This film was indeed doomed from the start. I can remember eagerly anticipating this film in the mid 70's. The film however DID have a couple of things going for itself; 1. Quincy Jone's genius and Oscar/Grammy worthy score (Lena Horne's performance of "believe in yourself" is worth the rental alone!) 2. the hit broadway play of the same title. Surrounded by controversy and negative publicity (who would go see a all black cast of an American film classic in the mid 70's?). It's hard to imagine but black cinema in this era was limited to the so called "blaxploitation" films i.e. Shaft, the Mack, Superfly and so forth. I was a 17 y/o black man when this film came in production and was eager to see it's progress. So it came as no surprise that this undertaking in Hollywood would be the "break-away" project for black cinema. A young (early 20's), vibrant (and very african-american looking) Stephanie Mills who made the role a hit on broadway was shun for a more mature (mid 30's), well known, role proven (indeed her role in Lady sings the Blues was Oscar worthy)Diana Ross. Hollywood it appears, has learned that talent and reputation alone does not make a movie. On paper this should have been a tour-de-force with the likes of Quincy Jones, Richard Pryor, Michael Jackson (with his original nose), the brilliant Nipsey Russell, Diana Ross (who is painful to my eyes) Sydney Lument (off the heels of Dog day afternoon, Network,and Serpico), and a list of who's who of black entertainment of the day. On celluloid however, it fails. If the original Wizard of Oz were released today (unfair, you say? I know-but it's MY review! :) it would fair well, in contrast the Wiz would indeed "fiz"... But the advantage today is you can either rent it for a buck at blockbuster or catch it on VH-1.