My Favorite Scene: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971) “Pure Imagination”

Roald Dahl, the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, absolutely hated the first adaptation of his book (I doubt he’d have liked the second better).  Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory certainly departs from Dahl’s novel, but in a rare case of the movie creating its own bit of magic that does nothing to take away from a classic novel.  Why does Willy Wonka work?  What is it about a top-hatted, purple clad reclusive chocolate maker that has captured the minds of children and adults since its release in 1971?  I think the answer is: Gene Wilder, the genius comic actor who passed away yesterday at the age of 83.

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