Lion of the Blogosphere

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)

Gene Wilder doesn’t show up until 44 minutes into the movie, so I recommend just skipping past the first 44 minutes.

Five children tour Willy Wonka’s psychedelic candy factory, but four of them are brats and suffer horrible fates related to their brattyness. After each horrible fate, the rather creepy Oompa Loompas (you sort of get the feeling that they’re slave labor) sing a song in which they give wise advice, such as don’t chew gum, and read a book instead of watching TV.

Charlie is supposedly the good honest kid (even though he also misbehaved during the factory tour) and is rewarded with the entire chocolate factory, which Willy Wonka will train him to take over. There’s no explanation as to why Willy Wonka couldn’t marry a nice woman and have his own kid.

Rated G in 1971, but probably not suitable for today’s precious snowflake children. In fact, it makes one guy’s list of top ten kids’ movies not appropriate for kids. But that’s why all children of my generation remember this movie, while other movies we watched as kids are pretty much entirely forgotten. Maybe we need more movies where children are scared into behaving.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

April 5, 2017 at EDT pm

Posted in Movies

31 Responses

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  1. A few days ago, I remembered the scene where children became donkeys in Pinocchio and watched the scene on YouTube (I hadn’t watched the movie since I was a little kid). I thought the scene was amusing as a kid but found it genuinely disturbing as an adult. I can’t think of anything much worse than entrapping children and adolescents, turning them into beasts of labor as they scream for their mothers, and then selling them off as slaves where they’ll be worked to death.

    That said, the movie Congo (1995) scared me so much as a child that I had to leave the theater. When I rewatched it in college, I laughed over how stupid it was. It’s interesting how some things in movies are scarier as a child because you can’t discern how fake it is, while others are more disturbing as an adult because you can reason out the implications of what happened.


    April 5, 2017 at EDT pm

    • Sid, good point. As a script doctor I would try and navigate that.


      April 5, 2017 at EDT pm

  2. The Simpsons had an episode that featured a Willy Wonka-type character. Per Homer: “Nothing makes parents happier than when an eccentric, single man takes an interest in their child.”


    April 5, 2017 at EDT pm

  3. Scene: A Chocolate Factory

    Characters: A multi-cultural collection of five children from the Current Year

    Action: Having successfully found a Rainbow Ticket, the five winners (a black Lesbian, a gay Asian male, a Middle Eastern girl in a hijab, a rotund Mestizo girl and a white male cripple with a serious speech impediment and a runny nose) enter the Chocolate Factory. There, they stage a protest, chanting:

    “Hey ho, hey ho, let the Oompa Loompas go!”

    Willie Wonka, played by Laurence Fishburne, enters, says “screw ya’ll” and walks out.

    The children, seriously triggered, are shown to an empty, padded room labeled “The Safe Space.” Here they receive intense counseling from a multi-racial group of radical women wearing pus*y hats. They all come to an agreement that it was the white kid’s fault. He is thrown into the chocolate river and drowns. The remaining children receive Ever Lasting EBT Cards.



    April 5, 2017 at EDT pm

    • ptersike, this just might play in Peoria.


      April 5, 2017 at EDT pm

  4. “Maybe we need more movies where children are scared into behaving.”

    The Child Catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang scared the shit out of me. Do what your parents tell you, and don’t be a greedy little glutton.


    April 5, 2017 at EDT pm

    • Benny Hill was in that. I’ve never seen him in another movie.


      April 5, 2017 at EDT pm

  5. When Gene Wilder died they mentioned in the obits that he had told the director of this film that he would only agree to play the part of Willy if during his first scene he could walk with a limp and a stick towards the waiting crowd; fall forward as if he was stumbling, and then roll and jump back up to his feet before throw the stick away. When the director asked why, he said that this initial subterfuge would have the audience doubting Willy’s motives througout the rest of the film.

    This was a clever idea which I think makes a big difference to the film. There is certainly an ambivalence about Willy Wonka’s character where you never quite feel sure of his motives. He sometimes seems to openly view everyone else with contempt, yet he also seems dreamily idealistic and romantic. It’s part of what makes the film watchable as an adult.

    prolier than thou

    April 5, 2017 at EDT pm

    • Willy Wonka is alt right.

      Independent, intellectual, eccentric, intense and driven to an almost nietzschean degree, a strong penchant for libertarianism, strongly believes in morality and virtues, rejects the decadence of his age, and dresses sharp.


      April 5, 2017 at EDT pm

  6. That movie was totally tits. I loved it and must have watched it 10 times. But I must admit that when I rewatched it with my young child I was a bit freaked out by the river boat lsd trip scene, and wouldn’t let my kids hang out with such an obvious perverted freak.


    April 5, 2017 at EDT pm

  7. I forgot about Time Bandits. I liked that movie, but was that really marketed as a kids movie?

    Black Hole isn’t a kids movie either.


    April 5, 2017 at EDT pm

    • Terry Gilliam is the man


      April 5, 2017 at EDT pm

  8. Anyone else notice that today’s movies (action/scifi/superhero) look like videogames?

    People make fun of old 70s & 80s SFX. Hokey at times sure, yet but at least they look real.

    All the digital work in today’s movies look completely artificial and cartoony and I don’t buy it as real for a second.


    April 5, 2017 at EDT pm

  9. This mention of Charlue Choc Factory took me back to 5th grade (1968) where they made me read it along with A Wrinkle in Time. So I go to wiki and learn that the latter was rejected by publishers because it was too disturbing for children. This in turn got me thinking about whether any novel really disturbed me, and I thought of Tishomingo Blues, one of the later works of Elmorre Leonard. Lion, you never review the crime genre. I challenge anyone not to get the shivers from TB.


    April 5, 2017 at EDT pm

  10. the t.v kid never really did anything wrong, nor did the gum chewing kid honestly. the only one that was egregiously bad was veruca salt. i read somewhere that rohl dahl (the british author who wrote the original book) just basically hated kids.

    james n.s.w

    April 5, 2017 at EDT pm

  11. This movie scared me when I was a kid.


    April 6, 2017 at EDT am

    • Brain That Wouldn’t Die is a fun movie.


      April 6, 2017 at EDT am

      • I guess the movie follows a beta male trajectory.


        April 6, 2017 at EDT am

    • Even as just a brain she wore make-up.


      April 7, 2017 at EDT pm

  12. Kids shouldn’t have access to TV. It poisons their minds.


    April 6, 2017 at EDT am

    • Right, the Hasidim don’t allow their children to watch TV. Or use the internet. Or read any books besides religious books.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      April 6, 2017 at EDT am

  13. If he got married it would mean his wife could get half the factory and the wealth would be split.

    grey enlightenment

    April 6, 2017 at EDT am

  14. I loved that movie as a kid! What an awesome manic, sociopath Gene Wilder was in that movie!


    April 6, 2017 at EDT pm

  15. Yayyy!!!! What a great, classic movie. Wilder as Wonka is one of my favourite roles for any actor, ever. His one-liners and witty quips contain a wisdom that makes you wonder what the character has lived through.

    I’m going to read the link to the guy who thinks this is inappropriate for kids. People underestimate what kids are capable of. My 7-year-old is bright as a whip and I think she would appreciate this movie.

    S.J., Esquire

    April 6, 2017 at EDT pm

  16. […] the other hand, the 2005 movie does better address an issue I brought up in my review of the 1971 movie. “There’s no explanation as to why Willy Wonka couldn’t marry a nice woman and have his […]

  17. Willie Wonka is an eccentric loner who has given up on the World. He dismisses his entire workforce because of corporate spies from the Evil Slugworth Corporation. The Oompa Loompas in the Dahl Book are hapless natives of some idyllic land that are menaced by wildlife since they’re all pygmies. Its probably based on the real pygmies that were genocided in Africa, by (yes you guessed it) blacks.
    Did you know there is a sequel to this story? Dahl wrote a sequel to this with space aliens, but it was so bizarre and over-the-top you probably couldn’t have filmed it after the first film. Roald Dahl is eccentric himself. He’s the consummate flaky author who hates the modern world and commercialism.

    Joshua Sinistar

    April 8, 2017 at EDT pm

  18. This was the first movie I ever saw in my life and I enjoyed it tremendously. Gene Wilder was childhood friends with my dad. They grew up in a mostly Jewish Milwaukee neighborhood. That same neighborhood has been a black ghetto for the past 50 years and was where a big riot took place last year.

    Jay Fink

    April 9, 2017 at EDT am

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