Maya Phillips' review.
Last Edit: portenopete 06:24 pm EDT 04/18/24
Posted by: portenopete 06:20 pm EDT 04/18/24
In reply to: NYTimes review: The Wiz - raydan 11:07 pm EDT 04/17/24

I'm just trying to imagine the reaction to a NYT review that began: "Let me start with a confession: I’ve never liked Fiddler on the Roof. But give me a retelling with, say, an Episcopalian Tevye and a Scandinavian Anatevka, and I’m immediately kvelling."

I'm not quite sure why Ms Phillips feels the need to denigrate the classic 1939 film on which the 1975 musical was based. Her quote from Clive Barnes' original NYT review gives a clue, perhaps: if Mr. Barnes- a 48-year old White Englishman- could muse that perhaps The Wiz' version of the tale was not tailored for his particular demographic, then it's Maya Phillips' right to say the same thing about Victor Fleming's film (though I expect she is in the minority: hundreds of million of children from around the world have thrilled to the film for 85 years and counting).

As a gay White kid growing up in the 1970's I can honestly say I had equal affection for both iterations and perhaps even more passion for the 1978 Sidney Lumet film (though to call it "beloved" is a bit of a stretch.) I'd have been so much poorer if I'd looked at the poster and seen a cast of Black faces and thought: "Oh, well I guess that ain't for this little White boy." (Just the thought of never getting to see a film that featured Diana Ross AND Michael Jackson AND Richard Pryor AND Lena Effing Horne together in the SAME MOVIE makes me nauseous.)

Although in 1978 I think I was most excited by the presence of Nipsey Russell, whom I loved from Match Game LOL.
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