YOUR GOLDEN TICKET TO IMAGINATION AND ADVENTURE!
Dirt-poor Charlie Bucket (Peter Ostrum) becomes one of five children to win exclusive tickets to a mysterious chocolate factory run by the seclusive Willy Wonka (Gene Wilder). The first filmization of the wonderful Roald Dahl book is an entertaining but uneven experience that has become a holiday favorite. The production design is imaginative, although it wouldn’t hurt if the contents of the chocolate river had actually looked like floating chocolate rather than sewage. Plenty of songs have been added, some of them not so memorable. Wilder is the right person to bring the odd Wonka to life.
1971-U.S. 98 min. Color. Directed by Mel Stuart. Screenplay, Novel: Roald Dahl (“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory“). Songs: Anthony Newley, Leslie Bricusse (“Pure Imagination”, “The Candy Man”, “((I’ve Got a) Golden Ticket”). Production Design: Harper Goff. Cast: Gene Wilder (Willy Wonka), Jack Albertson (Grandpa Joe), Peter Ostrum (Charlie Bucket), Roy Kinnear, Aubrey Woods, Michael Bollner.
Trivia: Joel Grey was allegedly considered for the part of Wonka. Dahl was allegedly very unhappy about David Seltzer’s uncredited rewrite of the script. Remade as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005).