The Wiz

Film

Musicals

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Time Out says

Dorothy and her entourage of malfunctioning under-achievers move on from rural Kansas to face the contemporary perils of cocaine-sniffing, disco-chic New York in this all black, or rather Motown, version of Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, adapted from the Broadway hit musical (with Charlie Smalls' original score augmented by Quincy Jones). Lumet adopts a bravely vacillating tone, alternating between tear-jerking schmaltz and smart-ass humour; both work, though you may well giggle when Lena Horne (as Glinda the Good) is spotted, hanging in the sky in sequined shower-cap, urging you to 'Believe in Yourself'. On the plus side are vast, brilliant sets by Tony Walton, a couple of well-staged show-stoppers ('Everybody Rejoice' in the Wicked Witch's sweat-shop, and 'Emerald City Ballet'), Michael Jackson (the Scarecrow), Richard Pryor (The Wiz), and Diana Ross who, as Dorothy, is just gorgeous.
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Release details

UK release:

1978

Duration:

134 mins

Cast and crew

Cast:

Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Mabel King, Richard Pryor, Nipsey Russell, Lena Horne, Ted Ross, Theresa Merritt

Editor:

Dede Allen

Cinematography:

Oswald Morris

Producer:

Rob Cohen

Production Designer:

Tony Walton

Songs:

Charlie Smalls

Music:

Quincy Jones

Director:

Sidney Lumet

Screenwriter:

Joel Schumacher

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