Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

Synopsis of Movie

“Little surprises around every corner, but nothing dangerous. Don’t be alarmed.”

Wonka Bars and golden tickets, Oompa Loompas and a chocolate river, snozzberries and lickable wallpaper, golden eggs and seven-course gum, Everlasting Gobstoppers and the Wonkavator. In a world of pure imagination, all things are possible. This was the world of Willy Wonka—candy man, inventor, and scourge of naughty children. Like the Roald Dahl book on which it was based, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory was a dark fantasy with strong ideas about the nasty habits of children.

The reclusive Wonka lives in his closed-up factory, churning out chocolates but never showing his face to the public. All the world loves Wonka treats, so when the candy maker announces a contest with a factory tour and a lifetime supply of chocolate as its prize, Wonkamania seizes the globe. Nobody wants to find a prizewinning golden ticket more than young Charlie Bucket, a poor lad who has to scrape up funds simply to afford two Wonka Bars.

As luck (or fate) would have it, the boy happens upon the fifth and final golden ticket, earning him and his Grandpa Joe a trip to Wonka’s factory. The other four winners are a motley mess of miscreant moppets: greedy Augustus Gloop, television addict Mike Teevee, gum-smacking Violet Beauregarde and spoiled rotten Veruca Salt. Wonka himself is an eccentric kook, a verse-spouting, purple-suited oddball who alternates between charming and downright creepy.

Inside the factory, the children and their parents discover a land of fanciful gadgets, diminutive factory workers called Oompa Loompas and gobs and gobs of candy. The children also learn the price of bad manners, as one by one they receive a poetically just comeuppance. Only the good-natured Charlie has a chance at winning the grand prize, a reward beyond his imagination.

Audiences in 1971 didn’t quite know what to make of the film. It had bright colors, child actors, and memorable songs from Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley (including “The Candy Man,” “Pure Imagination,” the “Oompa Loompa” variations and Veruca’s scene-stealing temper tantrum, “I Want It Now”). But the movie also had disappearing children, a psychedelic boat ride and a candy maker who seemed to dislike most children.

It wasn’t everyone’s cup of chocolatey tea, but those who loved it did so with a passion. Annual television airings brought the film a cult following, a kind of Rocky Horror Picture Show for preteens. By the time Warner Bros. rolled out a remastered 25th anniversary edition, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory had become a beloved children’s classic.

Movie Release History

1971- Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

Movie Sub Categories

live-action
sci-fi/fantasy
comedy
musical

Movie Studio

Warner Bros., Paramount, David L. Wolper Prods., The Quaker Oats Co.

Cast

Willy Wonka Gene Wilder
Grandpa Joe Jack Albertson
Charlie Peter Ostrum
Mr. Salt Roy Kinnear
Veruca Salt Julie Dawn Cole
Mr. Beauregarde Leonard Stone
Violet Beauregarde Denise Nickerson
Mrs. Teevee Nora Denney
Mike Teevee Paris Themmen
Mrs. Gloop Ursula Reit
Augustus Gloop Michael Bollner
Mrs. Bucket Diana Sowle
Bill Aubrey Woods
Mr. Turkentine David Battley
Mr. Slugworth Gunter Meisner

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