Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

Tagline : It's Scrumdidilyumptious!

Runtime : 99 mins

Genre : Family Fantasy Comedy

Vote Rating : 7.5/10

Budget : 3 million $ USD

Revenue : 4 million $ USD


Movie Website

Plot : When eccentric candy man Willy Wonka promises a lifetime supply of sweets and a tour of his chocolate factory to five lucky kids, penniless Charlie Bucket seeks the golden ticket that will make him a winner.

Cast Members

Reviews

Hadn't seen this one in many years, maybe last time was back in high school 20+ years ago. Delightful musical-comedy featuring the great Gene Wilder and deadpan, sarcastic humor that I immensely loved. Also the production design was excellent and musical numbers, including the catchy Oompa songs were wonderful. **4.25/5**

Yeah, it's a lot better than the Johnny Depp version isn't it? Probably because this one is fun and entertaining and the Depp one was was a Tim Burton film and felt kind of pretentious didn't it? Clearly this version doesn't look as visually pleasing, but it makes up for that in earnest heart, a few good tunes, and a titular character that is always delightfully entertaining to watch. Gene Wilder really sells it without being creepy doesn't he? And the first time you watch it you don't think about it... but it's a really thin line he had to walk to come across as not creepy and still be eccentric and fun and he pulled it off in spades. I didn't really think about it as a kid, but as an adult (especially with Burton's) it's one of those things where Wilder should have won an Oscar. It was Academy Award worthy and the film was made in '71 where the Academy Awards still meant something. Gene's devastatingly on target performance aside, this is just a fun film that the family deserves to see and it certainly needs to be lauded over the remake.

**Much better than the 2005 film, but I still think it would be more interesting as an animated film.** When I saw the 2005 film, starring Johnny Depp, I was not satisfied at all: the film seemed more effective as an animation than as a conventional CGI loaded film. However, I was unfamiliar with this one, I didn't know the original book, by Roald Dahl and I only realized all this when I was writing my review of that film, and I immediately decided that I would watch the older film when I could. I saw this film yesterday, and the comparison between the two productions was inevitable. I still think that an animated film would be more interesting, but I recognize that this production has more charm than the bloated, CGI-clogging overproduction of 2005. Everything seems more realistic and credible, magic is something we can believe in naturally. I understand the appeal that a chocolate factory might have for a child: I lived near one, and just the smell on the street was indescribable. However, this film offers us a spectacle of light, color and joy, and transforms that magical place into a convincing thing that we, for a moment, would love to visit. The cinematography, visual and special effects and the good design of the sets and costumes are essential to achieve this, and everyone is to be congratulated. There's something here that's strangely psychedelic, but that's subtle enough. Mel Stuart was faithful to the original tale, so the story remains the same: the modest and sincerely good Charlie, the mysterious factory that no one knows, and no one knows how it works without workers, the eccentricities of Willie Wonka, the unnerving songs of the Oompa Loompas, children full of defects and stubbornness, parents overly condescending. The interpretations end up making the difference: Gene Wilder gives us a more affectionate and sweet version of Wonka, less focused on his eccentricities, and the result of his work is a memorable and anthological representation that marked the rest of his career. Peter Ostrum is perfectly convincing in the role of Charlie, and Jack Albertson also shined in his role. There's really only one problem with this film, at least for me: I can't like the Oompa Loompas at all. In addition to looking like a kind of slave labor (they were supposedly rescued from their country so that they wouldn't all die and accepted to work for their savior out of gratitude), they are annoying with their songs and have a perfectly bizarre look.

"Charlie" lives in one room with his mother and four grandparents all sharing the same bed and sustained on a diet of cabbage soup! Then the eponymous chocolatier announces a chance of a lifetime. In only five of the tens of millions of bars of chocolate they produce, there will be hidden a golden ticket. Find the ticket and you win a trip around the factory. Now his family clearly don't have much money so his chances aren't high, especially as he watches the television and sees a collection and spoiled and obnoxious children with equally odious parents snap them all up. What chance when he finds some money on the street that the bar he buys will win? Well that bit of the story hardly requires Sherlock Holmes, but he does receive an intriguing proposal from competitor "Slugworth" before he and his "Grandpa Joe" (Jack Albertson) arrive at the appointed time. Out comes a purple velvet clad gent with a big hat - that's the hugely eccentric "Wonka" (Gene Wilder) who speaks a form of gobbledygook and promises them a trip of a lifetime! There is something of the parable about the ensuing story as the children face tests of character and fall foul of their own excesses with the occasionally quite menacing "Wonka" ensuring that just desserts are dished out to the wrongdoers. It's got to be the ultra-petulant "Veruca Salt" (Julie Dawn Cole) who topped my list of those deserving the compost heap, but "Mike Teevee" (Paris Themmen) wasn't far behind. As we travel through the place we are introduced to the mysterious "Oompa Loompa" people who keep the place running and help him produce the perfect chocolate but the big question is, though, will "Charlie" and "Joe" make it through the challenges of the trip themselves? Wilder is on super form here as he takes them on a moral maze that is just as sugar coated as the candies, and Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley have written some of the best songs to grace the silver screen. "Pure Imagination", "The Candy Man" and the delightfully annoying "I Want it Now" from the aptly named "Veruca" all top off a colourful, acrobatic and magical tale of trust and decency that you can't fail to enjoy. Perhaps Roy Kinnear sould have considered drowning at birth?

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