Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

1971

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.

91%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 46

87%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 877,777
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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

Cast

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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Critic Reviews for Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

All Critics (46) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (42) | Rotten (4)

  • 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

    Variety
    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…

Audience Reviews for Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

  • Aug 30, 2016
    Wilder's performance is perfection. Yeah the movie has it's issues but it maintains an aura of wonderment from begging to end without ever appearing to coddle the audience.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Oct 02, 2014
    Oompa Loompa doompadee doo, I've gotta great movie for you...Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. Gene Wilder gives an iconic performance in this beloved family classic. Written by Roald Dahl, confectionery genius Willy Wonka offers a once in a lifetime, whimsical tour of his famous chocolate factory to 5 lucky golden ticket winners. It starts off a bit slow, but once Wilder hits the screen the film lights up; especially in the factory, which is full of fascinating gadgetry and vivid colors. And, the musical numbers are incredibly fun, featuring such memorable songs as "The Candy Man," "Oompa Loompa," and "Pure Imagination." A tasty treat, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is a fantastical adventure that taps into the inner child of us all.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Apr 02, 2014
    Classic fantasy film based on Roald Dahl's book, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is a standout film with some truly engaging performances, amusing musical numbers and impressive visuals. Gene Wilder is great in the lead role, and the film has the perfect balance of dialogue and musical numbers to make it a truly engaging experience. This is an eccentric fantasy film, one that should be seen by anyone that enjoys a bizarre, story. For fans of the book, they should check this out, and with that being said, I think that Gene Wilder was the perfect choice to play Willy Wonka, and he delivers one of his strongest performances of his career. This is a well crafted picture with some memorable moments that is sure to entertaining you from start to finish. This is a classic film that is constantly entertaining, and boasts a truly unique story. If you want a fantasy film that can capture your imagination, then this is the one to watch. The film has strong performances from everyone involved, and is a fun film to be enjoyed by anyone that loves this genre. Gene Wilder, like I said steals the show and he makes this film a truly memorable picture. Roald Dahl disowned the script that he wrote, but I think that it's still a strong picture, one that makes you want to read the book. The film boasts a strong sense of visuals, which are impressive for its time, and it also adds so much to the film's atmosphere. If you want a standout fantasy picture, then this is a perfect film to watch. The amount of musical numbers is fairly minimal, and it's a good thing because it permits to focus a lot on the story as well. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is a cinematic classic, and one that is near perfect.
    Alex r Super Reviewer
  • Apr 10, 2013
    Still hitting the mark more effectively than Depp's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the 1971 film reflects the Dahl material perfectly.
    John B Super Reviewer

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