The Broadway Bound Blogathon 2019 – The Wiz (1978)


This is my final of 3 reviews for The Broadway Bound Blogathon  2019 being hosted by Rebecca of Taking Up Room.

Tnx for letting me partake Rebecca!

“Public office is the last refuge of the incompetent!” – Scarecrow

Number of Times Seen – 1 (2 Jun 2019)

Brief Synopsis – A modern day musical adaptation of the Story of the Wizard of Oz where Dorothy must get to New York to find the Wizard in order to get back home to New Jersey.

My Take on it – This is a film that I recall seeing bits and pieces of decades ago but never saw it in its entirety.

The main song Ease on Down was pretty much the only thing that I recalled.

The idea to take the story of the Wizard of Oz and try to modernize it for the age of disco is an interesting one but it isn’t really able to hold up after 40 years and was probably much better back when it came out.

The cast of this film is quite talented and it’s nice seeing Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Richard Pryor and Nipsey Russell in prominent roles but something constantly feels off with the way that things are being presented.

Besides the aforementioned song, none of the music is memorable enough and don’t add to the story as one would expect.

Unfortunately, this adaptation of the classic story of Dorothy and Toto just doesn’t translate well enough to the screen and is far from being as entertaining as the original film was 40 years earlier.

Bottom Line – Interesting idea that probably worked much better when it came out than it does now. The cast is quite talented, but the songs seem quite mediocre besides the Ease on Down song.  Nice seeing Ross, Jackson, pryor and Russell in this but the adaptation just doesn’t translate very well and doesn’t come anywhere close to being as entertaining as the original one is.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The duet between Michael Jackson and Diana Ross on “Ease On Down the Road” was released as a single by MCA Records in September, 1978. This single just barely missed the Top 40 radio pop charts, where it stalled at number forty-one. However, “Ease On Down the Road” did reach number seventeen on the Billboard Hot Soul Singles chart that same year. (From IMDB)

Rating – Razzie Worthy (4/10)

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4 thoughts on “The Broadway Bound Blogathon 2019 – The Wiz (1978)

  1. Pingback: Broadway Bound 2019: Day Three – Taking Up Room

  2. This was a rare misfire for Sydney Lumet as a director. A wonderful stage musical that translated badly to film. I saw it on its first release and it was no better then. Sadly Dinah Ross was miscast; for me the only bright spot was Lena Horne. A mess of a movie that should have been so much better.

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