The life and movies of Gene Wilder/ Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Good Morning! I am glad to see you! Today marks the Anniversary of Gene Wilders Death. So, we will be exploring the life of the late great actor and learn some facts about his most Iconic film, “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”. So, get comfortable because you have the Golden ticket into the life of This Comedian.

Gene Wilder: AKA Mr. Wonka

•Nationality: American

•Profession: Actor

•Why Famous: Gene Wilder was famous for his collaborations with writer and director Mel Brooks, featuring in “Blazing Saddles” and “Young Frankenstein”. He is perhaps best remember for his portrayal of Willy Wonka in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”.

•Born: June 11, 1933

•Star Sign: Gemini

•Birthplace: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

•Died: August 29, 2016 (aged 83)

•Cause of Death: Complications of Alzheimers

Things You Never Knew About Gene Wilder

Top 10 Gene Wilder Performances

Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (1971) Official Trailer – Gene Wilder, Roald Dahl Movie

Watch the full movie here:

The original Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory movie turns 46 years old. Here are some Facts that you might not know about the Film.

•Naughty Oompa Loompas: According to Paris Themmen (who played Mike Teevee) the 10 Oompa Loompas were “notoriously mischievous” behind the scenes. “They were often drunk after a day’s shooting,” Themmen said during a Reddit Ask me Anything session. “We all stayed in a hotel together. In those days, when you wanted to have your shoes shined, you’d leave them outside of your hotel room door. One night the Oompa Loompas grabbed all the shoes, tied the laces together, and left them in a pile to be found in the morning.”

•The chocolate river was actually made of real chocolate, water, and cream. It spoiled fairly quickly and left a terrible smell.

•Wilder said he would make the film under one condition: He wanted to do a somersault in the scene when he first meets the children. When asked why, the actor said that having Willy Wonka start out limping and end up somersaulting would set the tone for that character. He wanted to portray him as someone whose actions were completely unpredictable. His request was granted.

•The Wonkatania boat was on a track in the chocolate river, but the actor playing the Oompa Loompa at the helm thought he was really steering it. For the sake of believability, director Mel Stuart didn’t tell him the truth.

•The actor who played Grandpa George, Ernst Ziegler, was nearly blinded from poison gas in World War I. So he was instructed to look for a red light to guide him when his character was meant to be looking in a certain direction.

•Julie Dawn Cole (Veruca Salt) smashed a watermelon-sized chocolate egg on a rock in the chocolate room that she didn’t know was real. She badly cut her left knee falling onto it, and if you watch carefully in her first scene with the egg you can see that her left stocking is bloody. She still has a scar on her knee from the injury.

•Denise Nickerson (Violet Beauregarde) didn’t want to do the nose-picking bit. She had a crush on Peter Ostrum (Charlie Bucket) and didn’t want to embarrass herself.

•During the boat ride scene, Wilder’s acting was so convincing that it frightened some of the actors, including Nickerson. Apparently they thought that Wilder really was going mad from being in the tunnel.

•This movie was shot in Munich, Germany, but the producers had to go outside of Germany to recruit enough little people to play the Oompa Loompas. Many of the people cast as Oompa Loompas (German or otherwise) did not speak English fluently, if at all. This is why some appear to not know the words to songs during the musical numbers.

•Sammy Davis Jr. wanted to play Bill, the candy store owner, but Stuart didn’t like the idea because he felt that the presence of a big star in the candy store scene would break the reality. Nevertheless, the candy store song, “The Candy Man,” became a staple of Davis’ stage show for many years.

•In the “Candy Man” scene in the candy store, shortly after Bill dispenses the sodas from the soda fountain, he flips open a pass-through on the counter and it hits a little girl under the chin, knocking her head back.

•The foam used to spurt out in the “Wonka Wash” scene was made from basic fire extinguishers. But the foam was a potent skin irritant, so after shooting the scene, the actors were left in considerable discomfort when their skin puffed up and reportedly required several days to receive medical treatment and recovery.

•The song Wonka sings on the boat ride (“There’s no earthly way of knowing… “) are the only song lyrics taken directly from Roald Dahl’s book. All other songs were written specifically for the film.

•Peter Ostrum, the actor who plays Charlie Bucket, made no other films. He became a veterinarian. Julie Dawn Cole is the only one from the Wonka kids who is still acting.

•Mike Teavee’s father’s line, “Not ’till you’re twelve, son” took over forty takes to film. Why? I don’t know!

•The picture held up by the Paraguayan newscaster announcing the finder of the last Golden Ticket is of Nazi henchman Martin Bormann.

•Before entering the Inventing Room, Willy Wonka gives an introductory speech in German, with an accent, but otherwise phonetically and grammatically correct. It goes “Meine Herrschaften, schenken Sie mir Ihre Aufmerksamkeit. Sie kommen jetzt in den interessantesten und gleichzeitig geheimsten Raum meiner Fabrik. Meine Damen und Herren: der ‘Inventing Room'”. He even pronounces the German R correctly, and says ‘Inventing Room’ with a proper German accent. The speech translates: “Ladies and gentlemen, please give me your attention. You now come into the most interesting room of my factory, the most secret room at the same time. Ladies and gentlemen: the ‘Inventing Room’.”

•The film was originally financed by the Quaker Oats Company. They wanted to tie the film to a new candy bar they were going to release, so the movie was renamed from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory in order to promote this candy tie-in. When the film was released, the company began marketing its Wonka chocolate bars, but unfortunately, an error in the chocolate formula caused the bars to melt too easily, even while on the shelf, and so they were taken off the market. Nestle now owns the Wonka Candy Company.

•Most of the chocolate bars in the film were actually made of wood.

•All six members of Monty Python: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin, expressed interest in playing the lead role, but they were deemed not big enough names for an international audience.

•The Boeing 707 shown in the film having Wonka Bars unloaded, named “Jet Clipper Climax,” was destroyed in a crash in Bali, Indonesia in 1974 with 107 lives lost. (It is a brief night time shot of some people deplaning outside during the newsflashes of the hunt for the golden tickets.)

•Director Mel Stuart initially wanted to reveal that Willy Wonka had strategically placed the golden tickets in order to give the factory to Charlie. The idea was dropped, but the hints remained in the fact that Mr. Wilkinson (aka “Slugworth”) conveniently showed up every time a ticket was uncovered.

•When Peter Ostrum was offered the part, there was no script. So the studio sent him the book.

•Several days after filming, the blue make-up on Denise Nickerson’s face started resurfacing from her pores while she was in math class.

•In Wonka’s office at the end of the movie, Charlie’s stunned reaction to the candy maker yelling at him is real. Ostrum was not told beforehand that Willy would be yelling at Charlie. Stuart felt that doing it that way would allow for a better, more real, reaction from Charlie. Wilder said that he wanted more than anything to warn Peter about the yelling beforehand because they had become such good friends during the production, and he wanted Ostrum to be assured that he was only acting, but Stuart forbade it. (Geek Tyrant)

25 Facts about Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Trivia about Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

•Roald Dahl Hated the Film Version Even though Roald Dahl is credited as one of the screenwriters on Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory: the author actually hated the film version so much he disowned Mel Stuart’s version and refused any more versions of the book to be made during his lifetime, as well as the sequel Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. Apparently he thought the film focused too much on Willy Wonka and not enough on Charlie. Allegedly when Dahl was once staying at a hotel he unintentionally ended up watching some of the film, despite swearing never to see it. It was only after watching the film for 15 minutes that he realized what he was watching and immediately changed channels.

•The Chocolate Room Wasn’t All Edible Sweets & Happiness: While many of the things in the amazing chocolate room set were actually edible, unfortunately for poor Gene Wilder the delicate daffodil cup was made out of wax! For each take he had to take a bite and chew the cup, and then spit it out when the filming stopped.

•Another prop that wasn’t particularly tasty was Violet’s giant gummy bear, which only had edible ears. (Movie Pilot)

Facts about Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory Original Movie

The Movie idea came from the book written by, Roald Dahl. “The book was written in 1964. The story features the adventures of young Charlie Bucket inside the chocolate factory of eccentric chocolatier Willy Wonka. The story was originally inspired by Roald Dahl’s experience of chocolate companies during his schooldays”. (Wikipedia)

Differences between the book and the movies

Charlie and The Chocolate Factory Children’s Audio Book

Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator Children’s Audio Book

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