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  • Writer's pictureStephen Yanni

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) - A Golden Ticket to Whimsy and Wonder.

Updated: Apr 9

Rating: ★★★★★(5/5 stars)

Released 06-30-1971

Watched 12-10-2023

Reviewed 12-11-2023

Viewed on HBO Max

"The suspense is terrible, I hope it will last.

"Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" (1971) is a cinematic gem that brilliantly brings Roald Dahl's 1964 book "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" to life. Despite Dahl's reservations about the film's deviations from his original story, the movie stands out as an enchanting and whimsical journey, offering a unique cinematic experience that complements the book rather than overshadowing it.

Gene Wilder's portrayal of Willy Wonka is nothing short of iconic, capturing the candymaker's eccentricity and mysterious allure with impeccable finesse. The story of Charlie Bucket, played by Peter Ostrum, is a heartwarming tale of hope and dreams. His discovery of the Golden Ticket and the subsequent adventure in Wonka's factory is a delightful narrative that resonates with audiences of all ages.

The movie, although rated G at its time of release, does indeed have moments that might align more with today's PG rating. The infamous boat ride scene and the various perils faced by the children in the factory add a layer of excitement and slight edginess to the film, making it a thrilling watch even for modern audiences.

While Dahl might have considered the music overly sweet, it adds a layer of charm and nostalgia to the film, enhancing its fairy-tale-like ambiance. The film's ability to balance the bizarre and the endearing is a testament to its timeless appeal.

In conclusion, "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" is a delightful adaptation that captures the magic and wonder of Dahl's original story while also carving its own unique place in cinematic history. It's a must-watch, deserving of a 5-star rating for its creativity, charm, and enduring appeal.


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