The Wiz - The magical land

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German title The Wiz - The magical land
Original title The Wiz
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1978
length 136 minutes
Age rating FSK 6
Director Sidney Lumet
script Joel Schumacher
production Rob Cohen
music Charlie Smalls
camera Oswald Morris
cut Dede Allen

The Wiz is an American musical directed by William F. Brown and filmed by Sidney Lumet in 1978 . It is based on the book The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum .


The original story by L. Frank Baum moved William F. Brown to Harlem , New York City, in the milieu of an African American family. Dorothy is a kindergarten teacher and lives with her dog Toto with Aunt Emma and Uncle Henry. After a family party, Toto walks out the door in the late evening while a snow storm is raging on the street. Dorothy runs after him and catches him again. She is caught in a gust of wind and carried away to a fantasy land. When entering this strange world, Dorothy slays the evil fairy and Dorothy receives wonderful silver shoes. But she would much rather go home with Toto. The inhabitants of the enchanting country show her the way to The Wiz . The wizard is the only one who can lead them back home. On the way she meets the scarecrow who wants a brain, the tin man who wants a heart and the lion who wants courage. Together they walk down the yellow paved road that leads to Emerald City, where The Wiz resides. When they arrive there, the friends are admitted to the wizard who, however, demands from Dorothy that she also kill the evil sister of the evil fairy. Only then can she go home again. With the help of the scarecrow she succeeds in killing the evil fairy, but she soon finds out that The Wiz was just a fraud and cannot help her any further. Then Glinda, the fairy godmother, appears and helps her to return home.


The musical The Wiz was a Broadway hit back in 1975 . Both the film and the stage show were cast exclusively with Afro-American actors and dancers. The music of Charlie Smalls was arranged by Quincy Jones in the style of Motown . In one scene in Emerald City, Jones can also be seen as a gold-clad pianist. The lavish dance scenes were choreographed by Louis Johnson . His dance company also provided most of the dance ensemble.

The film did not come into German cinemas and was marketed directly on DVD from July 1, 2004 . On June 24, 2012, the cultural broadcaster arte showed the musical on German free TV for the first time.


The film was nominated for four Oscars in 1979 : "Best Equipment", "Best Costumes", "Best Cinematography" and "Best Music".

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Release certificate for The Wiz - The magic land . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry , June 2004 (PDF; test number: 98 036 V / DVD).