18 October 2011 3:00 PM, PDT | NextMovie | See recent NextMovie news »

While it is considered a classic today, "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" was not a hit upon its 1971 release and was even criticized by some people who thought it was mean to children.

But in directing the adaption of the Roald Dahl book "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," director Mel Stuart crafted a tale for adults, not kids. That is probably a big reason why it has endured and influenced everyone from "The Simpsons" to Marilyn Manson, on top of the brilliant performance from Gene Wilder as the eccentric yet calculating candy maker. And let's face it, kids love it too. They get it.

The imaginative story about five children who win a tour of Willy Wonka's top secret confectionary plant -- and the chaos they create with subsequent consequences they did not foresee -- is filled with all sorts of great characters, from Wonka to the irrepressibly bratty »

- Bryan Reesman

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