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The Wiz (1978)

Diana Ross , Michael Jackson , Sidney Lumet  |  G |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (570 customer reviews)

Price: $25.00 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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The Wiz + The Wizard of Oz: 75th Anniversary Edition
Price for both: $32.99

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Product Details

  • Actors: Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, Ted Ross, Mabel King
  • Directors: Sidney Lumet
  • Writers: Joel Schumacher
  • Producers: Rob Cohen
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Letterboxed, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 4.0)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: April 13, 1999
  • Run Time: 135 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (570 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0783233493
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #118,200 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Wiz" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Wiz on Down the Road
  • Production Notes
  • Cast and Filmmakers
  • Theatrical Trailer

  • Editorial Reviews

    Directed by Sidney Lumet (Serpico) and penned by Joel Schumacher (Batman and Robin), this lavish 1978 adaptation of the Broadway hit The Wiz was the biggest production filmed in New York City up to that point, utilizing the newly revamped Astoria Studios and locations around the city. Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, and Ted Ross (reprising his Tony-winning role as the Lion) star in this Academy Award-nominated musical for the whole family.

    The Wiz is probably the grandest take on L. Frank Baum's classic tale The Wizard of Oz. The production team created sets with a sense of urban magic and spectacle: a New York subway station literally comes to life, and the massive plaza between the World Trade Center towers is transformed into the Emerald City, featuring nearly 400 dancers with three costume changes. Like all good musicals, the Quincy Jones arrangements are highly hummable long after viewing (especially the funky "Ease On Down the Road" and the inspirational "Brand New Day"). In an era before MTV, the camera stays nearly stationary as Ross and Lena Horne vocally soar through their numbers. Their stage-like performances successfully make the leap to film, making The Wiz a testament to their singing talents and star presence. The then-thirtysomething Ross raised some eyebrows playing the traditionally teenaged Dorothy, but she and her supporting cast (including Richard Pryor as the Wiz) carry the tunes with an infectious verve that will appeal to folks of all ages. --Shannon Gee

    Product Description

    The fabulous land of Oz rocks in the spectacular musical based on the smash hit Broadway show. In this Motown production, Dorothy is a shy Harlem Kindergarten teacher who, while searching for her lost dog Toto in a swirling blizzard, is whisked to a wonderland to follow the yellow brick road. Director Sidney Lumet (Serpico, Murder on the Orient Express), not content to merely film the stage production, transforms the physical attributes of New York City into the fabulous land of Oz. Diana Ross reaches new heights as Dorothy and her co-stars include Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow, Nipsey Russell as the Tin Man, Ted Ross as the Cowardly Lion, Lena Horne as Glinda the Good Witch and Richard Pryor as the Oz's Great Wizard. With such a cast, exciting musical numbers and fabulous visual effects, The Wiz will reach every generation of moviegoers.

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    97 of 100 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Restored! February 13, 2008
    This, the 30th Anniversary release of THE WIZ, is a far improved print from the earlier DVD release. The colors of each scene are bright and crisp, and the graininess has been cleaned a great deal. Included with this edition is a soundtrack CD featuring SOME of the songs from the film. Those expecting the entire soundtrack may be disappointed to see that they only get a small percentage of the original songs.
    Was this review helpful to you?
    66 of 71 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Old Oz on New DVD October 29, 2008
    Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
    I know I've already reviewed the old DVD, but I would like to have a good read for the Anniversary (even though I'm late for it).
    If you've read my old review, you'll notice that I like this movie, even though I agree there could have been some improvements.

    "The Wiz" movie was released into cinemas on October 24 1978, so now the film IS over 30 years old.

    This New DVD, with a great new cover AND SHINY Slipcase - better than the one I designed in a letter to Universal mentioned in the old review - is both a great gift, and a slight disappointment:

    GREAT: As said before the Picture and Sound have been Restored, so that you can see the shots and hear soundtrack more clearly - until now I never even noticed Dorothy/Diana removing her ear-rings upon deciding to kill Evilene! - and the colours certainly do appear CLEANER. You'd be surprised at how much better this new picture is compared to before!

    DISAPPOINTMENT: I was hoping to see a slightly wider and longer version of the picture, but close comparison and attention have shown that the image is slightly zoomed in - look at the edges (sides and top/bottom) in the wide shot of Dorothy in her Emerald City Motel room for example, and you'll notice a bit missing. And when we see Dorothy and Toto being transported across the screen from New York to Oz, that is the one time it looks more-or-less the same as the old DVD (despite better detail and cleaner picture).
    And as Diana finishes singing "I wish I was . . . " in 'Soon As I Get Home', I noticed how her lips mouth 'home'; Unfortunately, it seems she didn't say 'home' and that moment remains unspoken even in restoration.
    Read more ›
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    20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars "The Return of a late 70's Classic" October 9, 2008
    If you are a fan of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Disco Music and Broadway Musicals, then this is a must-see film.

    Based on the 1975 Broadway show and filmed entirely on location in New York City back in 1977, the film was released in 1978 to mixed reviews. Even though it was not a box-office smash, this film has become somewhat of a cult-classic over the years to millions.

    The Quincy Jones-produced score still sounds as fresh today as it did 30 years ago, and the visual effects were way ahead of their time when this film was made.

    The film's "Emerald City Sequence" musical number, which featured most of the main cast and hundreds of dancers, was shot in the plaza between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. Like so many films that were shot over the years on or near the now "Ground Zero" site in Lower Manhattan, prior to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, this film may bring back memories of that fateful day. But at the same time it should also be a reminder of how much more at peace the world seemed to be all those years ago.

    I have always enjoyed watching this film over the years, but like so many films that we have come to love, that were filmed on that site prior to 9/11, it is sad that even our culture in movies has been tarnished by the events of 9/11 as well.
    Was this review helpful to you?
    15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars I've Changed My Mind June 7, 2002
    OK, OK...I will admit that I trashed this movie over in the VHS section, but understand my only copy was one that I taped from a television showing and it had been badly butchered (edited) by the network to fit the time slot. So my most recent memory of The Wiz has been this terrible copy of this 1978 musical.
    I recently decided to give it another chance to win me over. I purchased the DVD version, and I must admit this new, crisp, complete film with its remastered soundtrack, is a much more watchable and entertaining experience.
    We all know the story, Dorothy goes to Oz via whirling snowstorm, meets up with band of misfits who through their harrowing experiences together learn they can all be better than they had ever imagined. And that life can be good no matter where you live.
    In the past, the cropped version diminished the entire focus of the story, and made it feel dark, and claustrofobic but now
    the Widescreen format greatly enhances the scope of the movie, giving it a more important feel. The color is so much brighter than before that I couldn't believe all the details I had missed that are now clearly visable. The scene where the Munchkins come alive off the Grafitti wall, is really very cool.
    There are entire scenes I had forgotten about that are now included, like the one where Dorothy and others are in the OZ motel room talking about having to kill Evilene. I had not seen that one since 1978, and had forgotten it entirely.
    I still have problems with some of the performances, and I still believe that it was poorly edited, but all in all I was very impressed with the brand new feel of this movie and if you have not seen it in the DVD format, do so, you will be suprised at the difference. I am now looking forward to seeing it again and again.
    Read more ›
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    3.0 out of 5 stars 30th Anniversary isn't actually on the DVD
    Don't stage 30th anniversary if its not gong to be on there. I bought it for my mom who turned 50 and I wanted her to really feel like she got a "special edition" she liked... Read more
    Published 1 day ago by Ryan
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    love it
    Published 2 days ago by tee
    5.0 out of 5 stars my favorite movie
    I know all the words and songs. Looooooove it!
    Published 10 days ago by sammiam
    4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
    I grew up on this but my kids enjoy it more than I
    Published 10 days ago by A.E.T
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Very good movie, my kids watched it growing up and did plays at school. Family time movie.
    Published 11 days ago by jerry
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    I love this movie! The music is great especially the parts that Michael Jackson sings!
    Published 13 days ago by eboni
    5.0 out of 5 stars I love this movie
    It came very fast...I love this movie!
    Published 14 days ago by Anthony Maurice Sherrell
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    A wonderful classic. A must for every collection.
    Published 15 days ago by nzinga howard
    5.0 out of 5 stars I would say this is one of the best movies I have ever watched
    This is a movie that will get you excited, because it if full of adventure and excitement at every turn. I would say this is one of the best movies I have ever watched.
    Published 17 days ago by Charmell Dines
    4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
    this is a good movie and my kids can't wait to see it because they like both stars
    Published 17 days ago by Dianne Dahlberg
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