Reviewed by Scott Murdock
Rating: .5 Beans
his modern (for 1978) version of the "The Wizard of Oz" features an African-American cast, memorable songs, and a lot of fun.
In this version Dorothy (Diana Ross from The Surpremes) gets lost in a snowstorm and finds herself in an Ozzed-up version of New York City. After meeting Glinda the Good (Lena Horne) who advises her to see the help of The Wiz (Richard Pryor), Dorothy heads off on her journey. Along the way she meets the Scarecrow (Michael Jackson), the Tin Man (Nipsey Russell) and the Lion (Ted Ross). She also finds herself the enemy of Evillene (Mabel King), a woman who runs a (literal) sweat shop.
The experience is funny, entertaining, and contains memorable songs -- such as the song sung by the people in "Emerald City" about colors... or Mabel King's "No Bad News". Of course, you'll never get "Eaze on Down the Road" out of your head.
So if I enjoy this movie so much, why am I giving it a review here? One reason: too many songs. It's not often you can say this about a musical, but in this case they sing a little TOO much, dragging and slowing down the story. Dorothy especially sings a little too damn much. Except for "Eaze on Down the Road", every song stops the story, and Dorothy just can't seem to stop singing.
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