Saturday, October 23, 2010

Willy Wonka

I am sick. For the fourth day. I feel weak and horrible. So, after too many hours in bed, I have moved to the couch for a different environment. Turning on the tv I find one of my favorite movies of all time - symbol of childhood - Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Not the remake with Johnny Depp. I love Johnny Depp, but seriously, I don't know why he would try to tamper with a masterpiece. No remake can replace the original. 

This film is such a piece of my generation's pop culture. I remember talking about it with friends in high school and in college and after college. I have never met anyone from my generation who did not like this movie. How many times did I watch this movie growing up? I probably saw it a few times every year of my life. It was always played around Thanksgiving and Christmas and then you could find it randomly sometimes. Its one of those films that I can watch over and over again - and there aren't many of those for me (Auntie Mame, Dirty Dancing, Gidget Goes Hawaiian, So I Married an Axe Murderer are a few that come to mind right now). I admit, watching it now at 43 it doesn't capture me like it did in my youth, but I still love it. I still got a little teary eyed when Charlie found the ticket and I am sure I will get teary eyed again at the end. I always do.

Watching this movie I am reminded how much I loved Gene Wilder. He made this movie. He was brilliant. Not just in this, but many other films. It might seem strange, but I had such a crush on him as a young girl. Alongside the likes of Shaun Cassidy, Andy Gibb, Scott Baio, Erik Estrada, etc. I thought Gene Wilder was dreamy. I think it was his humor and his kindness at the end of Willy Wonka, plus I saw him play romantic comedy roles in other films. I also loved that he was married to Gilda Radner and it was sad when he lost her to breast cancer. I really thought he was a sexy man. I also thought Alan Alda was sexy. I think I was a sensitive child.

I just learned that Willy Wonka was filmed in Munich. The exterior of the Wonka factory was the Munich gasworks. The city in the final aerial shot from the glass elevator is Munich. The film interiors were shot on the Bavaria Film Studios in Grunwald. And as soon as the film was completed, the cast of Cabaret (Liza Minelli - 1972) moved into the studio and sets. I also learned that author Roald Dahl was so unahppy with the film adaptation of his book that he refused to watch it. His loss.

1 comment:

  1. As a child, I used to go to the Winnetka Community Center once a year when they would screen Willy Wonka. We got to brown bag our own candy and enjoy the show. It is one of my favorite childhood memories!