5.4/10
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The Wiz (1978)

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3:31 | Trailer
An adaptation of "The Wizard of Oz" that tries to capture the essence of the African-American experience.

Director:

Sidney Lumet

Writers:

L. Frank Baum (novel), William F. Brown (book) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
4,627 ( 1,433)
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Diana Ross ... Dorothy
Michael Jackson ... Scarecrow
Nipsey Russell ... Tinman
Ted Ross ... Lion / Fleetwood Coupe de Ville
Mabel King ... Evillene
Theresa Merritt ... Aunt Em
Thelma Carpenter Thelma Carpenter ... Miss One
Lena Horne ... Glinda the Good
Richard Pryor ... The Wiz (Herman Smith)
Stanley Greene Stanley Greene ... Uncle Henry
Clyde J. Barrett Clyde J. Barrett ... Subway Peddler
Derrick Bell Derrick Bell ... The Four Crows
Roderick-Spencer Sibert Roderick-Spencer Sibert ... The Four Crows
Kashka Banjoko Kashka Banjoko ... The Four Crows
Ronald 'Smokey' Stevens Ronald 'Smokey' Stevens ... The Four Crows
Learn more

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Storyline

24-year-old kindergarten teacher Dorothy, born, raised, and still working in Harlem, is celebrating Thanksgiving with her extended family, but she doesn't seem to be thankful for much. She lives a self-imposed sheltered life and is shy and unfulfilled. When she gets caught in a snowstorm while chasing her dog Toto, they're transported to the mysterious Land of Oz, where she's informed that the only way she can find her way home is through the assistance of the powerful wizard in Emerald City. As she searches for him, she befriends some creatures who face problems in their lives. In their quest to find the wizard, they also face Evillene, the equally-evil sister of Evermean, the wicked witch Dorothy inadvertently killed when she arrived in Oz; Evillene might be their biggest obstacle. 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:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The duet between Michael Jackson and Diana Ross on "Ease On Down the Road" was released as a single by MCA Records in September, 1978. This single just barely missed the Top 40 radio pop charts, where it stalled at number forty-one. However, "Ease On Down the Road" did reach number seventeen on the Billboard Hot Soul Singles chart that same year. See more »

Goofs

After the sprinklers have turned off, everyone is suddenly dry. See more »

Quotes

Dorothy: He must really be in shock!
Tinman: Oh, what I wouldn't give to be in shock! Just Once!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Version of The Wizard of the Emerald City (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Everybody Rejoice/A Brand New Day
Written by Luther Vandross
Performed by Diana Ross (uncredited), Michael Jackson, (uncredited) Nipsey Russell (uncredited),
Ted Ross (uncredited) and The Winkees (uncredited)
See more »

User Reviews

this film was doomed from the start
21 January 2002 | by JKERRYSee all my reviews

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.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 October 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Wiz See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$24,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$21,049,053

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$21,049,053
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (uncut) | (cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo (35 mm prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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