Summaries

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971) Movie Summary

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Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is a story about the music makers and the dreamers of dreams. It begins in an unnamed town where a local candy shop fills with excited children on their way home from school. The shop keeper sells them little chocolate treats as fast as he can while singing the first ever rendition of the Sammy Davis classic, “The Candy Man Can,” but outside alone, poor Charlie Bucket stares through the window of the store. His family barely has any money to put food on the table, so there will be no chocolate for him today or any day. Instead, he heads over to Mr. Jopeck’s newsstand where he works after school.

Mr. Jopeck gives Charlie his first paycheck, and Charlie buys a loaf of bread for the family after delivering the days news. He then meanders down the streets until he passes Willy Wonka’s magical chocolate factory. As he stares through it’s locked gates, a creepy tinker walks up to Charlie and says, “nobody ever goes in … and nobody ever comes out!” Charlie runs home to give his widowed mother the bread he bought. This delights her and his four grandparents: Grandpa Joe, Grandma Josephine, Grandma Georgina, and Grandpa George. With all of them bedridden in their 90s, and no father to support the family, this loaf of bread is an absolute feast for them.

Later that night, Charlie tells Grandpa Joe about what he saw at Wonka’s factory, and what the Tinker told him. Grandpa Joe then tells Charlie the story of how and why Wonka closed his factory years ago. After spies stole all his secrets, he shut down the factory. Three years passed, and one day, the factory suddenly popped back to life. It began churning out chocolate faster than ever before, but to this day, no one knows who the workers are. No one has seen Willy Wonka either.

Willy Wonka and His Contest

Many afternoons later, Charlie sits in class listening to his odd ball teacher rabbit on about chemistry. There is a great commotion that comes from the hall, and Charlie’s teacher stops a student running down it to ask why everyone is going mad. Willy Wonka has just announced that he has hidden 5 golden tickets in his Wonka Bars, and whoever finds one will be given a special tour of the chocolate factory, and one lucky child of the five will receive a lifetime supply of chocolate.

The entire world goes crazy looking for the tickets, but poor Charlie Bucket can not participate. His family can only afford to give Charlie one Wonka Bar a year, and that’s on Charlie’s birthday. There’s no hope for this little boy to find a ticket. One by one, lucky children find the tickets. The first is by Augustus Gloop, a plump German boy with an endless appetite. Next Veruca Salt, a spoiled English brat whose dad orders his entire nut factory to shell Wonka Bars finds a golden ticket.

The gum-chewing, Violet Beauregarde, finds the third one, and Mike Teevee, a television-addicted, cap-gun toting shit-head finds the fourth. Eventually, the fifth and final ticket is found by a Paraguayan millionaire, and poor Charlie Bucket is crushed. He has only been able to open two chocolate bars during the contest, and no luck for him.

On Charlie’s way home from school the next day, he glumly walks the streets with his head down. Off in the gutter, he spots some money fluttering in the wind. He decides to buy a Wonka Bar with the cash. He scarfs it down before the shopkeeper has a chance to collect his money. Still hungry, Charlie decides to buy one more bar, and heads out, but as he leaves, he overhears a group of people madly reading the afternoon newspaper to find out that the fifth ticket has been forged, and that dirty, stinking Paraguayan millionaire is revealed to be a complete fraud.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

The Last Golden Ticket

Excited once again, Charlie immediately opens up his chocolate bar. In a flash, the wrapper is off, and Willy Wonka’s fifth and final ticket shimmers in Charlie’s hands. He runs home as fast as he can, but Arthur Slugworth, one of Wonka’s competitors stops him first. Slugworth says he will pay Charlie a large sum of money if he can get his hands on Wonka’s greatest invention…the Everlasting Gobstopper.

Once home, the aged Grandpa Joe leaps out of bed with all the excitement and energy of a little boy, and asks to take Charlie to the factory, but there is much to do, and little time to do it. Charlie has to make preparations at once! Wash his face, comb his hair, scrub his hands, brush his teeth, blow his nose, cut his nails, polish his shoes, iron his shirt, and for heaven’s sake, get all that mud off his pants!



The Factory Gates Open

The next day, the eccentric Wonka greets the ticket holders and their guardians from the same factory gates that poor Charlie Bucket solemnly stared through those weeks ago. Wonka leads them inside the factory, and they sign a contract before the tour can begin. Wonka’s factory is straight out of a late 1960’s acid trip filled with rivers of chocolate, giant edible mushrooms, snozzberries that taste like actual snozzberries, and a collection of little orange men called Oompa-Loompas that are always good for a rehearsed song and dance that teach us a moral lesson.

Wonka gives each child  one Everlasting Gobstopper…the very same gobstopper that old Slugworth would kill to have, but as the tour continues one child after another has to leave because they fail to heed Wonka’s warnings. Augustus Gloop is the first to go after he falls into the chocolate river before an extraction pipe sucks him up to the Fudge Room.

Next to go is Violet. Her gum-chewing addiction leads her to become a big blueberry when she tries to chew an experimental gum that tastes like a three course dinner. Veruca is gleefully dropped down a garbage chute after her temper tantrum in the Chocolate Golden Egg Sorting Room, and finally, Mike Teevee is reduced to an inch tall television star when he is shrunk by Willy’s “Wonkavision.”

Only Charlie Remains

Poor Charlie is the only one who remains, but Wonka does not declare him the winner of the lifetime supply of chocolate. Because he and Grandpa Joe secretly tried the Fizzy Lifting Drink back in the Bubble Room, he has been disqualified. Charlie only learns of this disqualification after Grandpa Joe follows Wonka into his office, and Wonka angrily reads them back the contract Charlie signed.

Grandpa Joe then tells Charlie that he should sell old Slugworth the gobstopper since Wonka is an Oompa-Loompan sized dick. Instead, Charlie Bucket does the unexpected. He gives Wonka back the gobstopper, and unknowingly passes Wonka’s final test.

Wonka becomes giddy, and tells Charlie he has won. Slugworth, one of Wonka’s employees…and probably only employee without orange skin, enters the office. He has been in on the plot the whole time. Wonka takes Charlie Bucket and Grandpa Joe to his “Wonkavator”, an elevator that not only goes up and down, but also sideways, and longways, and slantways, and any other way you can think of.

Charlie presses the only button that Wonka has never dared press, and the Wonkavator shoots up and out of the factory as fast as it can. As it soars above Charlie’s town, Wonka reveals that the Golden Ticket contest is not about a lifetime supply of chocolate. It’s about finding Wonka a worthy apprentice and heir for when he retires. Charlie Bucket and his family can now live happily ever after.

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