Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is without a doubt a classic. If you’re not obsessed with the Oompa Loompas, then you’re WISHING you could take a dip in the chocolate river. Or is that just me? It’s hard to believe that this movie has been out for 45 years! Seriously. To celebrate, we have the very best secrets about the movie and we’re sharing them with you!

1. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory was based on Roald Dahl’s book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Does anyone else remember reading this as a kid? It was one of my favorites.

2. Apparently, Roald was so unhappy with how the movie portrayed his book that he refused to give up the rights to Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator.

It’s also reported that Roald never even watched the entire film because he hated it so much. Conflicting sources say that he attended the premiere and was always happy while on set.

If he really didn’t like the movie, I can’t say I blame him.

Yes, the movie is wonderful, but it has moments that really deviate from the book.

3. Gene Wilder only agreed to play Willy Wonka on one condition.

He wanted to be able to do the scene where he walks out of the factory using a cane, and after the cane gets stuck, he falls forward and does a somersault.

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Apparently he was insistent on this because he knew that from that moment on, nobody would know if he was being truthful.

I have to applaud him on that thought process. It really helped mold his character.

4. One of the actors playing an Oompa Loomp supposedly believedhe was the one steering the Wonkatania.

In fact, it was actually on a set of tracks, but the director didn’t want anyone to know so it would look as believable as possible.

I love the thought of someone thinking he was in charge of driving a boat with every single cast member aboard.

That’s a lot of pressure!

5. The kids each earned about $500 a week for nine weeks of filming and still occasionally receive residual checks when the movie airs on TV.

If only they knew how much child actors make these days…


Although for 1971, that was a lot of money. If you adjust for inflation, it’s as though they were earning roughly $3000 a week.

And suddenly I’m jealous of a bunch of children.

6. Most of the “candy” on set was just props. Unless the kids were actually shown eating something, it was fake!

Imagine being a child cast in a movie about a chocolate factory and that crushing disappointment you’d feel when you realize it’s all fake.

7. The chocolate river was made of 150,000 gallons of water, real chocolate, and cream. By the end of filming, the cream started to spoil, so the smell of the set was unbearable.

That actually makes me sick to my stomach. How did nobody consider that would happen?

8. The foam used during the scene with the “Wonka wash”  is what’s found in fire extinguishers.

They didn’t know until after that it was a skin irritant, and many people had to receive medical treatment after they came in contact with it.

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Am I the only one who thought that this scene looked like it would be so fun to film?

You know, besides the irritants and such.

9. Julie Dawn Cole, who played Veruca Salt, dropped herself onto a rock that she thought was fake and her leg started to bleed.

If you look closely, you can see her stocking is covered in blood.


10. Even though she was told not to, Julie took home a Golden Ticket, a Willy Wonka candy wrapper, and an Everlasting Gobstopper after the movie wrapped.

I can’t say I blame her. I would have snagged as much candy as I could from the set.

For those who are curious, this is what Julie looks like these days!

She really aged well, right???

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11. Most of the Wonka Bars were actually made of wood.

Another day on set, another disappointed child actor.

12. Peter Ostrum, who played Charlie, went through puberty during filming.

In the start of the movie, his voice is much higher than it is at the end.

13. Peter never appeared in another movie after this one, refusing the spotlight — and he even turned down some big roles.

He said he didn’t want acting to be his profession and actually went on to be a veterinarian instead.

This is what he looks like these days.

He’s adorable. I wish he were my cat’s veterinarian!


14. The film’s copyright was initially held by the Quaker Oats company.

They were coming out with a line of sweet cereals and thought this would be a good way to promote it.

Quaker Oats eventually ended up selling its share of the film’s rights to Warner Bros. for $500,000.

Do you think that was the right call?

15. The movie was originally considered to be a flop at the box office, as it only made $4 million.

Michael Bollner, who plays Augustus Gloop, didn’t even know he was famous until years later.

That’s actually pretty hilarious. I would have loved to see his face when he discovered the truth.

This is what he looks like these days for the curious minds out there!

How many times have you seen this movie? Don’t you just LOVE it? COMMENT and tell us what you think!