starring Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, Richard Pryor
screenplay by Joel Schumacher
directed by Sidney Lumet
by Alex Jackson The Wizard of Oz is a quintessentially American work that could not possibly have been produced by any other culture. Doing a "blaxploitation" version of the story, then, seems considerably less tacky than doing one of Dracula or Frankenstein. Dorothy is a farm girl from Kansas living with extended family in something beyond the traditional nuclear-family structure. There's a strong sense of community in the film as well: in addition to Auntie Em, Uncle Henry, and the hired hands, Professor Marvel, the inspiration for the Wizard of Oz, is there at Dorothy's bedside when she wakes up. Dealing with themes of solidarity among the working class, The Wizard of Oz isn't a film about the black experience, but with just a little tinkering, it easily could be.