Set in 1970s New York, this glitzed-out spin on The Wizard of Oz—written by Joel Schumacher just after he penned Car Wash and Sparkle—stars Diana Ross as the timid Dorothy who gets swept away to the land of Oz for a journey of self-discovery and features an all-star cast (Michael Jackson in his cinematic debut, Nipsey Russell, Ted Ross, and Richard Pryor as the Wiz) and a score by the inimitable Quincy Jones. Filming partly at Astoria Studios in Queens on spectacular Art Deco-meets-disco sets, Lumet also turned in some of the decade’s most imaginative cinematic depictions of New York locales—from the decaying New York State Pavilion as Munchkinland and Coney Island as backdrop for the Tinman’s introduction to the World Trade Center as Emerald City. A critical and commercial failure upon its release, The Wiz has since become an all-ages cult film and remains an ambitious contrast to the 1939 MGM musical. 

“A touchstone in representation. The reimagining of ‘Oz’ with an all-star, all-Black cast set in an Afro-Futurist New York City. Mainstream audiences initially rejected the film effectively marking the end of the Blaxploitation movement.” —Jordan Peele