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The Wiz

The Wiz (1978)

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Release Date: Oct 24, 1978 Wide

audience

67

liked it
Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 34,899

My Rating

Movie Info

Sidney Lumet's The Wiz is the film version of the popular Broadway musical that retells the events of L. Frank Baum's classic novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz through the eyes of a young African-American kindergarten teacher who's "never been below 125th Street." Leaving a large family dinner to chase her dog into a snowstorm, Dorothy (Diana Ross) is swept up by a cyclone and transplanted to the land of Oz -- which looks suspiciously like a skewed version of the run-down Manhattan of the late

Apr 13, 1999

Universal Pictures

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All Critics (23) | Top Critics (2) | Fresh (6) | Rotten (14) | DVD (4)

It lost its magic.

May 23, 2011 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Sidney Lumet's all-black musical, starring Diana Ross, is a failed effort to transfer the setting of the Judy Graland musical to contempo Manhattan.

May 8, 2011 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

Well, it's nice to see the child-voiced Michael Jackson with a bulbous brown nose in this black American retake of The Wizard Of Oz

October 25, 2008 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

Among many faults, Diana Ross is miscast

August 14, 2005
EmanuelLevy.Com

A celebration of personhood with plenty of rousing rock-and-soul-and gospel music.

January 24, 2004 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Flat-footed screen version of a jubilant show; a miscast mess, sad to say

July 15, 2003
Kalamazoo Gazette

This one's so bad it's good, but not so good that I'd say that it isn't bad.

April 1, 2003
Juicy Cerebellum

Nearly as lame as its reputation suggests.

November 20, 2002
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

A total misfire; Ross was too old for Dorothy. Badly dated, doesn't hold up at all.

August 30, 2002
Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)

Audience Reviews for The Wiz

With the charm bringing by the stars and the director Lumet, The Wiz, isn't a film really good. Showing along the picture an expectable end and apparent offend the intelligence of the audience, just like the scenes where Scarecrow, desperate for a brain, clearly presents beautiful citations and most of the ideas, as like Tinman crying and want a heart and the coward Lion exhibit an great courage. Neither L. Frank Baum's novel and the 1939 version show to be so expectable. The screenplay by Joel Schumacher are weak, but in some moments presents criatives parts. The dog that make the character of Toto is terrible too with awful trained, Ross have a few good scenes, but her acting flaw too, Dorothy looks old and neurotic. The slowed and dramatic song perform by her leave the film boring and rotten, by the way the "Ease On Down the Road" sing by Dorothy and Scarecrow are very good, but very repeat. Another songs are nice, what better the movie, the same thing with the art direction, cinematograhy and costumes are perfect. Richard Pryor and Ted Ross presents a good actings too, for me the best in the picture. The Wiz is a nice movie, but could be much, much better. Anyway Sidney Lumet's version impress for his criative dark humor, some good songs, the all cast formed of black actors - another criative thing in this film -, the art direction and the hard attempt of Schumacher and Lumet on make an terrific movie, what unfortunately isn't, but this is for me a little cult piece of art with surrealism and smart minds. Rotten.
February 14, 2013
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

Other than a few moments here and there, time has not been kind to this Motown spectacle.
December 31, 2012
flixsterman
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

Starring Michael Jackson and Diana Ross, THE WIZ is like a black version of THE WIZARD OF OZ, except less pleasing, less imaginative, and more boring.
September 9, 2011
spielberg00

Super Reviewer

This is one of those movies people either love or hate, personally I hated it when I saw it as a kid, it seemed to me that this was just the Wizard of Oz with an all black cast, and I didn't see the reason for it. Plus, it has a totally different, and very strange, kind of style that I just couldn't understand. I hated it, but I may give it another try someday.
January 6, 2011
ajv2688

Super Reviewer

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