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  1. #51
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    My favorite scene ironically was when Mable King went into No Bad News lol

    There were also horrible production as far as the camera went. I mean they zoomed so far out from the initial Ease on Down the Road sequence that you barely saw MJ and Diana "ease on down the road"...

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by sansradio View Post
    Those are the Snow Babies. Their relevance? Your guess is as good as mine.

    I became friendly with one of them in the '90s, who was a customer at the bookstore I managed. She's one of the ones who get face time. The film came up in conversation; she replied, "You know, I was in that movie." She went on to regale me with a great story about how Lena was so grandmotherly and concerned for the kids during the shoot and would chastise Lumet about their working conditions. Leigh [[my friend) channeled Lena's Macon-Georgia-by-way-of-Brooklyn accent perfectly [["The bay-bizz! The bay-bizz! Somebody feed those bay-bizz!"). She also told me that she received roughly an $8 residuals check every year from Universal [[I'm sure it's a fraction of that these days). Leigh is now an associate professor at UCBerkeley.
    Many thanks for sharing such a nice recollection sans. I have never heard or read anything negative about the lovely M’s Horn.
    Perhaps the Snow Babies were the ones responsible for helping to create the snow blizzard that whisked Dorothy off to Oz..........Yea, I know.

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    Lena was a guest on the 1963/64 ill - fated but at times exceptionally brilliant weekly CBS "Judy Garland Show"... Judy was plagued with mental health problems and addiction and her behaviour at times - as it had for years, threw the show into turmoil..Lena was cool as ice waiting for a late Garland to show up to rehearse the complicated Medley they would perform together.. she was sympathetic to Judys inner battle and didnt complain about her waiting for the star to get it together and work..while others in production whispered how rude it was to make a talent of Hornes stature waiting..Lena showed class not provoking the situation
    Last edited by nomis; 03-18-2021 at 06:27 PM.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by nomis View Post
    Lena was a guest on the 1963/64 ill - fated but at times exceptionally brilliant weekly CBS "Judy Garland Show"... Judy was plagued with mental health problems and addiction and her behaviour at times - as it had for years, threw the show into turmoil..Lena was cool as ice waiting for a late Garland to show up to rehearse the complicated Medley they would perform together.. she was sympathetic to Judys inner battle and didnt complain about her waiting for the star to get it together and work..while others in production whispered how rude it was to make a talent of Hornes stature waiting..Lena showed class not provoking the situation
    Many years ago I once met someone at a party who had worked with Lena Horne. I remember him telling me that she was a genuinely lovely lady who was interested and supportive of everyone she met.
    Never sure if that well documented story about Diana refusing to share a dressing room with Lena while filming The Wiz was just nonsense. In fairness to Diana, as leading lady i would not have welcomed the idea of doubling up either.

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post
    Many years ago I once met someone at a party who had worked with Lena Horne. I remember him telling me that she was a genuinely lovely lady who was interested and supportive of everyone she met.
    Never sure if that well documented story about Diana refusing to share a dressing room with Lena while filming The Wiz was just nonsense. In fairness to Diana, as leading lady i would not have welcomed the idea of doubling up either.
    Lena said, in an Ebony magazine cover story, that Diana was “sweet as pie” to her throughout the shoot. And at that stage her career, Lena wasn’t one to bite her tongue. In another interview shortly after Lumet and her daughter Gail divorced, Lena referred to him as “the bastard—and you can print it.”
    Last edited by sansradio; 03-19-2021 at 08:53 AM.

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post
    Many years ago I once met someone at a party who had worked with Lena Horne. I remember him telling me that she was a genuinely lovely lady who was interested and supportive of everyone she met.
    Never sure if that well documented story about Diana refusing to share a dressing room with Lena while filming The Wiz was just nonsense. In fairness to Diana, as leading lady i would not have welcomed the idea of doubling up either.
    the 'refusing to share' bit might have been spun into a diva moment when really it might have been founded on common sense. Diana was the lead in the movie and therefore in every [[or nearly every) scene. we all know what a serious and committed worker she is. often times actors need total space prior to performing. they need to focus on themselves and the character, their motivations, how they'll react, etc. to do this, they need to be uninterrupted and significant degree of seclusion.

    Diana mentions later that while preparing for Out of Darkness, she had the boys move in with their father since she didn't want them to be scared by her immersion in the role, mood changes, stress, etc.

    So it's easy for someone to interpret this as "oh the heifer! who does she think she is?!?!?" when really it's about her need to prepare herself for this role

    i would guess it was a similar situation back in the Sups days when Berry separated the dressing rooms. like it or not, diana was really carrying the bulk of the show. she was under immense stress and pressure. when you add in the disintegration of the relationship between the girls, it isn't really that hard to see why she just needed to get away. seems like she's the type of person that draw her energy from being alone. in order to hit that stage and be DIANA ROSS she needed to focus and draw all her energies. if the Flo problems and all were too much for that, then for the sake of the show it makes some sense

  7. #57
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    At The sold-out sneak preview in St. Louis, the audience grew restless within 30 minutes. Less than an hour into it there was a steady stream of shuffling in the seats coughing, people getting up and going to buy candy go to the bathroom and have a cigarette or stuff and come back. For the next hour, traffic back-and-forth increased and every time diana ross began to sing another song groups of people got up, it wasn’t just me, it was a major disappointment to everyone there. People enjoyed you can’t win, and the fact that it finally ended, and nobody left with a song in their heart and a song on their lips. People got up, if anything they were glum, and try to start the long walk to the exit. You know a picture isn’t working when a special theme song commissioned to be written by Ashford & Simpson as the main piece of music throughout the show, is cut from the final release print because the audience could not stand one more ballad. For its time, it was a dismal failure. Word of mouth could not have been worse. The soundtrack album was also a dismal failure compared to what was expected and cut out bins were littered with them for years. Yes, It went gold because it shipped so many copies initially, but that’s the only reason. Had returns and write off’s been included in its final numbers, it would not have gone Gold.
    Over 40 years later, audiences see it differentlly. It’s amazing to me that people like it now because I was almost sick when I saw it. There were a few moments that I liked a lot, but 95% of a movie to me was just terrible. Even the World trade Center sequence, which I later found out was plagued with problems and time constraints, seemed a hot mess considering it was such a brilliantly conceived and executed sequence, but filming was riddled with issues that could not be corrected. I hated the costumes, a lot of the sets, 99% of the dialogue, much of the acting, and all of the special effects. With movies like Star Wars and Superman preceding it, this look like something a kindergarten class would’ve produced. I know people who were at the world premiere in New York and they said the film was loved by everybody there and it was predicted to be a huge hit. When they saw the second time they threw up and could only explain that it must have been all the star power there and the excitement that made people think what they were seeing was wonderful entertainment. I’m glad people like it now, if it brings happiness to anybody that’s a wonderful thing and that’s what it was meant for. For 1978, it was a disaster of epic proportion’s.
    Last edited by TheMotownManiac; 03-19-2021 at 12:58 PM.

  8. #58
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    i wonder if the preachy EST crap had been eliminated, if the script would have been better. endless dribble about finding yourself and being true could be tossed and instead focus on plot and character development

    then tighten up the scenes. probably just about every scene could be trimmed 5 - 10% in dialog, shots, duration.

    as mentioned above, Glinda should have more of a role. i think the 1939 movie was right to consolidate the good witches into one. so the Wiz should have followed that.

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheMotownManiac View Post
    At The sold-out sneak preview in St. Louis, the audience grew restless within 30 minutes. Less than an hour into it there was a steady stream of shuffling in the seats coughing, people getting up and going to buy candy go to the bathroom and have a cigarette or stuff and come back. For the next hour, traffic back-and-forth increased and every time diana ross began to sing another song groups of people got up, it wasn’t just me, it was a major disappointment to everyone there. People enjoyed you can’t win, and the fact that it finally ended, and nobody left with a song in their heart and a song on their lips. People got up, if anything they were glum, and try to start the long walk to the exit. You know a picture isn’t working when a special theme song commissioned to be written by Ashford & Simpson as the main piece of music throughout the show, is cut from the final release print because the audience could not stand one more ballad. For its time, it was a dismal failure. Word of mouth could not have been worse. The soundtrack album was also a dismal failure compared to what was expected and cut out bins were littered with them for years. Yes, It went gold because it shipped so many copies initially, but that’s the only reason. Had returns and write off’s been included in its final numbers, it would not have gone Gold.
    Over 40 years later, audiences see it differentlly. It’s amazing to me that people like it now because I was almost sick when I saw it. There were a few moments that I liked a lot, but 95% of a movie to me was just terrible. Even the World trade Center sequence, which I later found out was plagued with problems and time constraints, seemed a hot mess considering it was such a brilliantly conceived and executed sequence, but filming was riddled with issues that could not be corrected. I hated the costumes, a lot of the sets, 99% of the dialogue, much of the acting, and all of the special effects. With movies like Star Wars and Superman preceding it, this look like something a kindergarten class would’ve produced. I know people who were at the world premiere in New York and they said the film was loved by everybody there and it was predicted to be a huge hit. When they saw the second time they threw up and could only explain that it must have been all the star power there and the excitement that made people think what they were seeing was wonderful entertainment. I’m glad people like it now, if it brings happiness to anybody that’s a wonderful thing and that’s what it was meant for. For 1978, it was a disaster of epic proportion’s.

    Very interesting first hand account , Motown Maniac. You've made me think of an experience I had with a movie called CANT STOP THE MUSIC , a vehicle contrived solely to cash in on The Village People's popularity. I went to the premiere in San Francisco , not knowing what to expect ....certainly not GONE WITH THE WIND.... but also certainly not the disaster it was.
    It was a purposeless waste of time .... I found myself hoping to find a side door to exit because there were no words I could find to be complementary for the reception crowd waiting in the lobby. As it turned out , they already seemed to be dreading what the response would be while having to greet people, and from listening to others and noticing the quick dispersal of the after crowd , it was clear that my reaction was universal ,everybody seemed to be red-faced about the entire thing. Lol!

    I guess I was hopeful that this would be disco's masterpiece on film , or at worst some off beat campy fun like ROCKY HORROR, not sure why I would hope for any of that after already experiencing the horrendous THANK GOD ITS FRIDAY, and not much better SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER , a movie I almost walked out of midway. I guess I thought surely they'd learned something and it could only go up from there- lol!






    do the milk 'shake'.....!!



    can't stop the music?? this just might [[ maybe it did?) !!! lol!




    added : no I'm not in any way comparing this to The Wiz.....which I think had the best of intentions ...
    Last edited by Boogiedown; 03-19-2021 at 02:04 PM.

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheMotownManiac View Post
    At The sold-out sneak preview in St. Louis, the audience grew restless within 30 minutes. Less than an hour into it there was a steady stream of shuffling in the seats coughing, people getting up and going to buy candy go to the bathroom and have a cigarette or stuff and come back. For the next hour, traffic back-and-forth increased and every time diana ross began to sing another song groups of people got up, it wasn’t just me, it was a major disappointment to everyone there. People enjoyed you can’t win, and the fact that it finally ended, and nobody left with a song in their heart and a song on their lips. People got up, if anything they were glum, and try to start the long walk to the exit. You know a picture isn’t working when a special theme song commissioned to be written by Ashford & Simpson as the main piece of music throughout the show, is cut from the final release print because the audience could not stand one more ballad. For its time, it was a dismal failure. Word of mouth could not have been worse. The soundtrack album was also a dismal failure compared to what was expected and cut out bins were littered with them for years. Yes, It went gold because it shipped so many copies initially, but that’s the only reason. Had returns and write off’s been included in its final numbers, it would not have gone Gold.
    Over 40 years later, audiences see it differentlly. It’s amazing to me that people like it now because I was almost sick when I saw it. There were a few moments that I liked a lot, but 95% of a movie to me was just terrible. Even the World trade Center sequence, which I later found out was plagued with problems and time constraints, seemed a hot mess considering it was such a brilliantly conceived and executed sequence, but filming was riddled with issues that could not be corrected. I hated the costumes, a lot of the sets, 99% of the dialogue, much of the acting, and all of the special effects. With movies like Star Wars and Superman preceding it, this look like something a kindergarten class would’ve produced. I know people who were at the world premiere in New York and they said the film was loved by everybody there and it was predicted to be a huge hit. When they saw the second time they threw up and could only explain that it must have been all the star power there and the excitement that made people think what they were seeing was wonderful entertainment. I’m glad people like it now, if it brings happiness to anybody that’s a wonderful thing and that’s what it was meant for. For 1978, it was a disaster of epic proportion’s.
    Its uncanny, but reading your post I was transported back 43 years to when the film opened in London. The disappointment in the the audience was tangible. At the end people filed out of the exits in complete and utter silence looking rather downcast.
    I later attended a matinee, when i should have been at school. This was Diana Ross on the big screen after all. It felt rather odd as other then me, the place was entirely empty.

  11. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post
    Its uncanny, but reading your post I was transported back 43 years to when the film opened in London. The disappointment in the the audience was tangible. At the end people filed out of the exits in complete and utter silence looking rather downcast.
    I later attended a matinee, when i should have been at school. This was Diana Ross on the big screen after all. It felt rather odd as other then me, the place was entirely empty.
    “International disdain for The Wiz”

    ”Wiz: Wasted Wanker”...............UK Variety

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    Very interesting first hand account , Motown Maniac. You've made me think of an experience I had with a movie called CANT STOP THE MUSIC , a vehicle contrived solely to cash in on The Village People's popularity. I went to the premiere in San Francisco , not knowing what to expect ....certainly not GONE WITH THE WIND.... but also certainly not the disaster it was.
    It was a purposeless waste of time .... I found myself hoping to find a side door to exit because there were no words I could find to be complementary for the reception crowd waiting in the lobby. As it turned out , they already seemed to be dreading what the response would be while having to greet people, and from listening to others and noticing the quick dispersal of the after crowd , it was clear that my reaction was universal ,everybody seemed to be red-faced about the entire thing. Lol!

    I guess I was hopeful that this would be disco's masterpiece on film , or at worst some off beat campy fun like ROCKY HORROR, not sure why I would hope for any of that after already experiencing the horrendous THANK GOD ITS FRIDAY, and not much better SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER , a movie I almost walked out of midway. I guess I thought surely they'd learned something and it could only go up from there- lol!






    do the milk 'shake'.....!!



    can't stop the music?? this just might [[ maybe it did?) !!! lol!




    added : no I'm not in any way comparing this to The Wiz.....which I think had the best of intentions ...
    It WAS torture, but Bruce Jenner was cute, so we went - I think we had passes or snuck in or something, we probably went to another movie and then climbed over the rope because I can’t imagine paying to see it as I knew it wasn’t my type of film and I never went to thank God it’s Friday even though ross had a Song in it. The Wiz tragedy was taking a hit Broadway musical with a gigantic budget and a bunch of big stars and making bleeech out of it. It was a bigger disappointment than the I love you album, Akin, feeling-wise perhaps to the Donald Trump election night disaster. We did get a few laughs out of those creepy shots of the snow babies and the crazy faces Lena Horne was making which looked like someone was goosing her from the back to get a reaction out of her. Ughhhh..... The title sequence was a harbinger of things to come, unfortunately. But I loved the harmonica solo of home, and the fact that they played ease on down the road over the universal logo at the beginning. Basting the Turkey, spilling the checkers, snow that doesn’t melt in the star’s mouth, I’m not going to do this. All of my daffodils are up and they look wonderful! Spring is here! Daphne, hyacinths, crocus, tulips - life is good!

  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheMotownManiac View Post
    “International disdain for The Wiz”

    ”Wiz: Wasted Wanker”...............UK Variety
    I wonder why “wanker”. I don’t suppose you have the article?.
    Do you think the Wiz could ever have worked with Diana cast as Dorothy?.

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    I was at the premier at the theatre in my hometown. The lines were long down the block. It was sold out. It was so exciting seeing Diana Ross’ name all lighted up on the marquee. Went with a group of my friends from high school. The audience and my friends seemed to be having a good time and really enjoyed it. However I cringed through most of it. After all of the promotion and buildup. I was so anxious to see this film. I could hardly wait. But I was so disappointed. I couldn’t believe my friends liked it. The problem for me was the look of Diana Ross. It ruined the movie for me. They made her look terrible. IMO. Even though she was in her 30s. They could of made her look like a young girl or woman. That short afro and makeup was hideous. The set looked cheap and the director was all wrong. I can hardly sit through it. It drags. However I do love the
    performance by Diana of “Home”. It really did bring the audience to their feet. That was an awesome performance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vgalindo View Post
    I was at the premier at the theatre in my hometown. The lines were long down the block. It was sold out. It was so exciting seeing Diana Ross’ name all lighted up on the marquee. Went with a group of my friends from high school. The audience and my friends seemed to be having a good time and really enjoyed it. However I cringed through most of it. After all of the promotion and buildup. I was so anxious to see this film. I could hardly wait. But I was so disappointed. I couldn’t believe my friends liked it. The problem for me was the look of Diana Ross. It ruined the movie for me. They made her look terrible. IMO. Even though she was in her 30s. They could of made her look like a young girl or woman. That short afro and makeup was hideous. The set looked cheap and the director was all wrong. I can hardly sit through it. It drags. However I do love the
    performance by Diana of “Home”. It really did bring the audience to their feet. That was an awesome performance.
    It’s interesting how often our personal enjoyment is so influenced by physical beauty. Often when reading DR posts on you tube, the only comments left are on how beautiful she might look. A beautiful diva, goddess etc etc.
    The thing I love about Diana is that she is not a celeb who feels the need to be seen looking buff all the time. Lady Sings The Blues and Out Of Darkness are testimony to this.
    I really liked it when on Oprah she spoke lightheartedly about people seeing the real Diana Ross.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    1. Diana plays the role as if she were appearing in Shakespeare In The Park. she's almost frighteningly serious. and if she isn't stone faced serious, she's screaming at the top of her lungs. basically she's totally neurotic
    This cracked me up, ESPECIALLY the last sentence! Me, personally, I Love The Wiz. So sad that it bombed. I think it looks great, the songs are fantastic, I love the characters, and I love the theme. I wish Glinda could've had 20 more minutes of screen time. LMAO @ Diana Neurotic, tho

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    Quote Originally Posted by JLoveLamar View Post
    This cracked me up, ESPECIALLY the last sentence! Me, personally, I Love The Wiz. So sad that it bombed. I think it looks great, the songs are fantastic, I love the characters, and I love the theme. I wish Glinda could've had 20 more minutes of screen time. LMAO @ Diana Neurotic, tho
    The movie was appallingly bad. I have still not managed to watch it through to the very end despite numerous attempts, but the soundtrack was wonderful. Ms Ross rarely sounded better, and it still annoys me that we never got the proposed studio album with Quincy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebrock View Post
    The movie was appallingly bad. I have still not managed to watch it through to the very end despite numerous attempts, but the soundtrack was wonderful. Ms Ross rarely sounded better, and it still annoys me that we never got the proposed studio album with Quincy.
    couldn't agree more. it's just a hideous movie. Diana's acting is mind boggling bad. this is like something out of a bad high school musical where they give the principal's undeserving daughter the lead. the filming is maddening as most of the dance scenes were essentially shot 3 miles from the actors. and from behind. the script totally ruins to story.

    And while the soundtrack is the most redeeming thing of this project, i'd hardly say these are the most iconic and memorable songs to ever come out of a musical. Ease On Down is hands down the best. and that's not saying much

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    It was a hot mess with the exception of Brand New Day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JLoveLamar View Post
    This cracked me up, ESPECIALLY the last sentence! Me, personally, I Love The Wiz. So sad that it bombed. I think it looks great, the songs are fantastic, I love the characters, and I love the theme. I wish Glinda could've had 20 more minutes of screen time. LMAO @ Diana Neurotic, tho
    i wonder if anyone has counted the screentime of Diana just standing there screaming? that alone probably accounts for 10 mins minutes lol

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