Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

I spent the day preparing for classes and grading papers.  I was tired when I got home, but I still sat down to watch “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” on Blu-ray.  I was still thinking about the death of Gene Wilder.  I didn’t know that the movie was filmed in Munich.  It did seem like an unusual setting.  The kid who played Charlie Bucket wasn’t the greatest actor compared to the rest of the kids, but I always liked him.  He could have been a leftover from the cast of “Oliver!”  Jack Albertson as Grandpa Joe was the only Bucket family member who made an impression upon me.  I don’t know how Charlie could have gone to the neighborhood store and buy a chocolate bar when everywhere they were all sold out.  When he stuffed all that chocolate into his mouth, I wondered if he got sick.  The best child actor in the movie was the girl who was Veruca Salt.  She was a real terror and totally convincing.  She seemed like she could have been headed for stardom with this performance.  I couldn’t help laughing when those kids met their horrible fates.  Those mothers who protested the movie had no sense of humor at all.  I thought Gene Wilder was an excellent Willy Wonka, of course.  In the special feature, he talked about always being recognized as Willy Wonka thirty years later.  The Oompa Loompas were hilarious to me, but I didn’t see why they poured ingredients into the chocolate river after Augustus had contaminated it.  Willy Wonka seemed like he could have been obsessive-compulsive with his talk about cleaning and sterilizing everything.  He is contradictory, though, as he dumps a pair of shoes and a coat into his concoctions.  I couldn’t help noticing that he makes some candy fall onto the ground, and one of the kids grabs it to eat it.  I kept thinking about the unsanitary moments in the movie.  When Violet turned into a blueberry, she looked too much like a balloon.  We don’t see any of the kids after they’ve been banished.  I guess they didn’t get their lifetime supply of chocolate.  It’s too bad that the special effects in 1971 couldn’t have been more convincing when Mike Teevee was transported.  Wilder said that the kid who played him was a real brat.  The room with everything cut in half at the end made a strong impression upon me when I first was this movie as a kid.  Willy Wonka’s anger was a real shock.  If the whole thing was a test, I don’t know how any kid in the world could pass Willy Wonka’s standards.  This movie was so meaningful to me way back when.  Since then, the concept of the Golden Ticket has entered the English language.  Mel Stuart died in 2012.  Gene Wilder died on August 29.  Some of the people who died on September 23 include Sigmund Freud (1939), Pablo Neruda (1973), Cliff Arquette (1974), and Bob Fosse (1987).  Today is a birthday for Jason Alexander (57) and Bruce Springsteen (67).

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