Celebrating its 40th Anniversary this year, The Wiz reimagines both the classic children’s novel and the format of the Broadway musical with an entirely black cast. Directed by Sidney Lumet (Network); with a cast featuring Diana Ross, Michael Jackson and Richard Pryor; and songs by Luther Vandross and Quincy Jones, the result is an off-the-wall landmark of American cinema that’s every bit as wild and revolutionary as it sounds.
The time has surely come for this ghetto-fabulous, all-star Motown transposition of Oz to late-70s New York. Michael Jackson certainly steals the show as a body-popping Scarecrow, but there’s so much more here. The sheer vista of the dance numbers – yes, that’s the World Trade Center plaza playing the Emerald City – evokes the opening ceremony of some fantasy African-American Olympics. If you can suspend disbelief – and can accept a 33-year-old Diana Ross as Dorothy – then you will love this film.
Running Time: 2hrs 12mins
BBFC Advice: U
Director(s): Sidney Lumet
Country of Origin: USA
Year of release: 1978
Wed 20 Mar
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