|Willy Wonka & Chocolate Factory (Clam) [VHS]
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Having proven itself as a favorite film of children around the world, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is every bit as entertaining now as it was when originally released in 1971. There's a timeless appeal to Roald Dahl's classic children's novel, which was playfully preserved in this charming musical, from the colorful carnival-like splendor of its production design to the infectious melody of the "Oompah-Loompah" songs that punctuate the story. Who can forget those diminutive Oompah-Loompah workers who recite rhyming parental warnings ("Oompah-Loompah, doopity do...") whenever some mischievous child has disobeyed Willy Wonka's orders to remain orderly? Oh, but we're getting ahead of ourselves ... it's really the story of the impoverished Charlie Bucket, who, along with four other kids and their parental guests, wins a coveted golden ticket to enter the fantastic realm of Wonka's mysterious confectionery. After the other kids have proven themselves to be irresponsible brats, it's Charlie who impresses Wonka and wins a reward beyond his wildest dreams. But before that, the tour of Wonka's factory provides a dazzling parade of delights, and with Gene Wilder giving a brilliant performance as the eccentric candyman, Wonka gains an edge of menace and madness that nicely counterbalances the movie's sentimental sweetness. It's that willingness to risk a darker tone--to show that even a wonderland like Wonka's can be a weird and dangerous place if you're a bad kid--that makes this an enduring family classic. --Jeff Shannon
- Walk with world weary Willy Wonka
Ahh...The good ol' days. The Patriarch remembers fondly the days of his youth when he was forced to watch this film in his local Thought-Control-and-Processing-Center to wit I mean public school.
The first strikingly strange thing about this movie is the fact that it takes place in no specific time period. I mean, it was made in `71, it has 60s/70s and slang, modern automobiles, and yet Charlie's family lives like 19th century proletariat laborers. They live in a one room shack where all four grandparents live in a communal bed, the mom works in a sweat-shop laundry, and they all dress like chimney sweeps. It looks like they use the same sets and wardrobe from Oliver, which they probably did.
If you're still awake after the somniferous credit sequence then you'll get to witness a frightening 1920s era candyman/soda jerk. These obviously no longer existed in the early seventies, so it only brings up more questions about the era this movie takes place in. The scary bachelor candyman now throws candy at the kids and gives them the run of the place. I fail to see how this will help his profits. He sings the children the first song of the film, the aptly-titled Candyman. Looking in the window in silent reproach is Charlie Bucket. (NOT pronounced `bouquet')
Charlie always has this look on his face like he just watched his dog get hit by a truck and dragged down the street. Of course if you lived like Charlie, wouldn't you? An unusual glimmer of hope enters Charlie's life when eccentric, reclusive Candy maker Willy Wonka holds a contest to give five lucky winners a tour of his factory and a lifetime supply of chocolate. Don't ask how much a lifetime supply of chocolate is, since chocolate is not needed to support human life it may very well be 0 bars of chocolate. The bigger question is just how winning this contest would help Charlie's miserable life get any better. It seems the logical course of action would be to sell the golden ticket to an eccentric millionaire.
Wonka-fever grips the world, the first winner is a family of German stereotypes, the Gloops. The Gloops will eat anything including microphones!!! Oh well, when your country stages a failed world conquest it just goes with the territory. Winner #2 is rich heiress and spoiled brat Veruca Salt. Veruca's father has his whole plant ripping up Wonka bars in order to find the ticket. Just why he has a 1940s era sweatshop is a mystery. Winner #3 is Violet Beauregard and her father used car salesman Sam B. She's a plump loud mouth that is a self-proclaimed gum chewer. Meanwhile Charlie's mother has the nerve to sing this song, Cheer Up Charlie to him. Yeah, cheer up, Charlie, you've got a big bowl of cabbage-water coming to you when you get home. Winner #4 is Mike Teevee who, ironically enough, is obsessed with TV. He's watching a colour TV so I guess this movie takes place in the same time period as it was filmed, it's best just to ignore all the glaring anachronisms.
Charlie opens a few Wonka bars only to have what little hope remained in his Pollyanna optimism crushed; but, a little sewer-grate picking scores Charlie an unidentifiable amount of money that he blows on more Wonka bars, even though the contest is supposedly over. Yeah, blow your money on candy Charlie, we don't mind eating cabbage water for another month. He picks up one just for Grandpa Joe, a good deed which is rewarded with the final golden ticket. The factory tour is, conveniently enough, held the next day. So Charlie and Grandpa Joe put on their Sunday best and head out to the factory where they are greeted by Wonka.
Wonka is insane.
His factory is a sadistic funhouse that is all one inside joke for Wonka's unhealthy amusement. Speaking of inside jokes, nearly everything he says is an inside joke, usually a quote from an obscure piece of literature. After a little psychological torture, Wonka lets them in to this open garden area where everything is `eatable.' Here we're introduced to the Oompa Loompas, an evil race of singing, know-it-all midgets. In this area we have our first causality, Augustus Gloop. He accidentally falls into the chocolate river and only Charlie tries to save him. Wonka is too concerned with the cleanliness of his chocolate river. He must not be too concerned as he sails a boat, the Wonkatania, through it in the next scene!
Wonka takes them through a tunnel in the Wonkatania that can somehow emulate the effects of acid. Wonka has the boat go hundreds of miles per hour as he rants on like a madman, all for his own twisted amusement. In the next room Wonka throws a bunch of foreign objects into his candy vats, such as a pair of tennis shoes, a winter coat, and an alarm clock. Here Wonka introduces his chewing gum that tastes like a full course meal. While I don't find the idea of chewing gum that tastes like lamb gravy appetizing, to each his own. Violet, the gum chewer of the bunch takes a piece without permission and is turned into a blueberry. According to the Oompa Loompa's song, her only sin is gum chewing. Is that really that bad a thing?
Now Wonka leads the remaining unsuspecting children to a room with geese that lay golden eggs. Veruca decides she has to have one. She's wanted everything she's seen so far, but she just HAS to have one of these. So much so that she goes into song in which she expounds upon her unfettered avarice. And uses some darn interesting words to do so.
"I want a feast/I want a bean-feast(?)/Cream buns and donuts and fruitcake with no nuts So good you could go nuts/I want a ball/ I want a party/Pink macaroons and a million balloons And performing baboons(!?)/ and give it to me Now!/I want the world/I want the whole world/I want to lock it all up in my pocket it's my bar of chocolate/Give it to me now!/I want today/I want tomorrow/I want to wear them like braids in my hair(??) And I DON'T WANT TO SHARE THEM!!!
*She struggles to regain her composure
I want a party with roomfuls of laughter /10,000 tons of ice-cream/And if I don't get the things that I'm after/ I'm going to screeeeeaaaaam!!!"
And with that she goes on a rampage mussing up Wonka's factory before finally falling down the garbage shoot. I think Veruca actually had the right idea. She's like Donald Trump only young, a girl, and with good hair. In a world of Paris Hiltons, here is an heiress that wants to make herself more rich instead of just having s e x with everybody and driving drunk. And can you imagine Veruca going on some silly photo-op journey to Africa to help the less fortunate? Of course not!
As the movie draws closer to its end, I think now is a good time to contemplate the message of our dear fable...Do not cross Wonka! As a matter of fact if you ever encounter a man in a full length purple coat, top hat, and cane, run! Just run! What he's selling may look good on the outside, but on the inside the sweet candy is rotten and filled with all kinds of sickly critters. Beware.
- excellent service
I ordered the dvd Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory for my daughter. I received this item in less time then what I expected to arrive. This was excellent service. This movie is great....more info
- As good as it gets!
We love the movie--it has been a favorite in our family since our first child was born five years ago. When our old VHS copy wore out, I immediately signed on to Amazon and purchased a DVD. We frankly didn't expect it to be any different, but WOW, the colors, the picture quality, all of the original movie was just plain BETTER to watch. In addition, the special features, especially the interviews with the stars all grown up today--incredibly interesting! Even my 2 kids enjoy watching the extra features on the movie.
I highly recommend it, even if you have the old movie somewhere in your video collection. You won't regret it....more info
- Well-Witted, and Well Performed
I saw the film after seeing Tim Burton version in 2005, and I really enjoyed this 1971 version starring GENE WILDER.
Gene Wilder's Willy Wonka is really witty and performing the role of the legendary chocolate bar factory owner brilliantly. The first appearance with somersault which is the Wilder's own idea, tells the Wilder's sense of humor quite well. Wonka is an old man in the book but Wilder was still in his 30s. Wilder wants to stress that the book and the film is different? Punishments of the naughty kids are done really well and its lesson can be seen a lot more clearly than the 2005 version. And what is impressive is that the invited children as well as adults truly enjoy the fantastic garden compensating for a bit poorly designed sets. Another factor making the storyline quite convincing is that even Charlie shares the mistakes by tasting the body-floating candies. The process by which the Charlie wins the factory is well described and quite impressive.
Wilder's Wonka is by no means true to the original book but the appealing one for sure.
Verdict: Compromise the sets and outdated F/X and you may feel like being one of the luckiest kids or their accomapanying adults.
Rating: 88 out of 100
Recommended for: Classic movies fans and fantasy novels fans.
- don't buy
i think the dvd was a pirated and that was the reason it was so cheap, it didn't work in any of my 4 dvd players. but amazon gave me my money back pretty quickly without asking questions. ...more info
- not content
I placed the order and it took me 1 month excactly to receive the merchandise. To top it off it did not work I tried my 3dvd players at home as well as other relative's dvd players and the movie ne4ver played. I'm really disapointed especialloy after been my first online purchase. I really want to rate it a a 0 in cutomer satisfaction....more info
- Takes me back
I love this movie from my childhood. I used to watch this everytime I stayed home sick from school. I guess you could say it was my chicken soup I always felt better afterwards....more info
- This version (June 25, 2005) is screwed up as the other widescreen version
I've seen all the anamorphic widescreen versions of this precious classic, and WB's latest attempt to try to fool us with another widescreen release the same as that of the 30th anniversary edition (images cut off top and bottom), has only proven to consumers that the people at Warner Brothers are the fools. It's the pan & scan version, but with the image further stretched top and bottom. This is cutting off even more of the original 4:3 image, then letting your TV or projector do the vertical squeeze to stretch the image width to fill up the entire 16x9 screen. Now side images are cut off as well, because the widescreen releases WBs are formatting from are from a pan & scan image, which blows up the picture to fill a 4:3 television, leaving images cut off normally at the sides, but now top and bottom as well.
If you already have the 30th anniversary widescreen edition, please don't waste your money as I did and buy the 2005 edition, as you will only have the exact same release, but with a different cover. ...more info
- Really fun but with a catch
Truly a fun romp through Willy Wonka's Chocolate factory as children learn some lessons about how not to be little beasts. All those kids were old enough to know right from wrong, were rude to their parents and all others in their vacinity, refused instruction a got their just deserts. I'm sure they all came out OK in the end. They and their parents needed a little lesson. Those reviewers outraged by their fate have never been babysitters or had a belly laugh at a Warner Bros. cartoon.
Hint: It's not real, and kids today figure that out pretty easily, they are much more sophisticated than we were.
But I have deducted a star for that LSD trip boat ride! What a meaningless horror trip! Can anyone explain what THAT is about?? Completely spoils what could otherwise be a nearly flawless flick....more info
- Sick Willy
"Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" is not a child's movie. Not even close.
It's more like an Express Elevator to Hell. Let's be clear on that: whatever it is---aperture to Hell, gateway to a parallel dimension, portal to an alien universe full of diaper-wearing baby-eating carnivores---whatever it is, it's not a childrens' movie.
"Willy Wonka" seethes with Faustian menance and a lurking sense of something sinister afoot, just behind the scenes. It's a kind of cinemo-genetic splice of Pol Pot, Josef Stalin, Satan, and the Teletubbies, with a little shark blood, cobra venom, & curare thrown in for variety.
"Willy Wonka" traumatized me as a child. No kidding. I went to it with my parents, who were under the misconception that this was a fun, light-hearted childrens' romp at the local drive-in; I was digging my nails into my mom's headrest about 10 minutes into the thing. By the time the fat chick turned blue & was about to explode, I'd had it. My Ultra-Conservative, Vaguely Pious Little Boy Instincts had had enough.
My parents practically had to do a bootlegger reverse in our whale-like family Oldsmobile to get me out of there, skirting the puzzled & the damned on their way back to the Horror with their popcorn and junior mints. Even then, on the verge of escape, my fingers clasped over my eyes, I was terrified at what hellish horrors the flickering blue-hued mountain-sized silver screen might burn into my young brain. Why did I look, you ask? Why look, on the verge of escape?
Because I had to watch.
That's the grim, ghoulish secret of "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory", director Mel Stuart's cinematic Weapon of Mass Destruction & a screed advocating genocide against naughty children.
Don't believe me? Yeah, well, they didn't believe the guy who said the alien diplomatic manual "To Serve Man" was a cookbook, either.
"Wonka" is nothing less than the incarnation of what every parent wishes, secretly, to inflict on miscreant children: the Torments of Hell. Oh, and brutal, violent, gory death. And then little men in big-hipped pants come and haul your carcass away.
For one, there is the Chocolate Factory itself, a kind of gingerbread Auschwitz with looming smokestacks to match. The River of Chocolate is actually blood red: not brown, or caramel, or black, but red. Like blood. In fact, I think it is a river of blood, nourishing by way of strange caverns the vile, fleshy plants that fasten themselves along its unclean banks.
Or take the little troglodyte Oompah Loompahs, who shuttle miscreants into the Factory's Death Traps, after which they're never seen again. Where did they go? Wonka glosses this over like the hardened war criminal he obviously is: don't worry, he coos, the Oompahs (the Stasi? the Gestapo? The SS?) are "helping them" get better.
Even as a child I knew better. The Little Fat Blue Girl, for one? Yeah, sure, they're "helping her"---helping mop her bright pink guts off the factory walls after she exploded. Or how about the little boy dragged into a chocolate tube & doubtless suffocated, or Charlie & his grampa's brush with whirring steely death in the Decapitator?
Or what of the hellish topography of Wonkaland itself, where candy vats bubble like Yellowstone paint pots, bubbling, spitting, hissing, ready to snare and clutch and catch the unfortunate, usually a child, who gets too close & is scalded.
This flick doesn't even bother disguising its real agenda: consider its psychedelic tunnel boat sequence, complete with hallucinatory glimpses of a writhing Conqueror Worm, dead birds, ambulatory guts, & the licking fires of Hell, accompanied by a nearly spastic Wonka yammering about Rowers rowing & "the Fires of Hell a-Blowing (a film addition not found in the book).
Or best of all, consider the character of Willy Wonka himself, played by comic genius Gene Wilder. Wonka is obviously deranged. Wilder surpasses himself in bringing a kind of spastic, deranged, dangerous manginess to the persona of the affable old Dickensian eccentric imagined in Roald Dahl's truly childish children's classic (itself a work of pure unbridled whimsy). To a child, Wonka isn't endearing, he's dangerous. He's the Mad Stranger. You don't talk to him.
And why would you, when Wonka looks to be, and let's face it, probably is, a drug addict. Just look at the wretch: the ill-modulated voice, rising from sibilant to screech in seconds. Or the unkempt wispy hair jutting out from the moldy top hat, or the yellowish cankered clothes, or the wild, jerky, drug-addled mannerisms.
Is it so difficult to imagine this candy-coated Mengele with his syringe full of lethal blueberry custard, his vivisections done for the day, dispatching a troop of Waffen Oompah Loompahs to haul the latest batch of child-sized black bodybags out the back door of his Gingerbread Dachau while he retreats to the privacy of his miserable, woeful office to break out the syringe, the needle, and the spoon?
A child, rightly, recoils from such a Monster.
If you let your child be influenced by this tomb-rat, be prepared when he proceeds to torturing small dogs with a cheese slicer in the shed, and from there to trolling the seedier night clubs in search of boyfriends to bring home for sedation, dismemberment, and storage in the refrigerator (or perhaps a chemical vat, in a true homage to the original Sick Willy).
It is instructive to learn that Dahl, horrified by the cinematic adaption, filed a lawsuit against the producers and director Stuart, thus preventing them from using his characters again, and thereby scuttling sequels---and perhaps stoppering up a gate to the Land of the Damned.
Show this infernal concoction of slow death to the impressionable only if you want to literally carry out Christ's injunction: "Suffer the little Children."
JSG ...more info