Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)
Credit: Willy Wonker and the Chocolate Factory: Everett Collection

Willy Wonka is one of the 10 worst movie mentors

WHO IS HE? As in the updated version (Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, opening July 15), reclusive and mysterious candymaker Willy Wonka (Gene Wilder) sparks a worldwide frenzy with a contest whose young winners get to tour his strange and dangerous factory.

BAD INFLUENCE Besides rotting the teeth of millions of kids, Wonka isn’t exactly the most protective of guardians, judging by the cruel fates meted out to four of the five kids on the factory tour, not to mention his unwillingness to lift a finger to prevent the kids from getting into trouble or his nonchalance about rescuing them afterward.

REDEEMING QUALITIES Wonka is endlessly inventive and creative, and exceedingly generous to the one boy who passes his test. Plus, he rescued all the Oompa-Loompas from vermicious knids and other ravenous beasts in Loompaland.

EW MOVIE GRADE B (Read the review)

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
  • Movie
  • 100 minutes
  • Mel Stuart