cover image Pure Imagination

Pure Imagination

Mel Stuart. St. Martin's Press, $29.95 (160pp) ISBN 978-0-312-28777-1

Mel Stuart's 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory has become a cult classic, equally enjoyed by children and adults. Fans of the film will delight in Stuart and Josh Young's Pure Imagination: The Making of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, a compendium of facts, photos and film stills concerning the movie Roger Ebert called ""probably the best film of its sort since The Wizard of Oz."" The authors explain the role Roald Dahl played in the film, who the candidates for the role of Willy Wonka were (besides Gene Wilder), how the whimsical set-from the chocolate river to Mike Teevee's TV room-was created, what went into Violet Beauregarde's blueberry costume and more. The Youngs also provide an intriguing look at special effects in the pre-Spielbergian early 1970s, an overview of critics' responses (Pauline Kael called it ""stilted and frenetic, like Prussians at play"") and a ""where are they now"" section (Peter Ostrum, who played Charlie Bucket, never again appeared in a feature film, while Julie Cole, who played Veruca Salt, developed a successful voice-over career).