Sunday, July 10, 2011

The originalĀ "Willy Wonka" turns 40

"Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory", released 40 years ago on June 30, 1971, was always a favorite of mine when I was growing up. Even though I never saw it in the theater, the movie played regularly on TV, continuing to gain an incredible following of fans around the globe. I'd have to say that by age twenty I knew all the lyrics to all the songs.

Tim Burton's version of the originalĀ Roald Dahl book was definitely a noble attempt at staying as true to the source material as possible. Yet it failed to eclipse Gene Wilder's immortal turn as the great candy maker looking for the right light girl or boy to take over his factory.

I was just listening to the remastered soundtrack the other day, feeling warmed by the rich, brilliant and timeless musical score interspaced with bits of dialogue and sound effects from the film.

Here's hoping one of the several retrospective movie theaters we frequent will put together a full-on anniversary screening in the very near future. The Aero and a Q&A with Gene Wilder would be amazing!


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