Classic Clip: Gene Wilder indulges our pure imagination
Director Mel Stuart died last week at the age of 83. Although the majority of his work was as a documentary and television director, his most beloved production is undoubtedly the 1971 musical fantasy Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.
There are several weird and wonderful moments in the movie: the introduction of each of the children, the first time we meet Wonka (played by Gene Wilder) outside the factory, the bizarrely nightmarish (and shocking for a family movie) tunnel sequence, and the journey through the factory itself. The songs by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley, of course, are great too. You can't be a proper musical without proper songs. "The Candy Man Can" was the big hit from the movie and it would later become one of entertainer Sammy Davis, Jr.'s huge successes late in his career.
"Pure Imagination" is even better. The song, performed by Wilder, perfectly captures the delicate melancholy and whimsy that coexists alongside the weirdness throughout the movie. Wilder's final moment with the candy saucer and cup is also priceless.
** Part of our Classic Clip series.
|Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory - "Pure Imagination"|