DIRECTOR: Mel Stuart
May Contain Spoilers!
Simply one of the best family films ever made in my opinion. Well judged from start to finish, with a great cast and an unflinching take on Roald Dahl’s classic novel. Though Dahl himself wrote the screenplay to this adaptation, he later stated that this wasn’t his favorite. But Roald Dahl may have been a top-notch writer at times, but his judgement was far from perfect, as the infamous television series, Tales Of The Unexpected, aptly misnamed, would attest too.
Probably due to the limitations of the day, this version is not so much low-key, but understated, as all the magic is generally nothing short of trickery, in both production and plot, with Wonka’s twisted sensibility played out in a fun house style, rather than the epic scale of Tim Burton’s later remake. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with Gene Wilder’s near perfect portrayal of Wonka, as a slightly off beat and creepy man, the kind of man your parents would not so much warn you off, but keep one eye on him.
This version plays in to the heart of children and parents fears and dreams alike, with a message or two for everyone. Enjoy…