When I was growing up, Willy Wonka… was the children’s movie most loved by the “weird” kids, like me. If you were pretty much predestined to grow up to be a punk or a goth or your average, generic “crazed loner”, you liked this movie way better than some fluffy, sucky Disney cartoon.
Like the guy who hosts this trailer, and pretty much everyone else, I think this is one of Gene Wilder’s best performances, and I say that as someone who has been a (literal) lifelong fan. (I was seven when this movie came out, and have probably seen every film he’s ever been in, however obscure.)
In his (a bit too intimate) autobiography (I listened to the ebook because he read it himself ), Wilder says that he only agreed to do the film if the director would let him do that freaky limp/somersault in his first scene. Wilder felt, rightly, that that bit of business would set the tone for the whole film, leaving viewers a bit on edge about what was to come.
Now that “dark” films are everywhere, thanks to the so totally “over” Tim Burton and his many imitators, it is easy to forget how inister and twisted Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was when it first came out. The uneasy blend of that trippy late sixties colour palette with the movie’s cruelty and “Edward Gorey” sensibility left many confused and turned off.
Unless you were a weird kid, like me.