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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.



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





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


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


From the book that's an American tradition...from the smash-hit Broadway show...the entertainment of the year! 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)

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


| (uncut) | (cut)

Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints)| (70 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The name of the wicked witches in this version are Evilene and Evermean; this was the first time they were actually named in any version until "Wicked" the novel came out; which named the witches Elphaba Thropp and Nessarose Thropp. See more »


During the dance scene after Evillene meets her demise, the sweat stains under Dorothy's arms appear and disappear. See more »


Scarecrow: [after Tinman's crying] He rusted himself cryin'.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in Family Guy: Road to the North Pole (2010) See more »


Poppy Girls Theme
Written by Quincy Jones and Anthony Jackson
Performed by Orchestra
See more »

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User Reviews

A terrible adaptation.
27 April 2007 | by See all my reviews

The original Broadway production of "The Wiz" was charming and spirited, but this awful movie is an exercise in bloat. For one thing, Diana Ross is horribly miscast as Dorothy, a role played on the stage by teenagers. She's supposed to be 24 in this film but looks every one of her 34 years, and transforming Dorothy from an innocent girl into a neurotic, whiny schoolteacher just to accommodate the too-old Ross was a terrible idea. It's the worst sort of vanity casting.

The musical numbers are too long and way, way over-art-directed, and the choreography is completely pedestrian. The only person who shines in the whole film is the young Michael Jackson, looking cute and normal in his pre-op incarnation. Other than this, the film is a definite misfire, which is unfortunate because the score is good and, of course, the story is very durable.

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