#14 – Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)
Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson, and Peter Ostrum
Director: Mel Stuart, Producer: Stan Margulies and David L. Wolper, Production Company: Paramount Pictures
A poor boy who is raised by his widowed mother, who provides for him and his four invalid grandparents, despairs of ever finding any joy in his life. All that changes when he finds one of the five coveted Golden Tickets in a Wonka chocolate bar, which enables him to go on a special tour of the amazing chocolate factory run by the mysterious Willy Wonka.
This Rating System Era film was rated G, like most films geared toward children during the early years of the Classification and Rating Administration (CARA). If this film were released today, CARA would doubtless classify it as PG, and rightly so. Few G-rated films, particularly ones made before the 21st century, are completely Code-compliant. This film features significant vulgarity, most notably in the scene during which Charlie (Peter Ostrum) and his Grandpa Joe (Jack Albertson) belch to float back down after drinking fizzy lifting drinks. There also are numerous frightening elements. Particularly horrific is the scene in which Willy Wonka’s boat, the Wonkatania, goes through a dark tunnel. This scene has numerous psychedelic elements, such as flashing lights, bizarre imagery, and disturbingly insane behavior from Willy Wonka (Gene Wilder). Some of the imagery involves disgusting things like bugs crawling on people’s faces, glimpses of corpses, a chicken getting its head cut off, etc. Although this is a fairly inoffensive film, especially for the 1970s, these disturbing and inappropriate elements are proof that few G-rated family films are as decent and Code-compliant movies.
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