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The Wiz (1978)

5.1
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Ratings: 5.1/10 from 8,848 users  
Reviews: 139 user | 25 critic

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

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

The Wiz (1978) on IMDb 5.1/10

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Ted Ross ...
Lion / Fleetwood Coupe de Ville
...
...
Thelma Carpenter ...
Miss One
...
...
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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

The Motown remake of "The Wizard of Oz"! See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 October 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Wiz  »

Box Office

Budget:

$24,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$13,000,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (uncut) | (cut)

Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints)| (70 mm prints)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Michael Jackson's film debut. See more »

Goofs

When the Tin Man is finishing his dance to "Slide Some Oil to Me," he is near mirrors, alone, with his hat off. When the Tin Man starts to sing "Ease On Down the Road," he is away from the mirrors, with the Scarecrow and Dorothy with hat on in the next shot. See more »

Quotes

Tinman: The genius who created me only took care of my dashing good looks, my razor sharp wit and my irresistible attraction to the wrong women.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Da Corleone a Brooklyn (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Just Like a Broadway Show--from the Cheap Seats
28 August 2004 | by See all my reviews

I just watched this for the first time, I've was expecting a true spectacle of "bad" cinema. I was surprised to find there is a decent movie here.

Some people have remarked Diana Ross was too old to play Dorothy, OK, well, so was Judy Garland. True. There's really nothing wrong with this musical--The songs are excellent, performed by some great talents. The production design is spectacular (maybe a little dated, but still something to look at). The sets are a little nightmarish looking, true, but I liked that. I reminded me of "Return of Oz", a favorite of mine too. The real problem with this movie is the damn direction and cinematography.

What were they thinking? The Munchkin scene is not only lit horribly (too dark!), but all the musical numbers seem like they're just comprised of master shots. Very few close ups of dancers, other singers, and even main characters. During the "Ease on Down the Road" number Lumet has us staring at Diana Ross and Michael Jackson's back from far away in the distance for two minutes. It felt like I was watching this movie from the cheap seats. Thus, I always felt distanced from the characters and situations, and just couldn't get into the movie.

I read Sidney Lumet's book "Making Movies" and I remember him writing in detail about shooting to get proper coverage. What happened here?


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