Noel Langley (December 25, 1911 – November 4, 1980) was an American novelist, playwright, screenwriter and director. While under contract to MGM he was one of the screenwriters for The Wizard of Oz. He was chosen for the job on the basis of his children's story, The Tale of the Land of Green Ginger — a children's classic which has seldom been out of print since it was first published in 1937. However, his finished script for The Wizard of Oz was somewhat revised by Florence Ryerson and Edgar Allan Woolf, revisions that Langley himself strongly objected to, but which appear in the finished film. Langley is on record as saying that he hated the completed product, an opinion not borne out by the general critical and public consensus. The Wizard of Oz has become one of the best-loved films ever made. He attempted to write a sequel based on The Marvelous Land of Oz using many of the concepts he had added to its predecessor, but this was never realized.
Born in Durban, South Africa, he was first an author and a successful Broadway playwright. Langley began writing for films in the 1930s. After World War II, Langley worked on many British films including the film noir They Made Me a Fugitive (1947), the remake of Tom Brown's Schooldays (1951), the Alastair Sim Scrooge (1951), The Pickwick Papers (1952), Ivanhoe (1952) and the Technicolor The Prisoner of Zenda (1952). (His contribution to Zenda, however, was minimal, since the 1952 film followed the script of the 1937 film version, on which Langley did not work, nearly word-for-word.)
In 1964, Langley made a series of tapes for New York radio station WBAI, reading "The Tale of the Land of Green Ginger" in its entirety. He subsequently edited it down to fit on an LP, which was issued by the listener-sponsored station and offered as a fund-raising premium. Langley continued to write novels and plays throughout his life. He also wrote short stories for the Saturday Evening Post and other magazines.
Langley died in 1980 in Desert Hot Springs, California, United States.