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The Wiz Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

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 '70s. Landing on top of the Wicked Witch of the East, the puzzled Dorothy is greeted by munchkins who peel themselves from a graffiti mural and sing to her about the Wiz (Richard Pryor), a powerful wizard living in Emerald City who can help her get home. On her journey down the yellow brick road, she encounters a garbage-stuffed scarecrow (Michael Jackson) in a junkyard, a broken-down tin man (Nipsey Russell) caught in the decay of an old amusement park, and a cowardly lion (Ted Ross) posing as a stone statue outside a museum. The quartet tangles with a subway station that comes to life, a poppy den, and a gaggle of motorcycle henchman on their way to the Wiz -- who orders them to kill the Wicked Witch of the West (a sweatshop tyrant) before he will grant them their wishes. The Wiz has about double the large-scale production numbers of The Wizard of Oz (1939), with songs written and composed by [[Performer~P170670~Charlie Smalls~charliesmalls]]. ~ Derek Armstrong, Rovi

  • Release date:October 24, 1978

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Tony Walton Best Costume Design 1978 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Tony Walton Best Art Direction 1978 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Oswald Morris Best Cinematography 1978 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Quincy Jones Best Original Song Score and Its Adaptation or Adaptation Score 1978 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Philip Rosenberg Best Art Direction 1978 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Edward Stewart Best Art Direction 1978 Nominee

Cast

Diana Ross
as Dorothy
Michael Jackson
as Scarecrow
Nipsey Russell
as Tinman
Lena Horne
as Glinda the Good
Richard Pryor
as The Wiz (Herman Smith)
Ted Ross
as Lion
Claude Brooks
as Aunt Em's Party
Willie C. Carpenter
as Aunt Em's Party
Carlton Johnson
as Head Winkie
Alvin Alexis
as Aunt Em's Party
Billie Allen
as Aunt Em's Party
Harry Madsen
as Cheetah
Jaime Perry
Joe Lynn
as Gold Footman
Johnny Brown
Mabel Robinson
as Munchkin #2
Mariann Aalda
as Aunt Em's Party
Stanley Greene
as Uncle Henry
Ted Butler
Thelma Carpenter
as Miss One
Vicki Baltimore
as Green Lady

Crew

Sidney Lumet
Director
Rob Cohen
Producer
Joel Schumacher
Screenwriter
Oswald Morris
Cinematographer
Quincy Jones
Composer (Music Score)
Quincy Jones
Musical Direction/Supervision
Charlie Smalls
Composer (Music Score)
Charlie Smalls
Songwriter
Dede Allen
Editor
Tony Walton
Production Designer
Philip Rosenberg
Production Designer
Burtt Harris
Associate Producer
Kenneth Harper
Executive Producer
Tony Walton
Costume Designer
Albert J. Whitlock
Special Effects
Albert Griswold
Special Effects
Steve James
Stunts
Stan Winston
Makeup Special Effects
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