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Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
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Index 367 reviews in total 

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

The Gold Standard!

Author: sonic345 from New England, USA
7 December 2004

I LOVE this movie. I love it more now, than when I was a kid.

The best thing about this movie is that it not only pioneered but nailed - and I mean, absolutely NAILED - the concept of appealing to kids on one level, adults on a completely different level. This is one of the hardest things to do in movies, but if done well is an absolute delight. Kids can watch this movie and be enthralled by the Oompa-Loompas and the spectacle and the effects. Adults can be tickled by the smart, snappy dialogue and by Gene Wilder being a sarcastic wiseacre throughout, in what must be considered the role of his career.

All the parts were nailed. You can't imagine anyone else in the roles as they were cast. You hated Veruca because she was just so spoiled. You winced at Mike TeeVee's, Augustus's and Violet's fatal flaws.

Especially juxtaposed against this motley crew, you appreciated Charlie Bucket and his Grandpa Joe for their earnestness and unpretentiousness all the more. Truly they were the moral center of the piece.

Other movies and shows have done a good job of appealing to both kids and adults on different levels, but this is the gold standard to which all must ultimately answer to.

See it. And if you've seen it already, see it again.


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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

I think this film is quite good and funny

Author: yoyowong26 from Hong Kong
20 February 2006

I saw this film when I was having English lesson.I had seen the same film "Charile and the Chocolate Factory" last year.I have different comments of them.Although this film was many years ago,I still think it is very interesting.I saw many different kinds of candy in the film ,most of them couldn't find now. I also think the chocolate factory is do fantastic,it's the dream of all the children,of course ,it also is my dream.I thought this film may be better than the new one,because when I watched this film,I can really feel the fantastic of the chocolate factory,it's feeling was more similar to the book written by Roald Dahl.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Cerebral, cynical, INSANE!

Author: rooprect from New York City
5 February 2006

This movie is about as good as it gets, barring the tedious first 30 minutes before Gene Wilder comes on screen. But all the better, his entrance is perhaps the most memorable one in cinematic history (yes, better than Orson Welles in "The Third Man").

Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is NOT a kid's movie. It is saturated with literary allusions (Shakespeare galore), musical references (that was Mozart, not Rachmaninoff!) and a quirky sense of humour that only a mature audience will truly get. For that reason, I can understand why many of the kids today disparage this classic in light of the 2005 version with its CGI special effects and Johnny-the-hottie Depp. But for the purists who enjoy a good, powerful performance without the fluff, this is the film for you.

What amazes me about this film is that it is really quite dark and cynical, despite its colorful and upbeat appearance. The candy man Willie Wonka is at times a malevolent and frightening presence with a jaded, almost hopeless view of life. But despite it all, he makes us laugh uncontrollably and sing along and revisit our childhood as only an madman can. Whether this was in the original screenplay or whether it was Gene Wilder's own tinting I don't know, although I suspect the latter. For that reason I'm sure it deviates significantly from the theme of the original children's book. But I wouldn't have it any other way.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A timeless children's classic.

Author: theshadow908 from London, Ontario
13 January 2006

This is one of my favourite childhood films. It just holds so many memories for me. This is the perfect children's film with music and comedy and, of course, candy.

The movie is nothing like the book. It only uses the names and the idea, but it is great as a stand alone film. The songs are catchy and memorable, and Gene Wilder's performance as Wonka is genius. It's a really enjoyable family comedy and there's not a doubt in my mind that it will hold up for many years to come. Another good thing about it is that there's comedy for children and for adults. Everybody can find enjoyment from this movie. The sets are great for a 1970's film, and it really lets you believe that such a place could exist. Really, if you haven't seen this movie yet, go out and rent/buy it. You won't be disappointed.


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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

dated, but Wilder is just impeccable

Author: TheNorthernMonkee from Manchester
10 August 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

SPOILERS Roald Dahl is perhaps one of the most famous names in children's entertainment. Author of stories like 'The BFG', 'The Witches' and 'Matilda', Dahl's stories have given joy to children for a long time now. With so many of his stories being made into films, it's not difficult to see that Hollywood loves him too. In 1971, one of his finest stories was made into a musical starring Gene Wilder. Magnificantly 'odd', Wilder's Willy Wonka is a genuinely surreal performance. Twenty years on, and an inferior sequel later, and Wilder is still the way to go. The film might be dated, but with a Wonka like this, it's impossible not to fall in love with the film again.

Charlie Bucket's (Peter Ostrum) family are incredibly poor. Living with his mum and four grandparents, Charlie dreams of better things. When the mysterious Willy Wonka (Wilder) announces that five lucky children will be allowed to tour his chocolate factory, Charlie has a dream. Receiving one chocolate bar on his birthday however, the odds are stacked against him. Still, this is a fairy tale, so you can imagine what's coming next.

Filmed in Eastern Europe and with five children paid on the cheap, 'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory' is full of legends on screen and off. Colourful and beautiful throughout, it possesses many amazing scenes.

As far as children performers go, the three kids do an alright job. Ostrum and Julie Dawn Cole (playing the greedy Veruca Salt) in particular are singled out for praise as they jump, run, sing and perform for the camera at every possibility. Ultimately though, the children will always be overshadowed by Gene Wilder.

Wilder takes insanity to a new level. One moment seeming totally normal, and the next randomly talking and singing to himself, Wilder's Wonka is a man on the edge. You watch him and you just know that he could win your heart whilst simultaneously scare you senseless. You certainly have to wonder what Grandpa Joe (Jack Albertson) is thinking when Wonka hugs Charlie towards the end. Ultimately though, however nuts Wilder is in this film, it is him who makes it watchable so many years later.

Well, Wilder mostly, but let's be honest, another reason for always enjoying this film is the regular song and dance of the Oompa Loompas. 'vertically challenged' (or whatever the PC description is now) individuals painted orange with green hair could just look incredibly offensive and weird. Dress them in weird outfits and have them sing catchy tunes though and automatically they become figures of fun. Yes there are definite indications towards the slave trade, but for family films, the Oompa Loompas are people that children never forget.

'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory' is a film many of us grew up with and love. Beautiful and bright, it is always a joy to watch. Led by an amazing performance by Gene Wilder and the songs of the Oompa Loompas, the film has many treasured moments that you can't help but fall for. By modern standards, the film does look slightly dated, but with so many magic moments, this is easily forgivable. Pure family fun.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Gene Wilder gives an amazing performance

Author: bobsteimle from United States
1 July 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Although the movie is a little long and silly in the beginning, particularly waiting for Charlie to find his golden ticket, and especially the song Charlie sings with his mother, once we enter the chocolate factory, the rest of the movie is just magical. Though Willy Wonka is obviously crazy, he's crazy in a good way, and he sings two of my favorite songs. (One is about springtime being the ring-a-ling-a-ling time. The other is "Pure Imagination.") The oompah-loompahs also sing songs with real meaning about the behavior of children which most parents should take a lesson from. It's an educational farce about the problems of our modern world coming from the permissiveness of parents who allow their children to indulge in all sorts of selfish gratification. Chewing gum, overeating, watching too much television, and general greed and covetousness are all condemned, and finally, integrity is praised. This is a movie all children should see, and parents who haven't seen it should see it as well, though they might want to fast-forward through the first half-hour.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Sweet rendition, but you gotta read the book!!

Author: YFL
24 September 1999

This movie is endearing, but I have to say ... the book is better! Forget the images that come with the movie, your imagination conjures up visions way beyond the limits of any special effects!

But still, not a bad version of the book. The actors are all adequate, but Gene Wilder is fantastic, the best thing about the movie - he was the only aspect in the movie which was at least as good as what I envisioned while reading the book, if not better. And watch out for the twinkle in his his eyes! :)

This is also one of those movies where knowing the story beforehand doesn't really do much damage when you actually watch it, if anything you anticipate what happens.

Really the only thing to criticize - is that the movie isn't as good as our own imaginations. The other criticisms just make me laugh. Granted the special effects aren't that cutting-edge, but hey, this was made years ago and it's OK considering! Also I don't really feel it's too 'scary' for kids... I know lots of children who think that Roald Dahl's stuff are cool, and no, they don't grow up to become mass murderers. And true, there is a dark side to it, but it's got a good message to send. If anyone got traumatized, they probably grew up like a glass bubble. I'm not a kid anymore and I do still know how to enjoy it, perhaps it's even more amusing because you really get to appreciate the intelligence of the absurdity and the fun of the exaggerations that Dahl inevitably dishes out. It's silly, but perhaps that's why you love it.

Another thing ... really interesting to watch out for if you're familiar with the great works of Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde etc ... I haven't read all, but enough to catch some of the quotes from their works deliciously sneaked into the dialogue here. For example, "Parting is such a sweet sorrow" from Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare, and "The suspense is terrible. I hope it lasts" from The Importance of Being Earnest by Wilde, among others.

I especially love one of the last lines in the movie where Dahl shows his total ability for sweet innocence (and Wilder delivers it to perfection) when Wonka tells Charlie, "And Charlie: don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he'd ever wished for." and Charlie asks, "What happened?" and this is when you're sure that he's gonna give you one of those righteous, cautionary, adult message of the preachy kind when he says, magically, "He lived happily ever after." *sigh* ...

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Frustrating. This movie could have been and should have been so much better.

Author: Idiot-Deluxe from United States
25 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

Author: briskozak from United States
20 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

Author: jlcdwmartin from New Orleans, Louisiana
19 May 2017

*** This review may contain 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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