Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

An adaption of 'The Wizard of Oz' that tries to capture the essence of the African American experience.



(novel), (book) | 1 more credit »
4,349 ( 919)
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: Passed Adventure | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Dorothy Gale is swept away to a magical land in a tornado and embarks on a quest to see the Wizard who can help her return home.

Directors: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, and 3 more credits »
Stars: Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger
Annie (1982)
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A young orphan girl's adventures in finding a family that will take her.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Aileen Quinn, Albert Finney, Carol Burnett
Adventure | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Kermit and his new found friends trek across America to find success in Hollywood, but a frog-legs merchant is after Kermit.

Director: James Frawley
Stars: Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson
Family | Fantasy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Charlie receives a golden ticket to a factory, his sweet tooth wants going into the lushing candy, it turns out there's an adventure in everything.

Director: Mel Stuart
Stars: Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson, Peter Ostrum
Animation | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A mailman reveals the origin of Santa Claus.

Directors: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr.
Stars: Fred Astaire, Mickey Rooney, Keenan Wynn
Cinderella (TV Movie 1997)
Musical | Romance | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Updated version of the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical of the classic fairy-tale, with an all-star, multi-racial cast.

Director: Robert Iscove
Stars: Brandy Norwood, Bernadette Peters, Veanne Cox
Mary Poppins (1964)
Comedy | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A magic nanny comes to work for a cold banker's unhappy family.

Director: Robert Stevenson
Stars: Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, David Tomlinson
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A misfit reindeer and his friends look for a place that will accept them.

Director: Larry Roemer
Stars: Billie Mae Richards, Burl Ives, Paul Soles
Drama | Family | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

In prerevolutionary Russia, a Jewish peasant contends with marrying off three of his daughters while growing anti-Semitic sentiment threatens his village.

Director: Norman Jewison
Stars: Haim Topol, Norma Crane, Leonard Frey
Family | Animation | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The educational adventures of a group of Afro-American inner city kids.

Stars: Bill Cosby, Gerald Edwards, Erika Scheimer
Popeye (1980)
Adventure | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

The adventures of the sailor man and his friends in the seaside town of Sweethaven.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Robin Williams, Shelley Duvall, Ray Walston
Hairspray (2007)
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Pleasantly plump teenager Tracy Turnblad teaches 1962 Baltimore a thing or two about integration after landing a spot on a local TV dance show.

Director: Adam Shankman
Stars: John Travolta, Queen Latifah, Nikki Blonsky


Cast overview, first billed only:
Lion / Fleetwood Coupe de Ville
Thelma Carpenter ...
Stanley Greene ...
Clyde J. Barrett ...
Subway Peddler
Derrick Bell ...
The Four Crows
Roderick-Spencer Sibert ...
The Four Crows
Kashka Banjoko ...
The Four Crows
Ronald 'Smokey' Stevens ...
The Four Crows


Dorothy, a twenty-four-year-old kindergarten teacher, born; raised; and still working in Harlem, is celebrating Thanksgiving with her extended family, but she doesn't seem to be thankful for much in life. She lives a self-imposed sheltered life; she is shy and unfulfilled. Things change for her when she is caught in a snowstorm while chasing after her dog, Toto. They are transported to the mysterious Land of Oz, where she is informed that the only possible way to find her way back home is through the assistance of the powerful wizard in Emerald City. As she goes searching for him, she befriends some creatures who are facing problems in life just as she is. In their quest to find and get help from the wizard, they also face Evillene, the equally evil sister of Evermean, the wicked witch, whom Dorothy inadvertently killed when she arrived in Oz, and who may be their biggest obstacle in achieving their goals. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


From the book that's an American tradition...from the smash-hit Broadway show...the entertainment of the year! See more »


G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

24 October 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El mago  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$24,000,000 (estimated)


$13,000,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (uncut) | (cut)

Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints)| (70 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The first song that Michael Jackson sings, "You Can't Win," was originally written for the stage version for the Winkies to sing to Dorothy about the futility of escaping from Evillene. The song was cut from the stage version of the musical during previews but was included in the film as the Scarecrow's song. See more »


During the dance scene after Evillene meets her demise, the sweat stains under Dorothy's arms appear and disappear. See more »


[repeated line]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Fitzstephens, Jack ... Music Editor & Guru See more »


Featured in I Love the '70s: 1978 (2003) See more »


Tornado/Glinda's Theme
Written by Charlie Smalls
Performed by Orchestra with Lena Horne
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Sheer delight.
15 October 2004 | by (Lost Angelpants) – See all my reviews

This movie is nothing short of wonderful.

It is not the best movie ever made. It is not technically perfect or flawlessly acted. There are things wrong with it, some more egregious than other movies, some less.

But here's the thing: The Wiz has taken an old, beloved classic of literature and rewritten it just enough to make it completely new. I was as absorbed...if not moreso...with these new characters, reborn into another world, so familiar and yet so unknown, as I was taken in by the original Judy Garland film.

Suspension of disbelief is a necessary ingredient for all storytelling, and the more fantastic the more imagination one requires to enjoy it. Diana Ross too old? So what? I thought she was marvelous, and I thought she perfectly portrayed Dorothy in this alternate universe. In fact, I thought all the actors were terrific.

The story of the Wizard Of Oz has been in my top five favourite stories of all time for as long as I have been alive. I include Diana Ross' The Wiz right up there in an unbreakable tie with Judy Garland's Wizard Of Oz. They are both charming and well told versions of a brilliant literary classic, and they both deserve their due at the top of the food chain as far as fantastic storytelling goes.

And I haven't even touched the stunning aspect that an all Black cast chose not only to make this film, but actually rewrite it enough to show the point of view of the lives of the folks who lived in the ghettos and inner cities.

Even today, Black actors must struggle to receive equal treatment in film. Back when this movie was released, accomplishing this film was nothing short of a mind-boggling achievement, and one to be lauded.

I suspect a lot of the bad reputation this film has gotten over the years, especially at the beginning, was because the inherent racism and sexism in the industry was offended that the folks who made this film had the temerity to do so with an all-Black cast. It's happened before, and I'm afraid it will continue to happen until we grow enough intelligence to finally put discrimination behind us at last, and move beyond into a brighter future.

This movie will remain one of my favourite films. I couldn't recommend it any more highly. If you are a child at heart, if you love good stories made new, if you live in the imagination, this film is for you.

Just beware of that subway scene. If your kids are young and/or easily frightened, preview the movie before you watch it with them. It still creeps me out when I see it, and I know a lot of people who still get nightmares from it. But it's one of the best scenes in the film, and a testament to how creative the folks who put the film together were.

60 of 93 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Appreciation For Good Filmmaking califuneral
Who would you cast in a remake? teenymaureeny
Should have used some white actors/actresses! sealug
Why aren't the Silver Slippers in The Smithsonian? florlite
Disturbing IrockGswift
DO NOT DO A REMAKE! penny-119
Discuss The Wiz (1978) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: