Abstract

ABSTRACT:

This article draws attention to The Wiz (Sidney Lumet, 1978) as the first Black-cast blockbuster and reassesses its significance to issues of Black media production, reception, and distribution. With a focus on press reviews, this article uses what I am theorizing as racialized media reception to understand The Wiz's historical and industrial import beyond its $23 million budget for Black and white reviewers and moviegoers. Providing an analysis of reviews from both the Black and mainstream presses, archival production documents, and documents about the film's distribution, this article argues that film reviews, as cinematic paratexts, helped to structure consumption and shaped the narrative of The Wiz as a failure.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2578-4919
Print ISSN
2578-4900
Pages
pp. 56-79
Launched on MUSE
2021-02-11
Open Access
No
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