• Post category:Movies
  • Post last modified:April 9, 2017

The Wiz


Dorothy (Diana Ross), a 24-year-old Harlem teacher who‚Äôs never been south of 125th Street, ends up in a fierce winter storm that takes her to a magical land ‚Äď where she accidentally kills a wicked witch.¬†This filmization of the Broadway musical was a notorious flop at the time, panned for Ross‚Äôs performance and a generally heavy-handed production. Some of the Motown music makes up for it, as well as those¬†NYC¬†locations that have been ‚ÄúOz-ified‚ÄĚ. Would have been more fun with tighter editing; the last half-hour is a drag.

1978-U.S. 133 min. Color.¬†Directed by¬†Sidney Lumet.¬†Screenplay:¬†Joel Schumacher.¬†Novel:¬†L. Frank Baum (‚ÄúThe Wonderful Wizard of Oz‚ÄĚ).¬†Book:¬†William F. Brown.¬†Music:¬†Quincy Jones.¬†Song:¬†Charlie Smalls (‚ÄúEase On Down the Road‚ÄĚ).¬†Cinematography:¬†Oswald Morris.¬†Costume Design:¬†Tony Walton.¬†Cast:¬†Diana Ross (Dorothy), Michael Jackson (Scarecrow), Nipsey Russell (Tinman), Ted Ross (Lion), Mabel King, Theresa Merritt‚Ķ Lena Horne, Richard Pryor.

Trivia: John Badham was first hired as director. This was Jones’s first collaboration with Jackson.


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