Willie Wonka & The Chocolate Factory
Other Selections from this list:
- The Princess Bride
- The Golden Compass
- Willie Wonka & The Chocolate Factory
- The Wizard of Oz
- Harry Potter
- The Lord of the Rings
Year of Release: 1971
Based on:Charlie and The Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl 1964
Director: Mel Stuart Studio:Warner Bros.
Another children’s book made into a movie, Willie Wonka did not enjoy a huge initial success. Part of this was the director’s insistence that “big name stars” not be considered in the casting. All of the members of Monty Python, along with such other stars as Sammy Davis Jr, Anthony Newley, Joel Grey and Fred Astaire expressed interest in parts but were turned away before choosing Gene Wilder. Incidentally, the opening sequence of Willie Wonka approaching the gates was solely Wilder’s idea.
Despite its’ lackluster debut, Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory went on to become a cult favorite and a time-tested success not to mention one of my favorite films. It is another one of those multi-generational films that has stood the test of time due to its’ uniqueness and that of its’ main star. The Tim Burton 2005 version starring Johnny Depp (and make no mistake, I love Johnny Depp) is but a dim shadow. A cautionary tale wrapped in a bubblegum wrapper with an extra sprinkle of weirdness, it definitely has a place in my list.
Do you love Gene Wilder as much as I do? How about the film?