We drop some LCD and talk everything chocolate with our friend, the hilarious, Shena Keys as we review Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
Director: Mel Stuart
Writers: Roald Dahl, screenplay and book
Stars: Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson, Peter Ostrum
Willy Wonka, Gene Wilder
Grandpa Joe, Jack Alberton
Charlie, Peter Ostrum
Mr. Salt, Roy Kinnear
Veruca Salt, Julie Dawn Cole
Mr Beauregarde, Leonard Stone
Violet Beauregarde, Denise Nickerson
Mrs. Teevee, Nora Denney
Mike Teevee, Paris Themmen
Ursula Reit, Mrs. Gloop
Augustus Gloop, Michael Bollner
Mrs. Bucket, Diana Sowle
Aubrey Woods, Bill
Rotten Tomatoes: 91%
Gene Wilder said he would only take the part on the following condition: “When I make my first entrance, I’d like to come out of the door carrying a cane and then walk toward the crowd with a limp. After the crowd sees Willy Wonka is a cripple, they all whisper to themselves and then become deathly quiet. As I walk toward them, my cane sinks into one of the cobblestones I’m walking on and stands straight up, by itself; but I keep on walking, until I realize that I no longer have my cane. I start to fall forward, and just before I hit the ground, I do a beautiful forward somersault and bounce back up, to great applause.”
Other people considered for Willy Wonka: Fred Astaire, Peter Sellers, Monty Python group (Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones and Michael Palin)
Gene Wilder had a lot of input into his wardrobe.
Quaker Oats Company financed the movie.
The writer hated the movie so much that he refused to allow the movie to be remade as long as he lived. He died in 1990 and the movie was made 15 years later.
Only 1 of the child actors pursued a career in acting after this movie. Julie Dawn Cole (Veruca Salt) went on to do British soaps. Her character was also an inspiration for the alt-rock band called Veruca Salt. Veruca was also in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She was a lead singer in the band called Shy. She was a werewolf who ended up having wolfy affair with Oz and that broke up Willow and Oz. I’m still upset about it.
Veruca is probably from the slavic name Veruschca or Verushka. Veruca means vivacious, strong willed. However, Dahl said he named the character after medicine in his cabinet.
Ostrum, aka Charlie, become a veterinarian. He is from Cleveland Ohio.
The children’s reaction to the chocolate room was real. They were seeing it for the first time.
The chocolate river was made with 15,000 gallons of water as well as chocolate and cream. It spoiled quickly and smelled terrible.
The cup Willy was eating in the chocolate room was not made of chocolate. It was made of wax that Wilder had to keep sptting out.
None of the kids were warned about the boat scene, so their reactions were real.
There were a total of 10 Oompa-Loompas and they were cast from circuses around Europe. There were 9 men and 1 woman. They also were drunk by the end of a day’s filming. They once gathered the entire cast’s shoes from the hotel and tied all of the laces together and left them in a pile in the hotel they were staying at. Some of them did not speak English and this is why some of them don’t look like they are singing.
Snozzberries…It is from Dahl’s 1979 book “My Uncle Oswald” and it was a euphemism for penis.
Ernst Ziegler, aka Grandpa George, was almost blind due to poison gas from WWI. They used a red light to help guide him where to look during a scene.
When Veruca Salt smashes a large chocolate egg on a rock in the chocolate room, she didn’t realize it was a real egg. She fell onto the egg and cut herself. If you look carefully at the scene, you can see her bloody stocking. It left her with a life-long scar.
The “Wonka Wash” scene was done by using fire extinguisher foam. The problem with using that foam…it is extremely harsh on the skin. The actors needed medical treatment after that and needed several days to recover.
Most of the chocolate bars were made of wood. Which kind of plays into the whole snozzberry thing.
Rusty Goffe, one of the Oompa Loompas, played a Goblin in a couple of the Harry Potter movies and a Jawa and a Droid in Star Wars: A New Hope and in Doctor Who 2014 in Robot of Sherwood (little John).