Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl

(1964: prequel to Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. Illustrated by Quentin Blake.)

From the inside flap:

"Young Charlie Bucket can't believe his luck when he finds the very last of Mr. Willy Wonka's Golden Tickets inside his chocolate bar. He wins the trip of a lifetime -- a magical tour around Mr. Wonka's mysterious chocolate factory. once inside, Charlie and the four other winners -- Augustus Gloop, Veruca Salt, Violet Beauregarde, and Mike Teavee -- witness amazing wonders: rainbow drops, lickable wallpaper, and even a chocolate waterfall. But what happens when the children, one by one, disobey Mr. Wonka? In Roald Dahl's most popular story for children, the nasty are punished and the good are deliciously rewarded."


Whimsical, timeless, gently subversive morality work, this: by now most of us know the story, whether it's through the book, or the two movie versions.

One of my favorite all-time children's books.


Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has been filmed twice.

The first version, under the title Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, starred Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka. Released stateside on June 30, 1971, it was directed by Mel Stuart, from a script by book author Roald Dahl, and an uncredited David Seltzer.

Peter Ostrum played Charlie Bucket. Jack Albertson played Grandpa Joe. Julie Dawn Cole played Veruca Salt. Roy Kinnear played Mr. Salt. Denise Nickerson played Violet Beauregarde. Leonard Stone played Mr. Beauregarde. Paris Themmen played Mike Teevee. Nora Denney, credited as Dodo Denney, played Mrs. Teevee. Michael Bollner played Augustus Gloop. Ursula Reit played Mrs. Gloop. Diane Sowle played Mrs. Bucket.


The second version, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, was released stateside on July 15, 2005. John August scripted; Tim Burton directed.

Johnny Depp played Willy Wonka. Freddy Highmore played Charlie Bucket. David Kelly played Grandpa Joe. Helena Bonham Carter played Mrs. Bucket. Noah Taylor played Mr. Bucket. Christopher Lee played Dr. Wonka. Julia Winter played Veruca Salt. James Fox played Mr. Salt.

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