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Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

Original theatrical poster
Directed by Mel Stuart
Produced by David L. Wolper
Stan Margulies
Written by Roald Dahl
David Seltzer (uncredited)
Starring Gene Wilder
Jack Albertson
Peter Ostrum
Music by Anthony Newley (lyrics and score)
Leslie Bricusse (lyrics and score)
Walter Scharf (score arranger and musical direction)
Cinematography Arthur Ibbetson
Editing by David Saxon
Distributed by Paramount Pictures (original)
Warner Bros. (current)
Release date(s) June 30, 1971
Running time 96 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $2.9 million
Gross revenue $4 million

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is a 1971 American film based on the 1964 Roald Dahl novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It stars Gene Wilder in the title role, and was directed by Mel Stuart. The film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Score.



Charlie Bucket is a poor boy living with his mother and four grandparents in a tiny house. Charlie supplements the meager family income by delivering newspapers after school. The family, along with the rest of the world, learns that the candy maker Willy Wonka has hidden five Golden Tickets amongst his Wonka Bars. The finders of these special tickets will be given a full tour of his world-renowned but tightly-guarded candy factory, as well as a lifetime supply of chocolate. Charlie wants to take part in the search, but cannot afford to buy vast quantities of chocolate like most other participants. Soon, four of the tickets are found by Augustus Gloop, a gluttonous German boy; Veruca Salt, a spoiled English girl; Violet Beauregarde, a gum-chomping American girl; and Mike Teevee, a television-obsessed American boy. As they find their tickets, a sinister-looking man is observed whispering something in their ears, to which they listen attentively despite their preoccupations with their particular obsessions. Charlie's hopes are dashed when news breaks out that the final ticket has been found by a Paraguayan millionaire.

The next day, as the Golden Ticket craze dies down, Charlie finds a silver coin in a gutter and uses it to buy a Wonka Bar. Simultaneously, word spreads that the ticket found by the millionaire was forged. When Charlie opens the bar, he finds the true final ticket inside, and races home to tell his family, but is stopped along the way by the same man who had been seen silently talking to the other four winners. The man introduces himself as Arthur Slugworth, a rival confectioner who attempts to pay Charlie for a sample of Wonka's latest creation, the Everlasting Gobstopper.

An excited Grandpa Joe manages to get out of bed in order to serve as Charlie's tour chaperone. The next day, Wonka greets the children and their guardians at the factory gates and leads them inside, requiring each to sign a contract before the tour can begin. Inside is a psychedelic wonderland full of chocolate rivers, giant edible mushrooms, lickable wallpaper and other ingenious inventions and candies, as well as Wonka's workers, the small, orange-skinned, green-haired Oompa-Loompas. As the tour progresses, each of the first four children misbehave against Wonka's warnings, resulting in serious consequences. Augustus is sucked through a chocolate extraction pipe system and sent to the Fudge Room after trying to drink from a chocolate river. Violet transforms into a giant blueberry after trying an experimental piece of Three-Course-Dinner Gum. Veruca and her father are rejected as "bad eggs" and sent plummeting down a garbage chute in the Chocolate Golden Egg Sorting Room. Mike is shrunken to only a few inches in height after being transmitted by "Wonkavision," a broadcasting technology that can send objects through television instead of pictures. The Oompa-Loompas sing a song after each mishap, describing that particular child's poor behavior.

Charlie also succumbs to temptation along with Grandpa Joe, as they stay behind in the Bubble Room and sample Fizzy Lifting Drinks against orders from Wonka. They begin floating skyward and are nearly sucked into a ceiling-mounted exhaust fan. To avoid this grisly fate, they burp repeatedly until they return to the ground. Wonka initially seems unaware of this incident.

When Charlie becomes the last remaining child on the tour, Wonka politely dismisses him and Grandpa Joe and disappears into his office, without awarding Charlie his lifetime supply of chocolate. Grandpa Joe and Charlie enter Wonka's office to investigate. There, Wonka tells them that Charlie does not get the prize anymore because he broke the rules. Puzzled, Grandpa Joe denies seeing any rules.

Wonka irritably explains the forfeiture clause of the contract Charlie and the other four ticket winners signed at the start of the tour-Charlie's part in the theft of the Fizzy Lifting Drinks means that he violated the contract, and therefore he receives nothing. Wonka furiously dismisses them both.

A livid Grandpa Joe vows to give Slugworth the gobstopper in revenge. However, Charlie cannot betray Wonka and leaves it on his desk.

Wonka recants his penalty and asks for his guests' forgiveness. He reveals that Slugworth is actually an employee named Wilkinson, whose offer to buy the gobstopper was a morality test for the Golden Ticket winners, and Charlie was the only one who passed.

The trio enter the "Wonkavator", a multi-directional glass elevator, and fly out of the factory in it. As they soar over the village, Wonka tells Charlie that his actual prize is the factory itself, as the Golden Ticket search was conceived to help Wonka search for an honest and worthy child to be the heir to his chocolate empire. Charlie will reside in the factory and take over its operation when Wonka retires.


Actor Role
Peter Ostrum Charlie Bucket
Jack Albertson Grandpa Joe
Gene Wilder Willy Wonka
Julie Dawn Cole Veruca Salt
Paris Themmen Mike Teevee
Denise Nickerson Violet Beauregarde
Diana Sowle Mrs. Bucket
Dodo Denney Mrs. Teevee
Michael Bollner Augustus Gloop
Leonard Stone Mr. Beauregarde
Roy Kinnear Mr. Salt
Ursula Reit Mrs. Gloop
Gunter Meisner Arthur Slugworth/Mr. Wilkinson
Aubrey Woods Bill
David Battley Mr. Turkentine
Peter Capell Tinker
Werner Heyking Mr. Jopeck
Peter Stuart Winkelmann



The idea for adapting the book into a film came about when director Mel Stuart's 10-year-old daughter read the book and asked her father to make a movie out of it, with "Uncle Dave" (producer David L. Wolper) producing it. Stuart showed the book to Wolper, who happened to be in the midst of talks with the Quaker Oats Company regarding a vehicle to introduce a new candy bar from their Chicago-based Breaker Confections subsidiary (since renamed The Willy Wonka Candy Company and sold to Nestle). Wolper convinced the company, who had no previous experience in the film industry, to buy the rights to the book and finance the picture for the purpose of promoting a new Quaker Oats Wonka Bar.[1]

It was agreed that the film would be a children's musical, and that Dahl himself would write the screenplay.[1] However, the title was changed to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory in order to promote the aforementioned candy tie-in, and also because of the United States' continued involvement in the Vietnam War at the time; "Charlie" was a nickname for the Viet Cong.[citation needed]

Screenwriter David Seltzer conceived a gimmick exclusively for the film that had Wonka quoting numerous literary sources, such as Arthur O'Shaughnessy's Ode, Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, and William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice. Seltzer also worked Slugworth (only mentioned as a rival candy maker in the book) into the plot as an actual character.[1]

Dahl, who had rights to the film production, unsuccessfully pushed for Spike Milligan to play Willy Wonka.[2] His next choice, Ron Moody, rejected the part. Jon Pertwee also turned down the role due to ongoing commitments to Doctor Who. Also initially considered was Broadway star Joel Grey, who ultimately was rejected due to his small physical stature. Auditions were held for a week in New York City's Plaza Hotel, where Gene Wilder was immediately awarded the role. Wilder said that he would only do the movie if Wonka first appeared onscreen coming out of the factory hobbling with a cane, only to then lose it and do a somersault. Further auditions were held in New York, London and Munich to fill the parts of the other children and their parents.

Dahl was ultimately unhappy with the production, feeling "disappointed"[3] about many elements. These included the non-casting of Milligan as well as the emphasis on Wonka and not Charlie.[4] He was said to be "infuriated" at the plot changes made by David Seltzer, which included the conversion of Slugworth into a spy and the "belching" scene.[5] This displeasure led to Dahl not allowing any more versions of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to be made in his lifetime.[6]


Filming commenced on August 31, 1970 and ended on November 19, 1970. The primary shooting location was Munich, because it was significantly cheaper than filming in the U.S., and the setting was conducive to Wonka's factory. Stuart also liked the ambiguity and unfamiliarity of the location. External shots of the factory were filmed at the Munich Gaswerks; the flats and clocktower still exist.[7] The closing sequence when the Wonkavator is flying above the factory is footage of Nördlingen in Bavaria, Germany.

Production designer Harper Goff centered the factory around the massive Chocolate Room. The two-foot deep chocolate river and waterfall were created by adding chocolate ice cream mix to 150,000 gallons of water, which eventually created a foul odor that permeated the entire soundstage.


Willy Wonka was released on June 30, 1971, and earned a positive response from moviegoers, but box office figures were less than desirable due to lack of promotion. As a result, it was the fifty-third highest grossing film of the year in the U.S., earning approximately $4 million (on a $2.9 million budget, therefore making the movie profitable), equivalent to about $17.4 million in 2009.[8] Even though the film received positive reviews from critics such as Roger Ebert[9] and Wilder would later earn a Golden Globe nomination for his performance, Dahl was displeased with the final product and refused to sell the rights to the sequel, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator.[citation needed] Seeing no significant financial advantage, Paramount Pictures decided against renewing its distribution deal for the film when it expired seven years later. Quaker Oats sold its share of the rights to Warner Bros., who had acquired Wolper Productions, for $500,000 in 1977. WB's ownership of this film helped them get the rights to remake it under the book's original title in 2005.

By the mid-1980s, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory had experienced a spike in popularity thanks in large part to repeated television broadcasts and home video sales. Following a 25th-anniversary theatrical rerelease in 1996, it debuted on DVD the next year, allowing it to reach a new generation of viewers. The film was released as a remastered special edition on DVD and VHS in 2001 in order to commemorate the film's 30th anniversary. It is now considered a cult classic, with Gene Wilder's performance being hailed as one of his greatest roles.

Willy Wonka was ranked #74 on Bravo's 100 Scariest Movie Moments for the "scary tunnel" scene and, in fact, the whole movie.[10]

Home Video

The first DVD was released in 1997 as the "25th anniversary edition"[11] as a double sided disc containing a widescreen and "standard" version. The "standard" version is an open matte print, where the mattes used to make the image widescreen are removed, revealing information originally intended to be hidden from viewers.[12]

A special edition DVD was released in 2001, celebrating the film's 30th anniversary, although only full-screen, on August 28, 2001. Due to the lack of a letterboxed release, fan petitioning eventually led Warner Home Video to issue a widescreen version on November 13, 2001. It was also released on VHS, with only one of the special features (a making of feature). Several original cast members reunited to film documentary footage for this special edition DVD release. The two editions featured restored sound, and better picture quality. In addition to the documentary, the DVD included a trailer, a gallery, and audio commentary by the cast.

In 2006, Warner Bros. released the film on HD DVD with all the bonus features from the 2001 DVD.[13]

The movie was made available on Blu-Ray Disc on October 20, 2009.[14] It includes all the bonus features from the 2001 DVD and 2006 HD-DVD as well as a 38-page book.


Problems listening to this file? See media help.

The Academy Award-nominated original score and songs were composed by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley, and musical direction was by Walter Scharf. The soundtrack was first released on Paramount Records in 1971. On October 8, 1996, Hip-O Records released the soundtrack on CD as a "25th Anniversary Edition".

The music and songs in the order that they appear in the film are:

  1. "Main Title" - Instrumental medley of "(I've Got A) Golden Ticket" and "Pure Imagination"
  2. "The Candy Man Can" - Aubrey Woods
  3. "Cheer Up, Charlie" - Diana Sowle
  4. "(I've Got a) Golden Ticket" - Jack Albertson and Peter Ostrum
  5. "Pure Imagination" - Gene Wilder
  6. "Oompa Loompa, Doompa-Dee-Do" - The Oompa Loompas
  7. "The Wondrous Boat Ride"/"The Rowing Song" - Gene Wilder
  8. "I Want It Now!" - Julie Dawn Cole
  9. "Ach, so fromm" (alternately entitled "M'appari", from Martha) - Gene Wilder


CD cover

Originally released on LP on June 30, 1971, an audio CD of the soundtrack was released on October 8, 1996. The tracklisting is as follows:

  1. Golden Ticket/Pure Imagination (Instrumental) (Main Title Theme)
  2. Candy Man - Aubrey Woods
  3. Charlie's Paper Run - Instrumental
  4. Cheer Up Charlie - Diana Sowle
  5. Lucky Charlie - Instrumental
  6. (I've Got A) Golden Ticket - Jack Albertson and Peter Ostrum
  7. Pure Imagination - Gene Wilder
  8. Oompa Loompa - Oompa Loompa cast
  9. Wondrous Boat Ride - Gene Wilder
  10. Everlasting Gobstoppers/Oompa Loompa - Oompa Loompa cast
  11. Bubble Machine - Instrumental
  12. I Want It Now/Oompa Loompa - Julie Dawn Cole/ Oompa Loompa cast
  13. Wonkamobile, Wonkavision/Oompa Loompa - Oompa Loompa cast
  14. Wonkavator/End Title (Pure Imagination) - Instrumental

See also


Further reading


External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is a 1971 comedy about a poor boy who wins the opportunity to tour the most eccentric and wonderful candy factory of all.

Directed by Mel Stuart. Written by Roald Dahl, based on his book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
It's everybody's non-pollutionary, anti-institutionary, pro-confectionery factory of fun! Taglines


Willy Wonka

  • [singing] There is no life I know to compare with pure imagination. Living there, you'll be free if you truly wish to be.
  • [singing] If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it. Anything you want to, do it. Want to change the world? There's nothing to it.
  • [singsong] A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.
  • We are the music makers. And we are the dreamers of the dreams.

Oompa Loompas

  • [singing] Oompa loompa doompadee doo,
    I've got another puzzle for you.
    Oompa loompa doompadah dee,
    If you are wise you'll listen to me.
    Who do you blame when your kid is a brat?
    Pampered and spoiled like a Siamese cat?
    Blaming the kids is a lie and a shame.
    You know exactly who's to blame.
    The mother and the father.
    Oompa loompa doompadee dah,
    If you're not spoiled then you will go far.
    You will live in happiness too,
    Like the oompa loompa doompadee do.


Mr. Salt: What is this, Wonka? Some kind of fun house?
Wonka: Why? Having fun?

Grandpa Joe: Mr. Wonka?
Wonka: I am extraordinarily busy, sir.
Grandpa Joe: I just wanted to ask about the chocolate, the lifetime supply of chocolate, for Charlie. When does he get it?
Wonka: He doesn't.
Grandpa Joe: Why not?
Wonka: Because he broke the rules.
Grandpa Joe: What rules? We didn't see any rules, did we, Charlie?
Wonka: [angrily] Wrong, sir! Wrong! Under section 37B of the contract signed by him, it states quite clearly that all offers shall become null and void if - and you can read it for yourself in this photostatic copy - "I, the undersigned, shall forfeit all rights, privileges, and licenses herein and herein contained," et cetera, et cetera... "Fax mentis, incendium gloria cultum," et cetera, et cetera... Memo bis punitor delicatum! It's all there! Black and white, clear as crystal! You STOLE Fizzy-Lifting Drinks! You BUMPED into the ceiling, which now has to be washed and sterilized, so you get... NOTHING!!! You lose! GOOD DAY, SIR! [returns to work]
Grandpa Joe: [shocked] You're a crook... [furiously] You're a cheat and a swindler...! That's what you are! How can you do a thing like this?! Build up a little boy's hopes, and then smash all his dreams to pieces?! [lividly] You're an inhuman monster...!
Wonka: I said "GOOD DAY"!! [goes on about his work]
Grandpa Joe: Come on, Charlie, let's get out of here. [sets to leave] I'll get even with him if it's the last thing I ever do. If Slugworth wants a Gobstopper, he'll get one.

Wonka: [puts his hand on the Everlasting Gobstopper that Charlie has just given up to him, while writing] "So shines a good deed in a weary world." [looks up] Charlie? My boy. You've won! You did it! You did it! I knew you would! I just knew you would! Oh, Charlie, forgive me for putting you through this. Please, forgive me. Come in, Mr. Wilkinson! [The man originally known as Slugworth walks in.] Charlie, meet Mr. Wilkinson!
Wilkinson: Pleasure!
Charlie: Slugworth!
Wonka: No, no! That's not Slugworth. He works for me!
Charlie: For you?
Wonka: I had to test you, Charlie. And you passed the test! You won!
Grandpa Joe: Won what?!
Wonka: The jackpot, my dear sir! The grand and glorious jackpot!
Charlie: The chocolate?
Wonka: The chocolate, yes! The chocolate, but that's just the beginning! We hafta get on! We hafta get on! We have so much time, and so little to do! Strike that. Reverse it. This way, please!


  • It's everybody's non-pollutionary, anti-institutionary, pro-confectionery factory of fun!
  • It's Scrumdiddlyumptious!
  • Your golden ticket to imagination and adventure!
  • Charlie is let loose in the chocolate factory and every kid's dream comes true.
  • Enter a world of pure imagination.


External links

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