Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Gene Wilder

The passing of Gene Wilder was announced via a very touching letter from his nephew.

My introduction to Wilder was as a kid seeing Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Later in life I learned that the name of the movie was changed from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (the name of the book by Roald Dahl) to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory because the producers were afraid that movie goers would think the movie had something to do with the Vietnam War (seriously - the movie was released in 1971). Every time I think of why they changed the name I chuckle. "Charlie loves the smell of chocolate in the morning!"

You've probably read about how Wilder created Wonka's entrance in that movie by now.

Ken Levine has a nice remembrance of Wilder from a friend and collaborator of Gene's.

Drew McWeeny at HitFlix also has a very nice appreciation of Wilder.

Wilder was an American genius whose film credits match up against any 20th century actor - any actor! I hope people appreciate just how great Gene Wilder was and how big a gift his performances were to the world.

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