Despite indifferent Leslie Bricusse/Anthony Newley songs, an adaptation of Roald Dahl's charmingly eccentric novella (a Grimm-style moral tale) which has the true magic touch of fantasy. Slow to start, but once the youthful hero and four greedy companions arrive for their prize tour of the mysterious chocolate factory - hitherto operating behind locked gates, as hostile as Kane's Xanadu - the film really takes off. Whole landscapes of candy-striped trees, rivers of chocolate negotiable by gondola, sinister caverns manned by orange-faced dwarfs into which the greedier children disappear to suffer torments of their own devising. Great fun, with Wilder for once giving an impeccably controlled performance as the factory's bizarre owner.
Cast and crew
Roy Kinnear Gene Wilder Peter Ostrum Aubrey Woods Jack Albertson Michael Bollner