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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Movie Review:Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory

W for Wonka and Wilder.

Premise:An eccentric candy maker invites five children to visit his factory.

Cast:Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka, Peter Ostrum as Charlie, Jack Albertson as Grandpa Joe, Michael Bollner as Augustus Gloop, Julie Dawn Cole as Veruca Salt, Denise Nickerson as Violet Beauregarde, Paris Themmen as Mike Teevee, Günter Meisner as Slugworth, Roy Kinnear as Mr. Salt, Ursula Reit as Mrs. Gloop, Leonard Stone as Mr. Beauregarde, Dodo Denney as Mrs. Teevee, Diana Sowle as Mrs. Bucket

Director:Mel Stuart

MPAA Rating:G

Genres:Fantasy, kid's, musical

Notes:Based on the book by Roald Dahl. Poster taken from IMP Awards.

Pros:The crazy candy man. The acting. The music.

Cons:A couple of scenes could have been left out. 60's special effects. Charlie's teacher.

What would you do if the best candy maker in the world was offering you a tour, a prize beyond your wildest dreams if you could find a ticket? You'd go into a frenzy looking for it, that's what.

The best part for me now is probably Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka. I can't really complain about the acting (well actually I could, but I don't want to). There's also some good songs here.

On the negative side, there were a couple of scenes (including the beginning song) that could have been left out without affecting the story. And the special effects are obviously not going to be anywhere near modern and were probably fairly good for their day, but things like the green-screen are noticeable now. On the minor side of things, I didn't like Charlie's teacher that much.

Overall, this is one childhood film worth revisiting.

Sex:I'm told snozzberries are a stand-in for testicles. Otherwise, I didn't catch anything.

Violence:Infamously, Wonka leads his guests down a tunnel full of scary images, including a chicken getting its head chopped off and a bug crawling on someone's face. He then starts singing a creepy little song.
Mike watches a western featuring shootings and a burning wagon and mentions a film where a guy killed his wife. When asked if he likes killings, he replies "What do you think life's all about?" and later pretends to shoot Wonka. Veruca elbows her father and has a tantrum, knocking things over. There's a small chemical reaction resulting in a lot of smoke.
A boy falls into a river, almost drowns, and then gets sucked up by a tube. A girl bloats up and has to be rolled away before she explodes. A girl and a man fall into something that leads to a furnace. A man and a young boy nearly fly into a spinning fan. A vehicle (I'd guess you call it) crashes through glass. A boy eats exploding candy. A man is kidnapped. His wife is told to surrender her Wonka bars (leading to a joke where she asks how long she has to think is over).

Drugs/Alcohol:Wonka works on butterscotch and buttergin, saying "Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker." The Oompa Loompas sing that occasional gum-chewing stops you from smoking. Grandpa Joe quits using tobacco, in spite of dismissal from his daughter and grandson.

Language:One use of "bloody." A couple of words like "flaming" and "twit." Someone tries to use a computer to find Golden tickets. This situation ends with him informing his colleagues he's telling the computer exactly what it can do with the prize he promised to share with it.

Gross stuff:Mrs. Teevee twice complains she's going to be sick. Wonka gives her candy that can make you spit in seven different colors. Violet remarks spitting's a dirty habit as she picks her nose. Two people burp.

Spiritual:Wonka says "Are the fire of Hell a-glowing? Is the grisly reaper mowing?", "If the good Lord had intended for us to walk, He wouldn't have invented roller skates," and "Across the desert lies the promised land." A man dreams an archangel came to him and told him where to find a Golden ticket.

So what do you have to say about this movie?

© 2014 by M.R.R.

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