The world is astounded when Willy Wonka, for years a recluse in his factory, announces that five lucky people will be given a tour of the factory, shown all the secrets of his amazing candy, and one will win a lifetime supply of Wonka chocolate. Nobody wants the prize more than young Charlie, but as his family is so poor that buying even one bar of chocolate is a treat, buying enough bars to find one of the five golden tickets is unlikely in the extreme. But in movieland, magic can happen. Charlie, along with four somewhat odious other children, get the chance of a lifetime and a tour of the factory. Along the way, mild disasters befall each of the odious children, but can Charlie beat the odds and grab the brass ring? Written by
Rick Munoz <email@example.com>
When I first saw this movie on VHS in the late '80s, I was shocked. A '70s movie with a GOOD message?? I couldn't believe it. The message: kids - be honest and be trustworthy and don't be obnoxious; parents - don't spoil your kids or they'll quickly turn out to be brats.
Wow, no wonder liberal critics like Leonard Maltin trashed this film. It was not the normal message being delivered in movies, which usually trashes the good and glorifies the bad. That's what makes this story refreshing, and the same goes for the re-make that was released in 2005.
Peter Ostrum plays the likable Charlie and is very good. He's one of the nicest kids ever put on screen and was a fine actor. It's kind of surprising this was the only film he ever did! Jack Albertson does a nice job of Charlie's loving grandpa and so do the bratty kids, especially the English girl who is so bad you have to laugh at her.
The first part of the story was a good satire on how people sometimes make trivial things so important and how the news media gets carried way with stupid issues. (Wow, look at it now!) The second half of the story is intriguing because of the co-star of the film: Willy Wonka - a no-nonsense candy maker who doesn't put up with the brats - was fascinating to watch. (The critics thought he was too nasty.) Gene Wilder is excellent as Willy. Yes, he has a bit of a mean streak to him but his comments are fun to hear and on the money despite his lack of verbal tact. Most people prefer Wilder's version of "Wonka," by the way, over the bizarre-but- talented Johnny Depp's.
This was an entertaining film that should keep your interest. It's also an interesting comparison to the 2005 movie. Frankly, I enjoyed both.
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