Roald Dahl may have famously hated the film, and it may have died a quick death at the box office when it was first released in 1971, but thanks in no small part to frequent TV airings throughout the 80s and 90s many have grown to savour and admire the unique and often surreal charms of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
As a personal anecdote, I recall seeing the film on cable when I was 8, wondering why four grown-ups were all sleeping in the same bed and craving chocolate all the while.
This week Amazon has the 40th Anniversary edition of the film on sale at $24.99 (the lowest this box set has ever gone). Aside from scented pencils (“what will they think up next?”), the set includes, more interestingly, a 144 page film book apparently written by the director himself and 14 pages of production correspondence (it’s always fascinating to read studio executives drop in words like gobstopper and slughorn without a whiff of diffidence).
Check the set out on Amazon:
You can read an interesting overview of Dahl’s frustrations with this movie over at BBC NEWS: