Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory


Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Critics Consensus

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is strange yet comforting, full of narrative detours that don't always work but express the film's uniqueness.



Total Count: 46
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Movie Info

Promoted as a family musical by Paramount Pictures, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is more of a black comedy, perversely faithful to the spirit of Roald Dahl's original book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Enigmatic candy manufacturer Willy Wonka (Gene Wilder) stages a contest by hiding five golden tickets in five of his scrumptious candy bars. Whoever comes up with these tickets will win a free tour of the Wonka factory, as well as a lifetime supply of candy. Four of the five winning children are insufferable brats: the fifth is a likeable young lad named Charlie Bucket (Peter Ostrum), who takes the tour in the company of his equally amiable grandfather (Jack Albertson). In the course of the tour, Willy Wonka punishes the four nastier children in various diabolical methods -- one kid is inflated and covered with blueberry dye, another ends up as a principal ingredient of the chocolate, and so on -- because these kids have violated the ethics of Wonka's factory. In the end, only Charlie and his grandfather are left. Ostensibly set in England, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was lensed in Germany (as revealed by the film's final overhead shot). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Gene Wilder
as Willy Wonka
Jack Albertson
as Grandpa Joe
Peter Ostrum
as Charlie Bucket
Michael Bollner
as Augustus Gloop
Denise Nickerson
as Violet Beauregarde
Ursula Reit
as Mrs. Gloop
Leonard Stone
as Mr. Beauregarde
Julie Dawn Cole
as Veruca Salt
Roy Kinnear
as Mr. Salt
Paris Themmen
as Mike Teevee
Nora Denney
as Mrs. Teevee
Diana Sowle
as Mrs. Bucket
David Battley
as Mr. Turkentine
Gunter Meissner
as Mr. Slugworth
Ernest Ziegler
as Grandpa George
Dora Altmann
as Grandma Georgina
Franziska Liebing
as Grandma Josephine
Günter Meisner
as Mr. Slugworth
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News & Interviews for Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Critic Reviews for Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

All Critics (46) | Top Critics (3)

  • Probably the best film of its sort since The Wizard of Oz. It is everything that family movies usually claim to be, but aren't: Delightful, funny, scary, exciting, and, most of all, a genuine work of imagination.

    Jul 9, 2018 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • An okay family musical fantasy.

    Aug 14, 2008 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Top Critic
  • Great fun, with Wilder for once giving an impeccably controlled performance as the factory's bizarre owner.

    Jan 26, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • he casting of Gene Wilder in the title role is the key: there is a crazed, yet knowing, glint in his eye that suggests the world of corporate confectionery is more sillier and sinister than we will ever know.

    Sep 20, 2018 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…
  • It is a rare breed: an imaginative live-action kid's film that engages and delights adults.

    Feb 3, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Creates a marvelous world as close to heaven as any kid can imagine and never talks down to its young audience.

    Aug 8, 2017 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review…

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