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Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
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Index 332 reviews in total 

105 out of 124 people found the following review useful:

Timeless.

10/10
Author: Michael DeZubiria (wppispam2013@gmail.com) from Luoyang, China
30 September 2001

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is a truly magnificent piece of filmmaking and remains one of the most fascinating and wonderful adventure films ever made. One of the things that makes this film so intriguing is that it could have been made at any time. I mean, just from watching it, you can't really tell when it was made. It has been one of my favorite films for almost 20 years now, and it wasn't until today that I actually realized when it was made. Watching it again last night, I had convinced myself that it was made sometime in the early to mid 80s, and I was shocked to find out that this year is the movie's 30 year anniversary. Until now, pretty much the only movie I associate with 1971 is A Clockwork Orange, and it's just strange for some reason to find out that this classic movie was made so long ago.

At any rate, Willy Wonka is a tremendously imaginative and inspiring film. It's a family film, but one of the most important aspects of a family film is that it has to be enjoyable for a variety of ages. This is what makes movies like Toy Story and Shrek such huge successes- the adults will love it just as much as the kids are sure to. Hence: `family' film. On the other hand, this is also the downfall of such other movies that are strictly for a much younger audience, like Cats & Dogs. The makers of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory understood this very well, and you can see that just by the way that the cast is divided. Here are all of these kids (funny how it was only kids who found those golden tickets…) who were at this candy factory, and they had each elected to bring one of their parents with them as the one admissible member of their family who was allowed by Wonka to accompany them to the factory.

One of the best elements of this film is the excellently written script and, even more, the songs. These are some of the best songs in any movie ever made, rivaling even the best of the songs from Disney's films (hey, some of them are really good…). There are, of course, some exceptions, such as `Cheer up, Charlie,' which I have been fast-forwarding through for as long as I can remember, but for the most part, the songs are fun to listen to and they pertain to life outside the movie. They are not just songs about the candy-making genius of Willy Wonka or the excitement of being able to tour his mysterious factory, but they are about life in the real world. They're about believing in yourself and being motivated in life (`Anything you want to, do it. Want to change the world, there's nothing to it…'), but there are also some that have to do mostly with the movie but are still just as enjoyable, such as the classic song that Wonka sings in the tunnel on board his boat (curiously named `Wonkatania'), which was creepily covered by Marilyn Manson a couple of decades later.

The dialogue in the film contains some of the most interesting little tidbits in the entire movie. Wonka's lines, in particular, are wonderfully strange and amusing (`A little nonsense now and then is cherished by the wisest men.'). He is a truly eccentric and fascinating man, and Gene Wilder captures the character flawlessly, as he delivers the lines from the brilliantly written script. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is one of those rare movies that comes along and completely changes the way that fantasy films are made. It's all about having fun in life and being hopeful against all odds and, most of all, being able to have fun in life. There are times when you have to let things go for a while and just act like a kid. Eat candy, run around and play, steal fizzy lifting drinks and bump into the ceiling that now has to be washed and sterilized, it doesn't matter as long as no one's looking. That's such a trivial little quirk of Wonka's (who sterilizes their ceiling?) that it becomes obvious that the movie is trying to say that it's okay to break the rules every once in a while. Have fun in life.

Besides being absolutely mouth-watering (to this day, I still fantasize about sinking my teeth into one of those gigantic gummy bears), the movie is an uplifting adventure that warms the heart and sends people of all ages away with fairy tale candies dancing in their heads and wonderful songs just behind their lips. It is an always-welcome vacation from reality for people of all ages, and it should always be remembered and loved for that. This movie will ALWAYS be a must-see.

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98 out of 117 people found the following review useful:

Gene Wilder revealed...

9/10
Author: brundage3 from Lake Chelan Wa., United States
20 May 2005

Most excellent works in the arts are seen and enjoyed at a variety of "levels." That is true of this movie in general and of Gene Wilder in specific.

Wilder has been known in the circles of movie creators as a creative genius for many years. Here, his acting ability showcases that genius. To be sure, at the level of good fun for kids and Moms and Dads, he comes through. But writers must have loved his work. Watch for the "look" in his eyes. You will see "changes" in them as he speaks or as he listens to the kids. Those unheard, barely seen changes can be read many ways. And that is the genius. They put more into the lines than the words themselves.

Art should be clearly and quickly understood. It should also be the tool used to make us wonder a bit. Think a little. Or find meaning we didn't see at first look.

In this movie, Gene Wilder's almost imperceptible nuances speak volumes.

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85 out of 100 people found the following review useful:

One of my all-time favourites.

10/10
Author: Jonathon Dabell (barnaby.rudge@hotmail.co.uk) from Todmorden, England
25 March 2004

Surprisingly, Roald Dahl (author of Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, on which this film is based) reportedly hated this big screen version of his book. There's no denying that the book is sheer genius, but in all honesty this film adaptation is exceptionally well made too. In fact, it comes high up on my list of all-time movie favourites.

The Wonka Chocolate Factory is an amazing building from which some of the most scrumdiddlyumptious sweets are delivered to the world's candy stores. Wonka-mania hits the world when five golden tickets are hidden inside packs of Wonka bars - for the winners will be granted a tour of the top-secret factory. Young Charlie Bucket, a poor boy whose family cottage lies within sight of Wonka's factory, dreams of becoming a winner - but with barely a penny to his name, does he have a chance?

What makes Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory such a success is the way it skillfully blends entertainment and a serious underlying moral. Each winning child is exposed as being rotten-to-the-core, then dealt with harshly and dismissively by Wonka. Seeing these awful brats get their come-uppance is hilarious, enjoyable and - on a serious level - quite eye-opening (it's as if parents in the audience are being told how to prevent their children from turning bad). Gene Wilder was simply born to play Wonka (every eccentric phrase, every bemused expression, and every mischievous glance is judged to perfection). The film's set design is fabulous, with particular high-spots including the chocolate room, the egg room and the wacky corridor which gets smaller and narrower the closer you get to the end. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is simply magic - a film that everyone must see, especially parents whose kids are just becoming that bit too big for their boots!

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81 out of 104 people found the following review useful:

"WE are the music-makers, and WE are the dreamers of dreams!"

9/10
Author: great_sphinx_42 from The Poppy Field, OZ 69666
9 June 1999

When I was a kid, my mom made me sit through this a trillion and one times. It's one of her favorites. I liked it well enough back then, but it's only now that I'm older that I can appreciate the true sinister glory of this movie. It's so deliciously creepy! For those who have to whine about how messed up it is, consider the original "Cinderella." Now that was awful. Willy Wonka is the stranger with a bag of chocolate that parents are always warning their kids about, but what he's really offering is a seductive nightmare in a kaleidescope of candy colors, a cautionary tale told with fairy story whimsy. I got it when I was 5, but the thrill didn't register. "A dirty trick on innocent children?" Some people out there obviously don't remember what it's really like to be a kid. Childhood is full of booby traps and the allure of the forbidden, and that which is evil frequently looks divine. "Willy Wonka" is about giving in and seeing the horrors and delights, the choices and pratfalls on the other side. It's disturbing because it strikes a certain primal chord: freedom and danger are entwined, and people have never wanted to associate children with either.

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79 out of 104 people found the following review useful:

Pure Goodness!

10/10
Author: Kristine (kristinedrama14@msn.com) from Chicago, Illinois
10 January 2004

Anyone could love this film and I don't see how you couldn't fall in love with Willy Wonka. This is without a doubt one of the most charming movies of all time that is still to this day one of the most enjoyed movies for a family night. Despite it's dark little messages, it still made light of everything and made this movie "satisfying and delicious".

You'll see a world of pure imagination and will absolutely fall for Willy Wonka. Gene Wilder is a comedic genius who will forever be the timeless Willy Wonka. He played it so well and made it look so easy. All the kids were amazing as well, I mean the boy who played Charlie was so adorable and you felt so awful for him. You just wished for his deepest wishes to come true. The sets are also just fantastic and so yummy to look at. On of my favorite scenes was with the "inventing room", all the amazing gizzmo's. I also loved how we took a peek into Wonka's madness when he throws a shoe into a boiling water pot and says "It gives it a little kick". One of my favorite lines of all time is "Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker".

The film is not only great to look at but it has terrific and catchy songs that will be stuck in your head and find yourself humming down the street. This is going to be a timeless classic that I can't wait to show my future children.

10/10

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39 out of 48 people found the following review useful:

One of my all time favorites...

Author: (movie_dude719) from Hanover, USA
28 December 2000

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory: ****

"Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" is a wonderful movie that should be viewed by everyone. It is one of my personal favorites.

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is about a poor boy named Charlie (Peter Ostrum). His life is horrible. But one day, he hears the news that Willy Wonka (Gene Wilder) is sending out five golden tickets and then letting the winners go into his factory. The first four winners are Augustus Gloop (Michael Bollner), Veruca Salt (Julie Dawn Cole), Violet Beauregarde (Denise Nickerson), and Mike Teevee (Paris Themmen). Charlie then wins the fifth golden ticket by luck.

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is visually stunning and cleverly written. The songs are remarkable. The whole movie is a fun journey through the chocolate factory. It is very enjoyable, fun, and clever. The scenery and props are eye candy.

The most underrated character in the movie is Mr. Turkentine. He is only in three scenes, but everytime he is on screen he is hilarious. I love the quote: "I've just decided to switch our Friday schedule to Monday, which means that the test we take each Friday on what we learned during the week will now take place on Monday before we've learned it. But since today is Tuesday, it doesn't matter in the slightest." He is very, very funny.

Julie Dawn Cole plays Veruca so well. She is so bratty and she is one of those characters that you hate so much you love them. Roy Kinnear (who will be missed) is hysterical as her father. The whole movie is funny in it's own odd and strange way. It is a classic that will be treasured for many years to come.

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35 out of 47 people found the following review useful:

Simply indispensable

9/10
Author: Don Muvo from Encinitas, California
25 December 2004

All the ideas that Rould Dahl puts into his book "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" are here in an imaginative visual form appropriate to the time it was made. A lot of attention was paid to the sets and visual effects, clever special effects such as a trap door and miniturization testify to the care that the producers put into making this movie. The theme of the movie is difficult for adults. There are bad children in the world. They come from bad parents, they're not created by emulation, but rather the parents "produce them", much like chocolate is produced in a factory. The factory is populated by miniature people named oomphaloopas that remind the listener at intervals of Dahl's moral points: Too much TV is bad for children, books should be read instead, and children need to adhere to an ethical code of some sort in order to grow up strong. And who knew Gene Wilder had such a beautiful singing voice! The music is some of the best show music of it's time, including "The Candy Man".

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37 out of 51 people found the following review useful:

A Good Message In Which Goodness Prevails

10/10
Author: ccthemovieman-1 from United States
14 June 2006

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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34 out of 48 people found the following review useful:

A classic

9/10
Author: OriginalMovieBuff21 from United States
22 June 2005

"If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it." Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory is one of the best children films of all-time. The characters, you all have to adore, even if their annoying or not. The film is about a boy who finds a golden ticket in a Willy Wonka chocolate bar and heads off to see the Willy Wonka factory with his grandpa and other people. Gene Wilder was great as Willy Wonka and his performance was quite funny and actually kind of weird. The kids were all great especially Augustus Gloop, he was hilarious. Overall, Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory is a classic and should be viewed by everyone.

Hedeen's Oulook: 9/10 ***+ A-

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27 out of 44 people found the following review useful:

Sweet as chocolate!

8/10
Author: Coventry from the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls
24 July 2005

With the brand-new version of Tim Burton coming up, I thought it would be appropriate to watch the very first film-adaptation of Roald Dahl's popular children-novella first. Over 30 years old already, but this charming and moralistic fairy-tale still is a joy for all senses, with its likable main characters, exhilarating songs and valuable life-lessons. The movie might start out a little slow and overly dramatic with the extended portrait of the poor Charlie Bucket who has to work in order to support his family and he can only secretly dream about winning a grand tour in the wonderful chocolate factory owned by the mysterious Willy Wonka. But, when the miracle than occurs and Charlie walks into the factory together with four greedy kids, the movie REALLY takes off! The children and their adult companions are guided through the colorful landscapes and ingenious techniques of Wonka-world, where chocolate flows in rivers and candy bars can be taken out of TV-screens. This is a very fun movie and Dahl's rich but bizarre imagination is wonderfully put to the screen by Mel Stuart. The set pieces are magnificent and they really have the true magical feel of fantasy. Typical for Roald Dahl's work also is the slightly sinister and horrific touch, which is perfectly illustrated here in the unsettling boat-ride-through-the-cavern sequence. This particular scene is perhaps the most memorable one of the entire movie because of it's great use of sound and lighting! New surprises and eccentric plot-twists are provided every couple of seconds and Gene Wilder's jolly (but tempered) performance as the extravagant factory-owner really makes this movie complete. I can only hope the 2005 version will be as fabulous as this but I'm quite sure it will be. After all, if there's one team able to re-tell this insanely great tale, it has got to be Tim Burton and Johnny Depp. "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" is like a big bar of chocolate: delicious...and you're never too old to enjoy it!

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