Director was right


This is just an awful film and Diana Ross as Dorothy was an incredibly poor choice. Awful is too kind a word. She is just terrible.

"A man's kiss is his signature" -- Mae West

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I could not agree with you more with your post. Now, I haven't seen Stephanie Mills in "The Wiz" on Broadway, but I heard she was wonderful! I also heard and read that she was supposed to be the one to star in the movie. But, Ross stole the role from her when she tried to ask Barry Gordy for the role. He said she was too old for the role. But, she couldn't take no for an answer, went behind his back, and talked Universal pictures into letting her star in the film. I think one of the directors who were set to direct the film quit when he found out that she was going to star in it. The only person that made him stay was Michael Jackson, since he was sooooooo in love with her. When people, including critics saw the movie, they apparently did not like it, especially because of Ross. They praised all of the other actors, but not Ross. I know that me personally, I will NEVER have respect for Ross, like ever simply because she stole that role from Stephanie, the woman who deserved that role fair and square. I used to think that when someone gave her the news that the role suddenly went to Ross, she cried in her room for days straight. I just felt so bad for it and I developed so much resentment towards Ross. Matter of fact, she wasn't even that good. She just...eww, she is just the reason why I don't like "The Wiz".

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I saw in an extra on the THE WIZ DVD that the producer of the film had Ross in mind for the part all along, and Mills (who I saw as a kid in the mid-'80s revival of THE WIZ at Detroit's Masonic Temple Theatre with my mother,who took me to see it) may have not gotten the role because she was an unknown at the time---but it would have been nice to see how the film would have turned out with her in the starring role,though. (She did play Auntie Em in last year's live TV revival of THE WIZ, which was a nice touch for the show.) And Ross wasn't even that bad in the role---I actually liked her in it.

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I saw in an extra on the THE WIZ DVD that the producer of the film had Ross in mind for the part all along,


That was a TV special made to promote the movie. Any information given in it needs to be taken with a grain of salt as they're not going to tell you the actual nitty-gritty behind the scenes information when they want to convince you to go see the movie.

What we see and what we seem are but a dream. A dream within a dream.

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I loved it. Michael Jackson is a perfect Scarecrow.

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I loved it. Michael Jackson is a perfect Scarecrow


I agree with you. He was so sweet and innocent as the scarecrow.

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I agree with the director. Ross was just terrible in the role, and sunk the film. It's not that she can't sing, dance, or act, obviously she can. She just wasn't any fun!

It's not that "The Wiz" is a comedy, although of course it has comic elements, but it needs a sense of fun, some energy, some joy in the music at least, some LIFE. Ross's Dorothy was weak and whiny, putting a damper on everything, even the musical numbers she wasn't in. Because we see everything through her eyes, her miserable personality turns everything in this Oz into a downer.

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https://lebeauleblog.com/2018/03/24/movies-of-1978-bracket-game-grease-vs-the-wiz/

John Badham, who had previously directed Saturday Night Fever, was originally attached to direct The Wiz. But he left the project after Ross was cast in the lead. Badham felt that Ross was “a wonderful singer. She’s a terrific actress and a great dancer, but she’s not this character. She’s not the little six-year-old girl Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz.”

Sidney Lumet took over directorial duties. He set out to avoid comparisons with the MGM classic. “There was nothing to be gained from [the 1939 film] other than to make certain we didn’t use anything from it. They made a brilliant movie, and even though our concept is different – they’re Kansas, we’re New York; they’re white, we’re black, and the score and the books are totally different – we wanted to make sure that we never overlapped in any area.”

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