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The Wiz (1978)

G  |   |  Adventure, Family, Fantasy  |  24 October 1978 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.2/10 from 10,086 users  
Reviews: 147 user | 31 critic

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



(novel), (book), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Wiz (1978)

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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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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 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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The Wiz! The Stars! The Music! Wow! See more »


G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

24 October 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El mago  »

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?


After the death of Michael Jackson and Lena Horne, Diana Ross is the last leading star of this film. See more »


In the scene just after the Cowardly Lion joins the group, all four of them do a dance that begins with them walking over some taxis, and one of them clearly bounces somewhat, revealing that they're inflatables. See more »


Scarecrow: Success, fame, and fortune, they're all illusions. All there is that is real is the friendship that two can share.
Dorothy: That's beautiful! Who said that?
Scarecrow: [modestly] I did.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in Listen Up: The Lives of Quincy Jones (1990) See more »


Soon As I Get Home/Home
Written by Charlie Smalls
Performed by Diana Ross
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

a favorite childhood movie of mine
26 July 2005 | by (Texas) – See all my reviews

...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.

35 of 54 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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