Friday, September 9, 2016

Rest in Peace, Willy Wonka!

So many good people are passing away.

John McLaughlin died last month.

I loved watching the McLaughlin Group.

The sharpest minds, the hardest talk, and one of the best political talk shows out there

I barely had the time to mourn his death, and then Gene Wilder passed away.

Phyllis Schlafly--the hard-core conservative grandma who fight for life and family--has passed away.

This is not good. So many good people, so many talented and courageous stars are passing away, right before us.

We have to stand up and take note of these wonderful people before their memory slips away from us!

The Rhode Island press published my article about John McLaughlin.

I will be working on something about Phyllis Schlafy very soon.

More people of good taste and good conscience need to rise up and try to fill these awesome shoes.

Now I want to focus on the comedic actor, and what he mean to me!

Gene Wilder.

When I think of him, I think of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

That film was one of the first I watched on the home screen. I had never seen it in the movie theater.

Have no reason to have to start seeing it there now.

It's a film filled with pure imagination.

One of my favorite
movie covers

He was a fixture of my childhood, because I loved to watch and re-watch his stunning turn in the Willy Wonka movie,

He was something else.

Impressive inventive, funny, Wilder beat out bigger names for a role coveted by many actors, including long-time Broadway staple Joel Grey.

What an incredible film.

The touching elements stood out in so many ways.

The story of a young poor boy who makes it big with that Golden Ticket.

Grandpa Joe jumping out of bed and dancing--who can forget the joy and wonder of a down-on-their-luck family who finally saw greater good.

And Wilder as Willy Wonka.

Wild, witty, just plain fun.

The musical within a children's book as a family feature hit every need and every niche in a viewing audience.

One of my favorite scenes in the movie?

When Veruca Salt sneers at the "Snozzberry" reference.

Wonka lets her have it: "We are the music-makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams."

Of course, Wonka's stolid pose in the face of her temper tantrums was really entertaining.

Wonka was the perfect tonic to the petulant children of the world, many of whom you and I have had to deal with.

He dealt with them very well.

"No. Stop. Don't". The casual, subtle sarcasm was perfect!

Here's more!

I also liked how he told off Violet Beauregard who chewed gum non-stop.

And the Oompa-Loompas!

For me, Gene Wilder was Wonka, and Wonka was Gene Wilder.

That film alone was enough to carry his career for me.

He was OK in "The Producers"--although Mel Brooks' humor never really came into its fullness until Young Frankenstein.

And about Young Frankenstein ... not that great until Peter Boyle showed up, and Wilder was the perfect foil for that film.

It was all about the Chocolate Factory. That was Gene's best role.

If you wanted to view paradise, just watch Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

I am sad that he faded out of the film industry. He didn't make another in the last two decades of his life, although he featured on bit parts and walk-on cameos.

Thanks for the fun, Gene.

And remember what happened to the actor who got everything he ever wanted?

He lived happily ever after.

Gene Wilder, RIP.

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