THE WIZ

Showings

THEATER 1 Sat, Jul 20 3:00 PM
THEATER 1 Wed, Jul 24 6:00 PM
Film Info
Runtime:134
Release Year:1978
Rating:G
Production Country:USA
Original Language:English
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Sidney Lumet
Cast:Diana Ross
Michael Jackson
Nipsey Russell
Ted Ross
Theresa Merritt

Description

Lumet’s reimagining of THE WIZARD OF OZ should have been a hit. Adapted from the 1974 Broadway musical of the same name, the film boasted Quincy Jones as the musical supervisor and music producer, and an impressive, all-star cast with Diana Ross as Dorothy, Michael Jackson (in his feature film debut) as Scarecrow, Nipsey Russell as Tin Man, Ted Ross as Cowardly Lion, and Richard Pryor as The Wiz. A vibrant and assured twist on the classic, THE WIZ was a failure upon theatrical release, with critics taking issue with the new soul and R&B-influenced soundtrack, Diana Ross’ age, and with the modern day Queens setting. Audiences knew better. The film became a cult classic, with fans praising THE WIZ for transforming a familiar story into a film with cultural resonance for Black audiences, for featuring stellar performances against a contemporary and lively backdrop, and for imbuing "There’s no place like home" with renewed meaning for generations of viewers. Brought in to direct the film after John Badham (SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER) dropped the project, Lumet helmed an imaginative, Afro-Futurist vision of New York that has been rightly embraced again, with a new Broadway version premiering on stage this April.