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To those seeing "The Wiz" for the first time...


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..and, no doubt, the last time, I just wanted to let you know that the movie really has no relation to the wonderful Broadway musical, "The Wiz." That Broadway show really did capture the heart of the story, not bastardize it like this movie does. The only redeeming thing to say about the film is that it has Ted Ross as the Lion and Mabel King as the Wicked Witch, both carryovers from the Broadway stage. I saw the stage musical thrity years ago and it still remains a wonderful memory. Unfortunately, the memory of the movie still stays with me; only it is a memory of disgust. The stage version had none of this grown-up Dorothy or using the streets of Detroit crap.

 

The stage musical of The Wiz is being revived in a few months at the La Jolla Playhouse and will likely move to Broadway after that. I can hardly wait to see it again.

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I have to agree with you. I saw the Broadway version of "The Wiz" and it was just spectacular. I can't recall her name, but the girl who played Dorothy was just great. The special effects were state of the art for Broadway at that time. From what I hear, however, there is quite a following for the movie version.

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I thought I'd give it a shot,even though I don't generally like remakes of any classic,but I'm already gagging at this movie. I really hate the pop pschycology in it-"oh Scarecrow,all you need is some confidence,that's all that's been keeping you from coming down"-and the photography is just awful-it's muddy and dark.It's not my screen,because I just watched the classic version and it was as clear and bright as a new penny. Diana Ross' "little girl voice" is killing me,LOL.The whole sense of wonderment,magic,innocence,and fantasy of the original is completely gone.

 

I do look forward to seeing the two silent versions.

 

This just goes to show how great the 1939 version really was.

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On a somber note, "The Wiz" may be one of the most unique artifacts of The World Trade Center which is the location of the Emerald City in the film.

 

I don't know if the NYC references were a part of the stage play but as a valentine to a city that was told to "Drop Dead" just a few years earlier, I have to admire it. (I could relate to more of what I saw in "The Wiz" than I could of the NYC in Woody Allen's "Manhattan".) I had just visited NYC for the first time two years prior to the release of this film. To a midwesterner, OZ and NYC had a lot in common.

 

Kyle In Hollywood

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The more I see in this film, I can't help wonder what was Sidney Lumet thinking? A few moments ago, were the stalking subway columns, and now the poppy fields in the original have become a street of hookers. I had mercifully forgotten so many bad moments of this. It's one of those films that is so bad you can't stop watching to see how much worse it can get.

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It's one of those films that is so bad you can't stop watching to see how much worse it can get.

 

 

 

 

Dang, I think you're right. I kept telling myself that I was suffering through it just to be sure to catch the beginning of the silent versions when they start,but I think you're right,it's like watching a train wreck.

 

 

 

I'm expecting the silent versions to be at least palatable,because I imagine that in those days they would have still considered this a children's story,with all the innocence and magic that that would mean in a movie,so at the least they would be true to the heart of the story. IOW,no hookers and disco instead of wicked witches and munchkins :)

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filmlover -

Thanks for the link.

Two things I just looked up -

- Motown Records was the Production Company and Quincy Jones the "music producer". Not a bright spot in his career, huh?

- the screenplay is credited to Joel Schumacher. Surprising as always thought he was quite "musical", if you get my drift.

 

kjk

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Sincerity just didn't work in the Seventies-it comes across as sappiness instead. It makes me think of those album covers with some Breck Girl in a misty field of wildflowers,or a Marlo Thomas TV special-gag!

 

 

It still worked in the Thirties and Forties.

 

That scene they just showed where all the sweatshop workers take off their ugly costumes and miraculously appear in yellow bikinis/speedos,looking buff and fit-ROFLMAO!

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And when someone starts singing an "inspirational" song with the tinkly synthesiser-sounding instrumentation-you know it's all over with-especially when the lyrics include something along the lines "you must believe in yourself,I believe in you"-paging Barry Manilow!

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