Stories concerning author Roald Dahl's immense dissatisfaction with this film

“Stories concerning author Roald Dahl’s immense dissatisfaction with this film are legendary; in fact, he was so unhappy that he refused to ever watch the completed film in its entirety.”
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate factory. The movie seemed to be very similar to the book. The movie was okay but not a classic. There was too much weird Oompa-Loompa stuff and songs.
What was it about this film that he did not like?

Obviously I am not discussing the 2005 film where Johnny Depp channeled Michael Jackson for the role of Wonka.

I’m not sure what he didn’t like, but I definitely see it as a classic. Saw it before I ever read the book, though. I thought Gene Wilder really nailed it.

I do know that he hated the Witches because they tried to happify the ending.

He was upset about Gene Wilder being cast as Willy Wonka. He wanted Spike Milligan.

Roald Dahl was my first author. That is, he was the first person I became aware of as someone who wrote the books that I read. I started collecting his stuff when I was six. (And no, I don’t have the firsts anymore.) That he was her husband, in fact, is why I became aware of Patricia Neal, at about the same time, which was a big part of my becoming interested in film.

I think Dahl was wrong about this. I think *Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory *(I always objected to the change of title; I share the name, though I spell it like the hurricane) is a pretty successful translation of Dahl’s—what, tone? personality? I think it works, at any rate, and I was disappointed to learn that Dahl didn’t see that. Now if only someone would do Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, with all of Wonka’s brattiness intact. I want a vermicious knid beanie baby.

I totally disagree with Dahl’s dislike of the first movie, but it was his widow’s seal of approval on the remake which convinced me to give it a chance.

Did Gene Wilder ever actually see the remake? I know he dissed the idea pretty badly & then I heard he relented, but did he ever see it?

I suspect Dahl walked out of the movie after the movie original sequence where Charlie does something just as bad as any of the other kids, and by all rights should have been kicked out immediately like they were.

I like the movie, but that sequence does destroy the main point of the book, and I would have walked out if I was him.

I can’t channel Roald Dahl, but the songs, and the singing of them, in the first version of the movie were moronic and sappy. Gene Wilder was fabulous, but he was the ONLY good thing about that version. It completely missed the darkness that pervades Dahl’s work. So I am not surprised at all that he disliked it.

The second version was much better at preserving the undertone of creepiness.

From someone who read the book and saw both movies, I disagree with this. I thought Depp’s Wonka was truer to the book than Wilder’s. I think Michael Jackson has been channeling Wonka for the last 30 years.

Heh, anyone here read The Irregulars? It’s a history/biography of Dahl’s years in Washington during WW2 - working, essentially, as a spy for the Brits. Apparently he was very good looking and happily bedded numerous important, rich and influential women (including Clare Boothe Luce among others) as part of these duties. Truly life is stranger than fiction! :smiley:

Oh, linky:

Apparently, the only film adaptation of any of his works he liked was the 1989 production of Danny, the Champion of the World.

I disagree. Having read the book recently (and having seen both movies), I think the original with Gene Wilder does a far better job that Johnny Depp and his weird, psycho, insecure WW. The whole thing with the dentist father was completely unnecessary. The original is hoky but charming, and gets his point across about how children should behave and be raised…

Agreed. Both movies revolve around Wonka far more than the ostensible protagonist and Wilder’s Wonka was far the superior. And by that I mean not only was he less childlike and weird, but also that he was more legitimately dark and threatening. I might actually go so far as to say that it was Gene Wilder’s finest performance ( that I’ve seen ). He invested his Wonka with a real undertone of amoral and slightly off-kilter menace. Depp was a bizarre child that never grew up. Wilder was a quite possibly deranged adult, a mad scientist with a thin veneer of affected pleasantry.

Now the Charlie in the second movie is closer to the book - that I’ll grant. But in that he is bland, saccharine and rather uninteresting. The Charlie from the first movie is more of a departure, but also more interesting and I think more relatable.

I keep hearing the Scorpions when I read this.

This was exactly what I DIDN’T like about Wilder’s Wonka. I read the book long before seeing the movie, and was disappointed at how different (mean and nasty and intentionally vengeful) the movie character was. The book’s Wonka seemed sincere (if bizarre) in his pleasantry and desire to please his guests; Movie Wonka I wondered why he ever wanted to make candy for children at all, he seemed to dislike them so much.

I don’t presume to know if Dahl had the exact same objection, but I have never liked the movie in large part because of the interpretation of Wonka.

Depp was…different, but there are other reasons I don’t care for the remake much either. I agree the dentist-father backstory was totally unnecessary.