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The Wiz (1978)

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

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (book) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
3,584 ( 1,370)
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Dorothy
... Scarecrow
... Tinman
... Lion / Fleetwood Coupe de Ville
... Evillene
... Aunt Em
Thelma Carpenter ... Miss One
... Glinda the Good
... The Wiz (Herman Smith)
Stanley Greene ... Uncle Henry
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 Emerald City. As she goes searching for him, she befriends some creatures who are facing problems in life just as she is. 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 Wiz! The Stars! The Music! Wow! 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:

El mago  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$24,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$21,049,053
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (uncut) | (cut)

Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints)| (70 mm prints)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the Emerald City sequence, Quincy Jones is shown as the pianist, but the actual piano player on the soundtrack is Richard Tee. See more »

Goofs

During "No Bad News", Evilene starts to turn about halfway between her throne and the entryway door. In the next shot, however, she is right in front of the door. See more »

Quotes

Scarecrow: [after finding out the Wiz is actually is politian from New Jersey, quotes] 'Public office is the last refuge of the incompetent' - Penrose!
The Wiz: [laughs hysterically] Incompetent! That's me!
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Version of The Wizard of Oz (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

Can I Go On Not Knowing?
Written by Quincy Jones, Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson
Performed by Diana Ross (uncredited)
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User Reviews

 
Awful
17 February 2008 | by See all my reviews

Reading inane "review" after review here, with only a handful of people actually knowing that this was an adaptation of a hit B'way musical and acting as if it was just a remake of the 1939 film, well, never mind - it's the IMDb, where anyone can spout off without knowing anything.

The film is terrible. Lumet can be a great director, and a terrible director and here he is firmly planted in the latter category. The casting, for the most part, is hideous. Everything that was simple and fun on stage has been changed for the film, from its NY setting (a terrible idea, despite Tony Walton's occasionally amusing sets), and it's all too damn big with no charm. Changing the play's Dorothy to Diana Ross as an ADULT schoolteacher is the worst transgression - are we supposed to give a hoot about her? Please.

It really is one of the worst adaptations of a Broadway musical ever. As to the people who "love" it I say only that there is no movie ever made, no matter how bad, that isn't thought a masterpiece here at the IMDb.


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