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Pure Imagination: The Making of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory Paperback – May 19, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st edition (May 19, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312352409
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312352400
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 8 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #104,658 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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).
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Mel Stuart has worked in film and television for over 40 years. He has produced and directed various features including Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, dozens of documentaries including The Making of the President, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, Four Days in November, Wattstax, Man Ray-Prophet of the Avant-Garde, and the reality series Ripley's Believe It or Not. Mr. Stuart has been the recipient of four Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award, and an Oscar nomination. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

Josh Young is a contributing writer for Entertainment Weekly and the co-author of You're Only As Good As Your Next One with film executive Mike Medavoy. He lives in Washington, D.C.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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The book took a while to arrive but it was outstanding.
Robert Seward
This is a great book for lovers of the original Willy Wonka movie with Gene Wilder.
Carol Bura Al-Nsour
I treasure this movie, and now I will treasure the book.
Motown Collector

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A O Cazola on November 29, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Thirty years ago, a film was released that was instantly hailed as a classic. Lifted up along classics like The Wizard of Oz, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was a tremendously successful adaptation of a tremendously popular book by Roald Dahl.
Now the director of this legendary film, Mel Stuart, has released Pure Imagination, an inside look at the making of the film. The book is great for any fan of the film. It has a lot of really interesting background info from the production of the film and some neat behind the scenes photos.
The text is a bit simplistic at times, but the real draw of this book is the information conveyed, not necessarily the style in which it is written. Reading about Roald Dahl's part in the making (he was actually on set) was worth the price alone.
Pure Imagination is a great book for anyone who has seen the film.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 3, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's hard to believe that as a child I had nightmare of Oompa Loompas. Today I adore them! Now that's what I call facing my fears.
I recently purchased Pure Imagination through Amazon.com not only because I'm a huge Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory fan, but also because it was listed at a very nice price that I just couldn't pass up. This (hardcover to date) book is full of wonderful behind-the-scenes photos of the classic family movie that many fans had never seen before. There are tons of facts behind the making of the movie and surprises that will make you gasp or laugh out loud. For example, did you know that after shooting for the day, the Oompa Loopa's were quite the party animals at night! I knew it!
This book also shares the ideas and influences behind the breathtaking set designs, costuming, script, castings, music that made this wonderful family classic. What I most enjoyed, however, was the "Where Are They Now?" chapter that updates fans on the current careers and lives of the child stars of this movie who are now grown professionals. This book is a must have for true Willy Wonka fans and as you go through the glossy pages, you'll feel like a kid all over again.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By James Hiller VINE VOICE on April 27, 2003
Format: Hardcover
...and you'll see a world of Pure Imagination. And pure imagination is what you get from this beauitfully done retrospective on one of the most important films of my generation: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, written by Mel Stuart and Josh Young.
Filled with pictures and wonderful stories, this book provides an enchanting, enjoyable walk down memory lane. You read starting from the original impetus to make the film, all the way to a fond reunion many years later of the kids and director.
Mel Stuart, being the film's director, has numerous and interesting insights to the creation of this classic. Some of the information in the book is also mentioned in a documentary on the Willy Wonka DVD, but no fear. It seems that if you love this movie, you simply cannot get enough of it!
This book was purcahsed for me as a gift, and it does make the perfect gift for anyone who loves this movie. Or buy it for yourself, curl up on a cold, rainy night, and relive all of those wonderful memories you have of this incredible movie.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on January 5, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Pure Imagination: The Making Of Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory is written by Mel Stuart (who directed the film) with the assistance of Josh Young. A colorful and exiting look at the making of the fantastic movie adaptation of a classic children's book, and which starred Gene Wilder, Pure Imagination is the story of how the popular children's book was faithfully adapted into a major Hollywood movie. The memorable story is about a poverty-stricken young boy who is granted the chance to experience the mystic workings of fabulous candy factory; yet there are hidden dangers amid the tour! Vivid color photographs and adventurous text with a touch of wry humor bring to life the adventure of capturing a wondrous literary fantasy on the silver screen for all to see. Pure Imagination is a gorgeous and memorable read which is especially recommended to anyone who has enjoyed the film either in its original theatrical release or at home on video.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Motown Collector on April 7, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Thank you Mel! Thank you first for bringing this wonderful film to life (and special thanks to your daughter for bringing the book to your attention), and thanks to you and Josh for bringing back to book form. The pictures alone are worth the price of admission, and the stories behind the scenes are even more valuable.
I treasure this movie, and now I will treasure the book. Thank you again. For everyone reading this review: If you love Willy Wonka, BUY THIS BOOK, it's a Golden Ticket.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Christy L. on August 8, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After watching the movie since I was a little girl, I finally came across this wonderful book. After being such a fanatic about Wonka, I read this book and found so much more interesting facts about the movie and how it was made. This book is indeed a real treasure find! It is definitely worth the $.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Anthony R. Pecchia on May 1, 2003
Format: Hardcover
While the book is interesting in and of itself, 80% of the content was already said in the audio commentary track of the DVD. The book reads like Mel Stuart listened to the commentary and retyped it out. Plus, even though the book is 160 pages, it's a very light read, you could do it in less than a day. I think it would have been better if there was more detail rather than just limiting all the topics to just one sentence each.
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