award–winning film editor/sound mixer. ...

Contents

Plot summary

The movie's plot is a combination of L. Frank Baum's novels Ozma of Oz and The Marvelous Land of Oz, both of which were written as sequels to the novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Lyman Frank Baum (May 15, 1856 – May 6, 1919) was an American author, actor, and independent filmmaker best known as the creator, along with illustrator W. W. Denslow, of one of the most popular books in American childrens literature, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, better known today as simply... The original 1907 book cover by John R. Neill. ... The Marvelous Land of Oz, commonly shortened to The Land of Oz, published in 1904, is the second of L. Frank Baums books set in the Land of Oz, and the sequel to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. ... The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900) is a childrens book written by L. Frank Baum and illustrated by W.W. Denslow. ...


It has been some months after the events of The Wizard of Oz, and Dorothy Gale (Fairuza Balk) cannot stop thinking about the experience and her friends the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman and the Cowardly Lion. One night Dorothy sees a shooting star, and the next morning while checking for eggs from her hen Billina, Dorothy comes across a key that she thinks was sent from Oz on that shooting star. Auntie Em (Piper Laurie) is concerned over Dorothy's inability to sleep since her return, so she sends Dorothy to stay overnight at Dr. Worley (Nicol Williamson)'s clinic in town to "cure" her by electro-shock therapy. When waiting in her assigned room, Dorothy is visited by a mysterious blonde girl (Emma Ridley) who later helps Dorothy escape from the clinic when she reveals that patients have been driven insane by Worley's treatment. However, they are pursued by Nurse Wilson (Jean Marsh), and the two girls fall into the nearby river. For the Doctor Who character, see Ace (Doctor Who). ... Fairuza Alejandra Balk (born May 21, 1974) is an American film actress. ... The Scarecrow is a character in the fictional Land of Oz created by American author L. Frank Baum and illustrator William Wallace Denslow. ... The Tin Woodman (also known as The Tin Man or The Tin Woodsman (the latter appearing only in adaptations)) is a character in the fictional Land of Oz created by American author L. Frank Baum. ... Cover of The Cowardly Lion of Oz (1929) by Ruth Plumly Thompson. ... Billina is a hen tossed overboard in a storm with Dorothy Gale in the novel Ozma of Oz, the third Oz book, and a sequel to L. Frank Baums The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. ... Piper Laurie (born January 22, 1932) is an American actress. ... Nicol Williamson as Merlin in Excalibur Nicol Williamson (b. ... Electroconvulsive therapy, also known as electroshock or ECT, is a type of psychiatric shock therapy involving the induction of an artificial seizure in a patient by passing electricity through the brain. ... Jean Lyndsay Torren Marsh (born 1 July 1934) is a Golden Globe-nominated English actress and writer, who is best known for co-creating the British period drama Upstairs, Downstairs with Eileen Atkins. ...


Dorothy awakens to find herself back in Oz with her hen Billina who now can talk (Denise Bryer). The two venture across the Deadly Desert, and upon entering the nearby forest, discover the yellow brick road destroyed. Dorothy follows it all the way to the ruins of the Emerald City which has been deprived of all its emeralds, and all its civilians including the Tin Woodsman and Cowardly Lion turned to stone. The Scarecrow, who is king, is missing. The city is overrun with Wheelers, humanoids with wheels instead of hands and feet. Hiding in a secret room accessed by the key obtained at the beginning of the film, Dorothy and Billina meet the Royal Army of Oz, Tik-Tok, a clockwork robotic man. After beating up the Wheelers, Tik-Tok makes one talk and take them to Mombi, who is now the ruler of the city. Mombi, who is a witch and has 31 heads, explains that the Nome King was behind the destruction of the Emerald City and the kidnapping of the Scarecrow. The road of yellow brick is an element in the novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. ... For other uses, see Emerald City (disambiguation). ... Tik-Tok of Oz For the novel by John Sladek, see Tik-Tok (novel). ... Mombi is a character from the L Frank Baum Oz Books series, and appears in the book The Marvelous Land of Oz. ...


Mombi locks Dorothy and Billina in the attic, where they meet Jack Pumpkinhead, a man with a pumpkin for a head. He explains he was brought to life by Mombi's Powder of Life, and this gives Dorothy an idea to escape. Dorothy and Jack restore a wound-down Tik-Tok who helps Jack build a flying machine using the head of a Gump, a moose-like animal. Dorothy steals Mombi's Powder of Life to bring the Gump to life, but Mombi catches her in the act. The group escape on the Gump, who is able to fly. The group later crash land on the mountain of the Nome King, and the Nome King explains to Dorothy that the Scarecrow "stole" the emeralds of the Emerald City, and he only reacted accordingly. The Nome King also reveals that he is now in possession of the Ruby Slippers, which have allowed him to conquer Oz. cover of Jack Pumpkinhead of Oz (1929) by By Ruth Plumly Thompson Jack Pumpkinhead is a character from the fictional Oz book series by L. Frank Baum. ... For other uses, see Pumpkin (disambiguation). ... The Gump is a character from the Oz Books series by L. Frank Baum. ... Cover of The Gnome King of Oz (1927) by Ruth Plumly Thompson. ... The original ruby slippers used in The Wizard of Oz; now on display at the Smithsonian. ...


The Nome King takes pity on Dorothy when she cries and offers her a chance to set things right. One by one, Dorothy and her friends venture into the king's ornament room to search for an ornament that the Scarecrow has been transformed into. They each have three guesses, but all fail except Dorothy who frees the Scarecrow from a green emerald. Dorothy's friends are restored one by one when an enraged Nome King attacks. He tries to eat Jack, but Billina lays an egg which falls down the king's throat, killing him, due to the fact eggs are poisonous to Nomes. Reclaiming the Ruby Slippers, Dorothy wishes for all her friends to escape the mountain, and to restore the Emerald City and all its citizens.


The citizens of Oz celebrate Dorothy's triumph and ask her to become the Queen of Oz, but she declines. The blonde girl from the clinic appears in a mirror, and it is revealed she is Ozma, the rightful ruler of Oz, but she was sealed away by Mombi and the Nome King. Dorothy is returned to her world where she is found by Toto, Uncle Henry and Aunt Em. Aunt Em reveals Dr. Worley's clinic burned down during the night and he died saving his machines. A jail cart travels by, with Nurse Wilson inside. The film concludes with Dorothy's new house being finished, and she sees Ozma and Billina in a mirror, hinting her adventures in Oz may not be a dream. Ozma has several meanings: Ozma is the name invented by L. Frank Baum for Princess Ozma, ruler of his fictional land of Oz, and later given to his own granddaughter. ...


Cast

  • Fairuza Balk as Dorothy Gale
  • Nicol Williamson as Dr. Worley & The Nome King
  • Jean Marsh as Nurse Wilson & Mombi
  • Piper Laurie as Aunt Em
  • Matt Clark as Uncle Henry
  • Michael Sundin & Tim Rose as Tik-Tok (puppeteers)
  • Sean Barrett as Tik-Tok (voice)
  • Mak Wilson as Billina (puppeteer)
  • Denise Bryer as Billina (voice)
  • Brian Henson as Jack Pumpkinhead (voice)
  • Stewart Larange as Jack Pumpkinhead (puppeteer)
  • Lyle Conway as The Gump (voice)

Fairuza Alejandra Balk (born May 21, 1974) is an American film actress. ... Nicol Williamson as Merlin in Excalibur Nicol Williamson (b. ... Jean Lyndsay Torren Marsh (born 1 July 1934) is a Golden Globe-nominated English actress and writer, who is best known for co-creating the British period drama Upstairs, Downstairs with Eileen Atkins. ... Piper Laurie (born January 22, 1932) is an American actress. ... Matt Clark (November 25, 1936-) is a character actor with credits in both film and television, who has played diverse character roles in Westerns, comedies, and dramas. ... Michael Sundin (1 March 1961 – 23 July 1989) was a television presenter, actor, dancer and trampolinist, who was best remembered for his short spell as a Blue Peter presenter (1984-85). ... Brian Henson (born 1963 in New York City, New York) is an Academy Award-winning puppeteer, director, producer, and technician. ...

Comparisons with The Wizard of Oz

Return to Oz is often referred to as a sequel to the 1939 Wizard of Oz, but this is only partly true. Some ties to the 1939 MGM musical were deliberately kept. The silver shoes in the Baum story remain ruby slippers in Return to Oz as they had been in the MGM film. Also, the MGM movie's concept of Dorothy imagining Oz based on people she knows in the real world — which is not present in the original story — is again used; as in the 1939 film, actors in Return to Oz played dual roles as characters in the "real world" and the "Land of Oz".


Besides being considerably darker and not a musical, the movie is overall truer to the original concept of Oz as described in Baum's books.[citation needed] Additionally, many plot elements from the books which were not included in the 1939 film, such as the Tin Woodsman's back story, are portrayed here. Also, Fairuza Balk was nine during the filming of Return to Oz, which is much closer to the age of Dorothy in the books than that of Judy Garland, who was 16 when she starred in The Wizard of Oz. The film also includes more violence and scarier imagery than the 1939 version. Although this was one of the chief complaints of the film upon its release, many Oz fans contend that this helps retain the spirit of Baum's books.[citation needed] The musical film is a film genre in which several songs sung by the characters are interwoven into the narrative. ... Fairuza Alejandra Balk (born May 21, 1974) is an American film actress. ... Judy Garland (born Frances Ethel Gumm; June 10, 1922 - June 22, 1969) was an Academy Award-nominated American film actress and singer, best known for her role as Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz (1939). ...


One of the major characters from the series, Glinda the Good Witch is noticibly absent from the film. She plays a major role in the 1939 movie, and in Ozma of Oz, she gives Ozma a magic carpet on which to cross the deadly desert. Glinda (or Glinda the Good) is a character in the fictional Land of Oz created by American author L. Frank Baum. ... The original 1907 book cover by John R. Neill. ...


Additionally many characters and concepts of Baum's which did not originate in The Land of Oz or Ozma of Oz were also included in the film: Cover of The Marvelous Land of Oz. ... The original 1907 book cover by John R. Neill. ...

  • The Patchwork Girl, The Shaggy Man, Polychrome the Rainbow's Daughter, The Frogman, Tommy Kwikstep, The Braided Man,Button Bright and Ojo are all background characters in the final scene. Arguably, Jellia Jamb, General Jinjur and the Captain of the Guard are in the scene too.
  • The unsuccessful attempt by the Nome King to invade the Emerald City by tunnel occurs in The Emerald City of Oz.
  • Although maps of Oz vary, especially due to the east/west controversy, it is possible that Dorothy lost her shoes "in flight" over the Nome King's domain after her first visit. If the tornado approached Oz from the east it is possible that is the direction by which Dorothy returned to Kansas. In Baum's Oz Canon, the silver shoes were lost in Dorothy's passage over the Deadly Desert. The Nome King possessed a Magic Belt that Ozma later obtained and used for most of the purposes to which the ruby slippers were applied in the movie.
  • Uncle Henry and Aunt Em's financial woes (the loss of the house due to the tornado and the bank foreclosing on the farm) are a strong theme in The Emerald City of Oz.
  • The Nome King kidnapping someone by means of a seemingly-endless tunnel through the center of the earth takes place in Tik-Tok of Oz.
  • The Nome King's plot to become human is only mildly approached in The Magic of Oz.
  • In the 1939 film of The Wizard of Oz, Toto is a Cairn Terrier. Here, he is a Border Terrier. In Baum's original books, Toto's breed is not specified; he is merely described as "a little black dog, with long, silky hair and small black eyes that twinkled merrily on either side of his funny, wee nose." (Toto is brown in Return to Oz.)
  • Princess Mombi in the film is a composite of two characters from the books: Princess Langwidere and the witch Mombi. Similarly, Glinda was a composite of both the nameless Good Witch of the North and Glinda, The Good Witch of the South in The Wizard of Oz.

The Emerald City of Oz is the sixth of L. Frank Baums fourteen Land of Oz books. ... The magic belt is an artifact mentioned in the Oz books, first introduced in Ozma of Oz. ... The original ruby slippers used in The Wizard of Oz; now on display at the Smithsonian. ... The Emerald City of Oz is the sixth of L. Frank Baums fourteen Land of Oz books. ... Tik-Tok of Oz is the eighth Land of Oz book written by L. Frank Baum. ... The Magic of Oz is the thirteenth and final Land of Oz book written entirely by L. Frank Baum. ... Terry, the Cairn Terrier who played Toto in the film Toto is the name of a fictional dog in L. Frank Baums Oz series of childrens books, and works derived from them. ... The Cairn Terrier is a breed of dog of the terrier category. ... This article or section is not written in the formal tone expected of an encyclopedia article. ... Princess Langwidere is a fictional character created by L. Frank Baum, who appears in Ozma of Oz, the third book in the Oz series. ... The Wizard of Oz (film) redirects here. ...

Elements From 'Land' and 'Ozma'

The majority of the film's plot comes from Ozma of Oz. Dorothy washing ashore in a chicken coop, the Wheelers, a head swapping princess, Tik-Tok, The Nome King, the ornament room, and Princess Ozma are all culled from the book. The original 1907 book cover by John R. Neill. ... Princess Langwidere is a fictional character created by L. Frank Baum, who appears in Ozma of Oz, the third book in the Oz series. ... Tik-Tok of Oz For the novel by John Sladek, see Tik-Tok (novel). ... Cover of The Gnome King of Oz (1927) by Ruth Plumly Thompson. ... Princess Ozma Princess Ozma is a fictional character in the Land of Oz universe created by L. Frank Baum. ...


Several elements of the second Oz book, The Marvelous Land of Oz were worked into the film's plot. Jack Pumpkinhead, the Gump, The Powder of Life, and the Scarecrow's being king are from Land. Mombi is also from the book. She was reassigned to Princess Langwidere's roles, but retained some of her Land roles as well. For instance, she keeps Ozma captive. In the original book, she is Tip's (Ozma transformed into a boy) evil witch guardian. Also in the film, the people in the Emerald City are turned to stone. Though the Nome King does this in the film, it could be a reference to how old Mombi planned to turn Tip into a statue. The Marvelous Land of Oz, commonly shortened to The Land of Oz, published in 1904, is the second of L. Frank Baums books set in the Land of Oz, and the sequel to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. ... cover of Jack Pumpkinhead of Oz (1929) by By Ruth Plumly Thompson Jack Pumpkinhead is a character from the fictional Oz book series by L. Frank Baum. ... Mombi is a character from the L Frank Baum Oz Books series, and appears in the book The Marvelous Land of Oz. ... For other uses, see Emerald City (disambiguation). ...


Reception

Budgeted at $25 million (an expensive sum for the time), the film went overbudget and encountered many difficulties during filming.[citation needed] Despite arriving amid much fanfare--the premiere was held at Radio City Music Hall, and a Return to Oz float along with characters from the film appeared as part of Disneyland's Main Street Electrical Parade earned only $2,844,895 in its opening weekend, finishing in seventh place. The film ultimately grossed $11,137,801 in North America and did not see an international theatrical release. Radio City Music Hall at Christmas 2005 Radio City Music Hall is an entertainment venue located in New York Citys Rockefeller Center. ... Disneyland is a theme park that is located at 1313 South Harbor Boulevard in Anaheim, California, USA. It opened on July 17, 1955. ... The Main Street Electrical Parade is a regularly-scheduled parade, created by Bob Jani, famous for its long run at Disneyland at the Disneyland Resort most summers between 1972-1975, 1977-1982, and 1984-1996. ...


The PG rating was likely a major cause of the poor box-office performance.[citation needed] Many critics denounced the film as too disturbing or scary for young children. However, other critics including Harlan Ellison praised the film for its originality and visuals. It is still referred to as being ahead of its time in terms of quality and special effects. It currently holds a 64% "Fresh" rating at Rotten Tomatoes, and a 6.5 user rating at the IMDB. The MPAA film rating system is a system used in the United States and territories and instituted by the Motion Picture Association of America to rate a movie based on its content. ... Harlan Jay Ellison (born May 27, 1934) is a prolific American writer of short stories, novellas, teleplays, essays, and criticism. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) [1] is an online database of information about actors, movies, television shows, television stars and video games. ...


Awards

Received an Academy Award nomination for "Best Visual Effects." Both Fairuza Balk and Emma Ridley were nominated for Young Artist Awards. The Young Artist Award is an award which is presented yearly by the Young Artist Foundation. ...


Production Errors

  • The colour of Dorothy's tights and shoes change constantly from white to blue and then to pink and her shoes go from black to brown and back to black again.
  • In the scene where the Strange Girl (Ozma in the Land of Oz) unties Dorothy from the Wheeled Bed when the Doctor and the Head Nurse go away, she is wearing no shoes, and when they escape from the Hospital, she is also wearing no shoes. But, during the scene where she and Dorothy accidentally slip down a small hill when the Head Nurse is chasing them through the woods, she is suddenly wearing white slippers.

Image File history File links Broom_icon. ...

Cultural Influence

In 2005, American pop band Scissor Sisters, fans of the film, published an unreleased single on their debut album, Scissor Sisters, called "Return To Oz." Although the song actually pertains to the effects of methamphetamine (crystal meth), it contains many of the images and themes covered in the film (as well as referencing the Skeksis from the Jim Henson film, The Dark Crystal). The film's interpretation of Oz is featured in the Storybook Land Canal Boats attraction at Disneyland Resort Paris. The Scissor Sisters are an American alternative band who formed in 2001. ... Scissor Sisters is the debut studio album by American 5-piece band Scissor Sisters, first released in 2004. ... Return to Oz is the climatic song on the 2004 eponymous debut of the Scissor Sisters which used the lyrical motif of the film of the same name as an allegory for crystal meth abuse. ... This article is about the psychostimulant, d-methamphetamine. ... Skeksis (specifically skekUng the Garthim Master) on permanent display at The Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, GA The Skeksis are the corrupt rulers of the planet Thra in the film The Dark Crystal. ... Jim Henson, born James Maury Henson (September 24, 1936 – May 16, 1990), was the most widely known American puppeteer in modern American television history. ... The Dark Crystal is a 1982 fantasy film directed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Disneyland. ... Disneyland Resort Paris is a holiday and recreation resort in Marne-la-Vallée, a new town in the eastern suburbs of Paris, France. ...


See also

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a 1900 novel by L. Frank Baum, which has been adapted into several different works, the most famous being the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, starring Judy Garland. ...

References

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
RETURN TO OZ - DVD (1249 words)
Where The Wizard of Oz denoted Dorothy's transition from Kansas to Oz by a dramatic shift from sepia tone to colour, Return to Oz subtly desaturates upon her arrival.
Return to Oz conjures memories of reading Baum's novels as a boy daydreamer, cold nights under the covers when I was alone with my imagination.
Return to Oz is the first Anchor Bay DVD I've ever reviewed (or viewed, for that matter); reports of their sucking have been greatly exaggerated.
Return To Oz (232 words)
Return to Oz is dark, but parents were also taking their children to see faces implode and bloodily melt away in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Also forgotten was the fact that Return to Oz is much closer in spirit to the books by L. Frank Baum.
Return to Oz is also a discovery--a discovery of Murch's finely-tuned direction, hauntingly beautiful cinematography by David Watkin, and an unforgettable score from David Shire.
Return to Oz is a must see for those who want to escape to a new land.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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