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The Wiz

If there was an Academy Award for most whiny, blubbering, crying, weakest heroine, Diana Ross would certainly own that award for her portrayal of Dorothy in 1978's lumbering dinosaur of a musical THE WIZ.

There isn't a scene in the film in which Ross manages to not cry, scream in terror or look emotionally constipated. It would be easy to say her performance single hand-idly sinks the film, but BOY does she get a lot of help.

Richard Pryor is really bad as The Wizard, alternating between shouting and whimpering all his lines like he is just embarrassed to be in the film at all, Nipsey Russell is clunky as the Tin Man and Ted Ross makes Bert Lahr's performance in the 1939 classic look subdued by comparison.

Michael Jackson actually fares the best, bringing some strong dance and voice talents to the mix with the only bright spots in the film.

Sidney Lumet is a GREAT film director (Network, Dog Day Afternoon, Serpico) so what in the hell is he doing helming a musical?

With a $24 million budget in 1978 (HUGE in today's dollars) the filmmakers spend a ton on costumes and sets, turning the plaza between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center (haunting) into the entrance to The Wizard's palace, but all the money just whimpers across the screen.

Only grossing $13 million at the box office, it was one of the biggest bombs of the seventies and deservedly so.

This is just a horrible mess. It's a two hour downer on a yellow brick road to nowhere.

Like it's heroes, it has no heart, no brains and no clue how to entertain. Behind the very fancy curtain, there is truly nothing there.

Run Toto Run! This one is a stinker, a big, tacky F.

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