Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) Poster

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A great story full of chocolate
Mihai Toma28 January 2018
When a mysterious character by the name of Willy Wonka decides to open the gates of his secret chocolate factory, five golden tickets are hidden in his chocolate bars for kids to find. Thus, only the lucky finders will have the chance to see the factory and earn a life supply of chocolate. Among other very spoiled children, a very poor and generous boy tries his luck and to his surprise, finds the last golden ticket. Joined by his grandfather, he will discover that Willy and his factory have a lot of temptations prepared for their visitors.

It's a wonderful movie about compassion, greed and how kids can become if they don't receive proper education. It's very enjoyable and amusing, while Willy's character is playing a great part in this unique atmosphere. In the end, we'll find Wonka's true intentions regarding his unexpected and special tour, a happy ending being mandatory here. It's a very good movie and a great achievement when taken into consideration the year it was produced and what special effects it includes.
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jacksons-0277522 January 2018
A wonderful movie created by god. Gene wilder is enjoyable as always, the acting is excellent, espicslly from the kids and it's hilarious and heartwarming
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Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971): A Timeless Classic
davidtkd-2524918 January 2018
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is an American film from 1971 starring Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson, and introducing Peter Ostrum as Charlie.

The Plot: Willy Wonka, a crazy successful candymaker makes five golden tickets and places them inside five of his candy bars. The five and only the five that find the golden tickets are allowed into his chocolate factory and their prize is a lifetime supply of chocolate, giving them everything beyond their wildest dreams. A nice but poor boy named Charlie finds the fifth and final golden ticket and has an experience like none other when inside the factory.

Gene Wilder and the rest of the cast give a wonderful performance. The film is directed by Mel Stuart.

This film is a masterpiece and a timeless classic. A must-watch no matter what age you are. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) is a film like no other.

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It's just a movie masterpiece that won't be forgotten...
faruksalici25 December 2017
This past month, I saw the movie Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and it was an amazing experience from my view. It's definitely one of my personal favorites now and Gene Wilder represents the character perfectly since he was the main reason why i loved this movie so much.

Charlie is a very poor boy who lives with his mother and four grandparents. and one day owner of the Chocolate Factory Willy Wonka puts five golden tickets in to the bars of chocolate. The winner will receive life time supply of Chocolate and also have a chance to visit the factory. With a little bit of luck ,Charlie finds of the golden tickets and dives into an incredible adventure with Willy Wonka through the chocolate factory.

I really recommend this movie to everyone who wants to use their imagination and It's definitely a movie you could re-watch and still enjoy it as much as the first time.
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Just a fantastic and magical movie, but definitely made for older children.
dylanholden199524 November 2017
This is an old time great musical and fantasy movie with great moral lessons, but don't be mistaken into thinking this is a movie for little children. The extremely creepy scenes and the constant literary references makes the movie appropriate for older kids, maybe teens, and for adults looking to remember what it was like to be a kid and imagining what magical it must be like being inside a chocolate factory.

P.S.- The internet meme of Grandpa Joe being a scumbag are totally true. The movie is about Charlie realizing his grandpa is a bad person.
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A set to delight young and old alike
SimonJack4 September 2017
Apparently, there is no category in the Academy Awards for unusual or extraordinary sets. If there were, "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" would have walked away with that Oscar in 1971. The set for this movie – once inside the chocolate factory, is exceptional, and at least half the draw and appeal of this movie. It is a delight to behold for young and old. This film is cause for one to marvel at the Hollywood designers, tradesmen and craft people for such splendid work.

That said, the story is a nice fairy tale, but with live action all the way. Gene Wilder is very good as Willy Wonka, but this entire cast performed well, down to the most obnoxious child. One especially has to like Jack Albertson as Grandpa Joe, and Peter Ostrum as Charlie. This was Ostrum's only movie. Not bad for a child star's single performance in a leading role.

Ostrum was offered a three-film contract, but turned it down. He says that although he enjoyed acting and studied it for some time, his parents weren't stage people. Instead, he went on to earn a PhD in animal husbandry from Cornell University and practice veterinary medicine for large farm animals in outstate New York.

I wonder if Paramount received any negative feedback for how it portrayed a couple of the children – namely the German boy, Augustus Gloop, and the French girl, Violet Beauregarde. I doubt that any Americans would have complained at the portrayal of the two sassy, snotty, spoiled and nasty kids. Most of us have seen a Mike Teevee and a Veruca Salt more than once. But the actors who played those parts, as well as those of their parents, were very good. One wonders, though, if it was much a stretch in a couple instances.

It's interesting that none of the child actors in this film made acting their career. Only one had more than a few films. This is a fun film, although with some dark overtones for kids.
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Frustrating. This movie could have been and should have been so much better.
Idiot-Deluxe25 May 2017
The first thing you should notice about this film is that the life of Charlie Bucket seems to be nothing more then a cruel, endless cycle of crushing poverty and cabbage water, until........

I've seen this film a number of times over the years and sadly with all it's great potential it never does completely deliver, which is a shame, because the film has a terrifically quirky and unusual premise. But I refuse to lie to myself, because I can readily see and hear the many flaws in this film, especially in it's first half, which alternates from being drab and boring, to shrill and irritating. All the while very little of it's humor gels together, making for some very tedious viewing, worse yet are those lame, go-nowhere songs that occur early in the movie. It's only when they get to Willy Wonka's chocolate factory that things pick up and the films eccentricities immediately increase ten-fold. However half of this movie IS boring. Gene Wilder (RIP) is simply fantastic as Willy Wonka, the eccentric King of Candy and his performance is, unquestionably, the best thing about the movie and he injects the film with some desperately needed energy, excitement and purpose - which partly makes up for the films painfully slow start.

Not surprisingly the second half of the movie is much better, as we the audience are treated to a walking tour of Mr. Wonka's one-of-a-kind chocolate factory, where there is a surprise around every corner. With that being said I think Warner Brothers could have definitely splashed more cash on this film, as I find Wonka's factory, on a visual basis, to be small in scale and a bit underwhelming in it's design; starting with the factory's front gate, in fact from an exterior standpoint, there isn't a single thing that catches your eye, it's completely plain Jane on the outside. The interior sets fare better, but still this film will never win any Oscar's for Art Direction or Set Design; yet had this film been made to the caliber that it should have been, it would have easily won in both those categories. But sadly I find Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory to be a rather ponderous and distinctly underwhelming feature and 46 years after it's release the whole film looks very, very dated. It looks ugly. And while on that note, of all the movies I've seen, this film must have one of the overall ugliest casts of them all, who are made even uglier by their bad clothes and worse hair-cuts and/or comb-overs - particularly the parents of the contest winners. And surely I'm not alone with my hatred for that loud-mouthed, spoiled-rotten, bratty little bitch, Veruca "I WANT IT NOW!" Salt! SHE SUCKS! As does her repulsively irritating pappy; these two characters are more a detriment to the film then they are an asset, curiously enough I do like her song though, which is the only one of the movies numerous songs that catches my ear. On her singing number you could say that her bitchiness finally paid off in her final scene, right before Wonka's "Eggdicator" determines her, correctly, to be a bad egg.

Throughout the tour Willy Wonka keeps things going in a lively, yet off-kilter direction, his factory is indeed loaded with many gimmicks and surprises; including the fact that in every other room of his factory, it looks like there are numerous health code violations being committed, as things often look unsanitary. And is anyone going to object when I mention the fact that machine/set that makes Wonka's "Everlasting Gobstopper's" looks as lame, as it does cheap..... they didn't try too hard on that one. Once again the Wonka factory should have been a supreme showpiece, a marvel of set design, but unfortunately that's not what we get and that's another missed opportunity, in fact you can say that about nearly every aspect of this film. I have this theory that had it been made 15 years later, in the mid-80's, it would have been so much better, that would have been the perfect time for this movie (for multiple reasons) - not 1971. For instance when this was made Gene Wilder was only in his late-30's, yet at the end of the movie he's all ready to give his factory away to Charlie. What sense does that make??? Early retirement? The way I see it it's a shame that this project wasn't shelved for a decade-and-a-half. With all that being said Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is still a much better than Tim Burton and Johnny Depp's hideous remake "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", which has the same problems as the first film, only in reverse; the factory looks spectacular, however, the film is utterly ruined by Johnny Depp's hideous performance. Depp made for a VERY weak and effeminate Willy Wonka, a real dandy - Wilder was infinitely better in the role.

Ultimately for the reasons given I find Willy Wonka and the Chocholate to be a frustrating and disappointing movie, which had the potential to be a lot better then it ultimately is. This film stands as one of the best examples of Hollywood failing to seize upon and capitalize on what should have been, a golden screen epic. Instead it's a botched, lazily executed film.... but this is still much better then Burton's Blunder.

On a lighter note, whose with me on thinking that "the most perfect high in existence" could be achieved through the lighter-than-air combination of Willy Wonka's Fizzy Lifting Drink and (if I were a druggie) a giant, slow-burning, reefer one that's over-flowing with the worlds most potent pot. Tell me that wouldn't be quite a marvelous combination... made better yet if Wonka himself were to make clouds of cotton-candy, as they float low and lazily, they'd only further the experience as you're on your way up..... to grand ethereal heights of supreme ecstasy. Up-Up and Away.
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Wonka is the best
briskozak20 May 2017
First off, how can't you like Wonka? I love this movie. Has great songs, good characters, the plot is solid and for the budget of this movie they did an amazing job with the sets, especially the chocolate room. Wonka was the original troll. Almost everything he said was sarcastic and I love it. Like when Veruca and her dad fall down the bad egg chute and Wonka says, "There is going to be a lot of trash today". LOL love it. This is great movie, and a must watch classic. If you don't like Wonka, well then...YOU LOSE, GOOD DAY SIR! RIP Gene.
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Edited 40 years of fun edition
jlcdwmartin19 May 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Frankly, I was glad to see that the execution of the chicken was gone from the background of the boat trip as shown on the DVD. In earlier videotapes and even seeing the actual film projected on a screen, the killing of the chicken was considered something that should never have been included.

Actually, the removal of the execution of the chicken made the whole film so much more enjoyable. I laughed, I cheered, I thoroughly enjoyed the production from beginning to end.

Knitting: Kudos need to go to the little lady who was sitting up in bed and knitting striped socks, a red scarf, and a hat for Charlie. I knit, and one day I hope to make a replica of the hat, if anything.
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A true Classic!
The late Gene Wilder shines as Willy Wonka. The film brings the book to life.Willy Wonka was released on June 30, 1971. The film was not a big success, being the fifty-third highest- grossing film of the year in the U.S., earning just over $2.1 million on its opening weekend,although it received positive reviews from critics such as Roger Ebert, who compared it to The Wizard of Oz. But kids of today really enjoy this.
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The ultimate family film
areatw2 May 2017
Even though I prefer the more recent 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' as an overall package, the 1971 version has a certain charm that just isn't found in the 2005 film. The original will always go down as the timeless classic, even if the remake outdoes it in just about every area.

In the family genre, this film is unrivaled. 'Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory' will always be considered the ultimate family film and for many, one of their favourites growing up. This is an iconic film and one that everybody should watch at least once in their lifetime.
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Absolutely Fantastic
Oliver Thatcher Watson25 April 2017
This film is fantastic in almost all aspects. The story is very well depicted, the setup is amazing, the acting is great, the music is great, and pretty much everything is done well and timeless. While this film may have left a few tiny things out from the book by Roald Dahl, this film was still very faithful to the point that it was barely noticeable. The setup in this film is absolutely fantastic. The factory and the location of the kids looked very realistic and very believable. Everyone did absolutely fantastic in their roles as they acted very well for this film. The music in this film is well written, not only lyrically, but melodically, and it's extremely memorable. I think this film is easily one of, if not Gene Wilder's best. I recommend this film to anyone who hasn't seen it yet, as it will most likely leave the viewers pleasantly surprised, like it has done to me. This film is a true classic that will forever be remembered as one of the best films of the 70s, if not all time.
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A Classic every child should see
cutesd22 February 2017
When I write reviews I try to remember how I felt after my first viewing of the film. I received Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory as a gift for Christmas when I was 9-years-old. And I watched the movie every single night for an entire year. I loved it that much.

Seeing it as an adult I'm taken back to where I was as a kid watching it. The magic, the settings, the characters, the music, even the effects are still enchanting. It's a marvelous little flick about hope, earnestness, kindness, honesty, with the lovely darkness that Roald Dahl always brings. Plus, I personally think every kid should know who Gene Wilder was.
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Pure Imagination
Blueghost14 February 2017
To me this is arguably Gene Wilder's best role. Of all the stuff I've seen him in this is the most indelible performance and character he performed and created for the silver screen. I hope I don't sound like I'm fawning, but the sarcastic quips and baiting he provide in his Wonka character are exacting and just simply laugh-out-loud hilarious.

To me this is one of the last of the great non-Disney children's films. Made in a day and age when process shots were expensive and hard to produce, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory rely on the musical trend of the time, but do so successfully I think. So much that I think modern contemporary audiences, most of whom disdain the musical genre, will go along with the numbers as part of the narrative, and not as something meant to draw attention to themselves for the sake of adornment.

Even in my middle age I am delighted by this film, and even though I knew the film backwards and forwards like a lot of other adults who saw this film when it first premiered on the big screen in 1971, I still felt a thrill when Charlie has his big moment of luck. I felt like a boy all over again. And when Willy Wonka makes his smiling remarks to the various comments and actions made by his guests touring his establishment, I simply could not hold back my laughter.

Even as a teen and 20-something when I saw this film I smiled at both the story and the Wonka character, as well as at Charlie and his family.

To me Willy Wonka was made in a time when there was still a kind of understood (all be it tacit) "respect" for the spirit of the ever so repressive rules of the former Hayes' office that had clamped down on a lot of perceived "immorality" portrayed in films. Nobody wants to take their kid to a film with a lot of sex and explicit gory violence. And where everyone has a kind of innate understanding of what is proper and improper, to me Willy Wonka has that kind of essence of truly making a family film, or a G-rated film that can be enjoyed by everyone.

The script is intelligent and witty, the child actors are truly marvelous in this, and the leads and supporting cast do their usual exceptional bang up job. And the music isn't half bad either.

Colorful, a bit slower paced in terms of editing, but no less full of zest for modern conventional story telling style, Willy Wonka is the kind of film they don't make anymore but should. And kudos to the entire cast, and in particular Gene Wilder for giving us the sly eccentric genius whose quest for character is fulfilled superbly.

A great film. Get a copy or stream it for yourself, or with those you love.

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Sweet dreams are made of chocolate...
Nicolas F. Costoglou31 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Willy Wonka and the chocolate factory is macabre and innocent at the same time, which are positive attributes most of my favourite family films have...

It's pretty well shot and staged, which is needed for a film which is also part musical.

The songs fit the tone of the movie and are only there to keep the story going, so that they never overstay their welcome.

The set design is also wonderful (for the time).

And the actors do a great job overall, which says a lot, because the center of the cast are children...and Gene Wilder who gives one of the most memorable and interesting performances of his career.

The movie has as many layers as the inscrutable character of Willy Wonka, their are sometimes horrible things happening in this film, but mostly in the imagination of the audience who don't get to see anything the characters can't see...

It's a very fascinating and mysterious family film, which the whole family can enjoy for different reasons...
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Uneasy blend of children's musical and macabre horror
Leofwine_draca4 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
At first glance Wonka is exactly the opposite of the films I usually watch and enjoy (i.e. action and horror), a string-pulling and cheerful kiddie's film blessed with a fine sense of visual style (the factory and its various areas are quite spectacular, and whilst some of the special effects are a little dodgy they more than hold up to today's blockbusters). It's a bright and colourful musical that screams twee throughout and has somewhat been superseded in the public's imagination by Tim Burton's ill-advised rehash, CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY.

However a little digging beneath the surface reveals a slightly disturbing and horrific yarn of infanticide, in which young children are led unsuspectingly to various terrifying fates (being squeezed, stretched, and "juiced" to name but three). It's a film in which subliminal images of millipedes crawling over people's faces and a chicken being beheaded are inserted into one darned scary boat-tunnel ride and the twinkly eyes of Gene Wilder may just be hiding a sinister madman behind them. As such this film can be enjoyed both as a family classic and as a subtle chilling horror story.
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An all-time favorite
Parker Lewis26 November 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I've read the book and even the sequel, and I still loved Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Surprisingly, someone said that this movie was darker than Tim Burton's remake/reboot/re-imagining with Johnny Depp called Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and maybe it is.

There is a morality tale behind the demise of four of the children who find the golden ticket, and even Charlie came close to falling out of favor of Mr Wonka, but thankfully his honesty shone through.

I understand Roald Dahl wasn't exactly happy with the way the movie adapted his fine novel, but millions love the movie, and no doubt led to massive sales of his novel again.

I kind of chuckled when the "fifth winner" of the golden ticket was a casino magnate from Paraguay LOL! Can you imagine an alternative version of the movie, where he really did win and turns up at the factory?!
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Twizard Rating: 100
goolizap30 September 2016
I feel like I'm dreaming each time I watch this movie. It's one of my favorites and has meant a lot to me in my life.

Definitely one of a kind, due to it's adamant surrealism, it appeals to both kids and adults.

The elusive Wonka chocolate factory is holding a worldwide contest so that 5 lucky winners can finally get a glimpse inside the factory walls and win a lifetime supply of chocolate.

It's supposed to take place in America, but maintains an industrial European feel. Charlie Bucket, our protagonist, lives with his mother and 4 grandparents. They're very poor, and rely on Charlie's paper route money to get by. Which is why Charlie wants, more than anything, to win this contest.

Anyone who's ever known they wanted something more than anyone else in the world can relate to Charlie's childlike desire to win Wonka's contest. It may seem frivolous, but that only highlights Charlie's desperation. He can only imagine luxurious things. And that ingenuous mindset is what just may give him what he needs.

The film enraptures you within the first 35 minutes, before we even get inside the magical factory. And once we're in, the film ascends to a whole new level. So full of unique ideas and concepts. Set pieces that made people depressed about the movie's fictionality long before Avatar's ever did.

And Willy Wonka, himself, portrayed by Gene Wilder, is a marvel. No other man could have given us such a brilliant performance. He's sweet, he's creepy, he's sincere, and he's mischievous. Roald Dahl's original 1964 novel could be adapted for film one thousand times over, yet Wilder will always remain exclusively synonymous with the role.

Oh yeah, and the music is phenomenally perfect.

For being a "flop" from 1971, this film holds up better than most, if not all, of its contemporaries.

Twizard Rating: 100
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edwagreen29 September 2016
Warning: Spoilers
The movie was far better during the first hour when we see a very good boy, his poor widowed mother, both of whom are taking care of bedridden grandparents. They're caught up in this business of finding the golden ticket to the chocolate factory.

As far as I'm concerned, the picture deteriorates with the boy finding one of the 5 tickets and his visit to the chocolate factory with grandfather Jack Albertson and some of the most obnoxious other children who get what they deserve at the visit.

The tunes are delightful and was that really Jack Albertson singing? The film goes to show you that kindness is ultimately rewarded and selfishness does not go unpunished.

The ending in itself proves that chocolate factory owner was sly, but a real child himself at heart.
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Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is the filmed version of Roald Dahl's book I happen to prefer of the two versions
tavm12 September 2016
In tribute to Gene Wilder's passing, the theatre my friend works at showed two of his films-Blazing Saddles and this one. I didn't know about the former until we just watched the other one-my first time seeing it on the big screen while it was his second. It's just as funny and partly scary as I'd remembered it watching as a pre-teen on TV during the mid-'70s. Wilder himself was funny, a little scary, and warm enough that you couldn't help but love him despite all he was subjecting his visitors through at Wonka's candy factory. Of the child players, Julie Dawn Cole was the funniest as the bratty Veruca Salt especially when she was the only one to have a solo musical number just before her fate. No wonder she was the only one of them to continue acting as she grew up. And seeing this in the theatre, I finally watched the "Cheer Up, Charlie" number in its entirety after some of my siblings fast-forwarded through it when watching it on VHS tape. It's not a bad number but it did slow the film down somewhat. Still, despite that, I wouldn't change a thing as I definitely prefer this version to the later Tim Burton-Johnny Depp one from several years back. Then again, maybe the fact this was the version I grew up with that makes me like this one more...
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Goodness prevails
Mr-Fusion6 September 2016
Watching this movie as a kid, "Willy Wonka the Chocolate Factory" works great on whimsy alone; the technicolor factory, eccentric candymaker, people merrily bursting into song. But as an adult, it's surprisingly creepy. And that's not just the Oompah Loompahs; there's a subtle malevolence to Wonka himself, and that really adds a new dimension to the movie. Clearly, I'm not the only one who wanted Veruca to suffer a miserable fate, right?

The songs are good and the message of honesty still rings true today, but the movie really belongs to Gene Wilder. He was a real showman in the role, and his comic timing is a huge reason why the movie is so enjoyable after so many years. I don't usually watch a movie in memory of the deceased, and in this case, it just seemed like the right time to revisit this one. Even so, R.I.P. Mr. Wilder.

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Confection perfection
pyrocitor2 September 2016
Gaging audience and critical reactions to cinematic adaptations by beloved children's author Roald Dahl feels somewhat like running a Goldilocks gauntlet: too sweet (The BFG), too sour (The Witches), or too Wes Anderson* (Fantastic Mr. Fox)? That said, if there's any offering that feels 'just right,' it's Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Contrary to Dahl's own vitriol towards the film for its plot tweaking, it's impossible to envision a film which better captures his whimsical, contradictory, heart-melting madness. Rightly heralded as one of the most beloved kids' films of all time, Wonka proves as timeless as it is lovely, and a surprisingly tender celebration of whimsy and appreciating magnificent things.

All of the best Dahl sort into either scathing satire of the misdeeds of awful adults, or dreamy love-letters to the powers of fantasy and imagination. Wonka brings the best of both in spades. Cheerfully echoing The Wizard of Oz's 'real world/fantasy escape' divide, director Mel Stuart opts for stylized zaniness in his depiction of protagonist Charlie's pre-factory life, but only to draw out the oppressive nonsensical iniquities and dullness therein. Charlie's 'real life' is beset by gawking, bedridden grandparents with matching names, or jeering, power-tripping buffoons like his science teacher. Here, the only breaks seem to come to the most atrocious Veruca Salts of the world, who belligerently bludgeon the system into working for them. Stuart's East German village setting feels perfectly stuffy and quaint but subtly picturesque throughout. Even the sole bright spot, Charlie's mother singing "Cheer Up, Charlie," is muted by her quaver of deep-seated hopelessness throughout.

Which, as you'd imagine, only makes Charlie's miraculous discovery of a Wonka ticket all the more infectiously rousing. Dahl's central theme here - "If you're very, very good, good things will come to you" - may verge on misleadingly naïve populism, but it's quintessential children's movie moralism, and Peter Ostrum's Charlie is so gosh- darn adorable that you practically draw blood clenching your fists willing him to find his ticket. He's perfect casting: bright-eyed, soft-spoken, and practically vibrating with shy excitement, and even his occasionally flat acting feeds into his bashful earnestness. More importantly, rather than caving to the kind of saccharine sanctimoniousness that drenches most comparable 'good boy' performances, Ostrum plays Charlie with temperamentality and sometimes fickleness of a kid. It makes sharing his journey into the Chocolate Factory all the more intoxicating when we're able to drink in just how important it is for this adorable fellow.

Wonka's eponymous factory is a key example of the film showing its age in the best possible sense. Come 2005, in the hands of Tim Burton's deliriously redundant remake, Wonka's workplace became a squelch of muddy CGI, like an overturned paint easel onto a sand castle. Here, the factory, built entirely with practical sets and props, feels euphorically tangible - half the magic of the peerless "Pure Imagination" sequence is watching the kids let loose on a field of tactile confections, smashing and chewing and slurping away in the most gleefully vicarious way. It's still a masterclass of set design - a kaleidoscope of colourful, almost Seussian calibre of zany inventiveness, yet uncluttered enough to drink in the richness of detail (even if the chocolate river itself looks more sickly than delicious).

If anything, the only complaints are that the episodic string of wonders can start to dry up somewhat after starting with the mesmerizing spectacle of the chocolate room (by the time we arrive at the Wonkavision room, we've indisputably lost some momentum), and the surreal, curiously extraneous interlude of the psychedelic river ride is the stuff of immediate nightmares in an otherwise thoroughly kids-friendly film. Otherwise, Dahl's vicious sense of humour slathering on a vicious moral code by systematically pushing the delightfully awful kids for their transgressions, punctuated by delightfully admonishing Oompa Loompa musical numbers, sustains the magic, but perfectly grounds it from becoming too frilly. And fear not - there's always the subtlest of details - a musical lock here, an edible teacup there - to keep the imagination pure.

Still, there's no denying that Gene Wilder is the almost singlehanded reason the movie has reached such timeless, beloved status. From his unforgettable hobbling-turned- tumbling entrance onwards, Wilder's Wonka is such a painstakingly realized rendition of an eccentric genius, that it's almost palpable how engrossing it is watching him, knowing how quickly he can turn on a dime from dreamy to apoplectic. Lilting, light- as-a-feather physicality aside, Wilder does more with a twitch of his eyes and slight break in his voice when reciting any number of calculatedly nonsensical magpied quotations than other actors could do with a soliloquy. Watching him nearly tear up as he shyly fawns over how much he hopes the children enjoy the factory, to later murmuring "No. Please. Stop." with side-splitting indifference as the children successively succumb to temptation and horrible consequences, Wilder's perfect cocktail of offbeat hilarity has never been put to better use, while the subtle touches of mad genius he sprinkles in throughout make it the performance of a lifetime. Supporting him, Jack Albertson's Grandpa Joe heralds the perfect dose of rustic belligerence and galvanizing gumption, while Julie Dawn Cole, Denise Nickerson, Paris Themmen, and Michael Bollner are all deliciously awful, and one of the strongest ensembles of child actors ever seen.

The occasional pacing flub and a somewhat jarringly jubilant resolution are but the slightest drops, but they do little to affect the overall scrumdiddlyumptious aftertaste. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is beautiful, wistful, wacky, snarky, one of the best escapist children's parables outside of Harry Potter, and debatably the best cinematic Dahl to date. Want to change your world? As Wonka croons, "there's nothing to it."

RIP Mr. Wilder, and thanks for the smiles.


*I lied. Obviously, I love Wes Anderson and Fantastic Mr. Fox. I just needed a third, silly point for symmetry. Please forgive me, Wes.
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A charming and effervescent journey through the land of 'pure imagination'
brchthethird30 August 2016
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was one of my favorite books growing up, but surprisingly, I waited until last night to watch this film adaptation. It's unfortunate that what precipitated this was the passing of its star, Gene Wilder, but it was certainly worth the time and money. He exudes charisma and charm seasoned with humor in every scene that he appears. The songs were wonderful, and I found myself tearing up during 'Pure Imagination,' which becomes a sort of leitmotif for the film as a whole. Aside from Wilder, the performances from the rest of the cast were generally good, especially the children who felt like they leapt off the pages of the book. The visuals are bright, colorful and optimistic, occasionally trippy and surreal, befitting the source material. It was such a pleasure to take in. Although this was a spur-of-the-moment rental, this is one that will definitely find its way into my personal collection. WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY is a bonafide classic that I will be returning to again and again.
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Brilliant Movie
Jimmy Nutrin13 August 2016
I don't see how people can dislike this movie. So what if it's not faithful to the book? Harry Potter wasn't very faithful to the book, and everybody loves those movies. I mean, what's not to like about this movie? Most of the negative reviews come from people who can't see that this movie was in the 70s! Of course it couldn't be over the top colourful and vibrant, as they didn't have that in those days. The 2005 one had Tim Burton at the helm, and quite frankly, that movie just looked plain ugly. Another common piece of criticism is Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka. Apparently 'he doesn't capture Willy Wonka, who's meant to be a quirky, energetic tout guide'. Erm, isn't that basically Gene Wilder's Willy Wonka? I mean, I suppose he isn't that energetic, but he's better than Johnny Depp's awful psychotic, creepy, deranged, man-child.

Ignore what a lot of people say, this version is infinitely better, no matter how unfaithful it is to the book.
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