WILLY WONKA & THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY (1971)

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Elizabeth

I hadn’t seen Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory in a really long time, and I didn’t have much of a desire to watch it again for a long time. I just thought of the movie as being very stressful. But it’s one of Chris’ favorites, and he insisted that it’s much funnier when you watch it as an adult. And it’s so true!

I guess it’s weird to compare Willy Wonka to A Clockwork Orange, but that was another movie that’s really funny that took a few viewings for any of the humor to come out for me (albeit for much, much, much different reasons). Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is so funny because Willy Wonka (Gene Wilder) is so funny. Wonka is a weird character, because it’s like he loves and hates children. This was a feeling I personally very much identified with. And this movie really does a good job of creating its own world, so it doesn’t feel weird that this candy shop owner is singing to a bunch of kids, or the whole world is going ape shit over this contest, or that Grandpa Joe (Jack Albertson) can suddenly walk and dance after being bedridden for years. You just kind of go with it. It’s sort of refreshing.

But yeah, it’s still stressful, and I definitely understand my kid-self feeling overwhelmed by it. The scene that comes to mind the most is near the end, when Charlie (Peter Ostrum) and Grandpa confront Wonka about what happens at the end of their tour and Wonka freaks out at them for drinking the Fizzy Lifting Drink. As a kid, being yelled at was one of my greatest fears (and probably the greatest fears in the category of Things That Can and Probably Will Happen At Some Point), and being yelled at by someone I care about, like my mom or a teacher I liked, was THE WORST. Flash forward to 26 year old me now, aaaaand it’s pretty much the same thing. I’m not really at risk of being yelled at by my mom anymore, thanks to adulthood, but the thought of someone I care about yelling at me still really freaks me out. So, from a film point of few, I like how powerful that scene is. It hurts when Wonka yells at Charlie. But, personally, it’s still one of my least favorite movie scenes to watch.

If you haven’t revisited Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory in a while, I highly recommend it.

Christopher

I’ve said before that I believe The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly is my favorite movie but this is a very close second. I have so many childhood memories of watching this film. I remember multiple Halloweens as a kid where I dressed up as Charlie Bucket, I remember watching this movie everyday for a week in high school, just because I wanted to remember more lines, and I remember buying this soundtrack at Borders Books just because I wanted to listen to the music while I drove around Vienna, VA. This movie is great!

What I love the most about this film is how I actually like it more and more as I get older. I think this movie is so funny with its dark humor. I love how it makes kids look awful and reminds me that I never want my own. I also love, and this might be a negative Elizabeth talks about, when he yells at Charlie and Grandpa Joe at the end of the film. Whenever Gene Wilder yells, it’s beautiful. Like in the boat scene, when he is singing the poem, his voice keeps getting higher and higher until he’s basically just screaming.

Now, the worst part of this movie is probably the scene where the mom sings to Charlie, but I also love singing that song to people when they complain because I think it’s funny. I know people in general don’t like the movie before he goes into the factory but I think some of my favorite moments are in this section. Once, when I was a kid, I tried watching this with a bunch of people and they wanted to skip to the factory; I don’t remember if we did or not but I remember being pissed off that everyone didn’t understand this movie like I did haha. But speaking of great moments before they go into the factory; Charlie Bucket’s teacher is one of the funniest characters in the film, I love the weird poem the knife guys recites to Charlie, and I always thought that the cabbage soup they eat at Charlie’s house looked good, I never really understood why they didn’t want that as a kid.

Inside the factory I always wanted a snozberry, I always wanted that buttercup drink that Wonka drinks then eats, and I always wanted to know what Hair Cream was exactly. This movie has so much in it; basically every line is funny and when it’s not I just find it very interesting. I love this movie and even though I can’t imagine how many times I have seen it, I hope I quadruple that by the time I die.

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