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 the Emerald City. As she goes searching for him, she befriends some creatures who are facing problems in life just like her. 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
Joel Schumacher's script for The Wiz was influenced by Werner Erhard's teachings and his Erhard Seminars Training ("est") movement, as both Schumacher and Diana Ross were proponents. The speech delivered by Glinda the Good Witch at the end of the film, and the song "Believe in Yourself", are particularly laden with est-ian concepts. See more »
After Dorothy is awakened by the Tin Man's tears, she sits up and wipes her face with both hands. In the next shot, however, when Toto awakens, Dorothy is still sleeping because her hands and arms are still down. See more »
Oh, here we go again. You get me so worked up that I'm beginning to sound like a Jewish mother.
See more »
Fitzstephens, Jack ... Music Editor & Guru See more »
...And favorites don't always have rhyme or reason. I can just say that this movie always struck a chord with me. I know that it is dark. I agree that Diana Ross's acting is overwrought with some unknown neurosis. But the music is soulful and the vocal performances make me cry every time. The urban setting (in contrast to the farm that never "clicked" with me) is almost comforting, though not in the parking garage. I agree with the more intellectual reviewers that Lumet's direction could have been better. I'm just a sucker for the gospel-style singing in "the feeling that we have", "believe", and "brand new day". I find this movie much more of an emotional release than the Wizard of Oz.
34 of 51 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?