I don’t know about you but Gene Wilder was one of those men who you instantly recognised just by the sound of his voice, and it was great. He reminded you of all those films you loved and it’s still shocking now to know he’s gone. August 29 marks the one year anniversary of actor, director, producer and writer Gene Wilder’s unexpected death. To celebrate his life, Millennial London has decided to honour him by taking a look back at some of his greatest acting moments.
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)
There’s no need for an introduction here. Wilder is Willy Wonka – the king of confectionary. Even a film made before our time is still loved now and will continue to be just as much loved by future generations. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is a well loved classic and adored by every child and adult alike. We sing along and know all the words and even appreciate the great taste in fashion Mr Wonka had. Mr Wonka will never be the same. Although there was an adaptation which saw Johnny Depp take on the role as the Candyman, the original classic will always be our favourite.
Young Frankenstein (1975)
Wilder is Dr Frederick Frankenstein, the American grandson of that other Frankenstein. He tries to prove that he isn’t as insane as people make him out to be (like his infamous grandfather) and with that he is invited to Transylvania, where he discovers how to bring a dead body back to life. This spoof plays comedic homage to the original classic tale by Mary Shelley in which Wilder himself co-wrote along with Mel Brooks. Dr Frankenstein makes it obvious that he doesn’t want to be connected to his grandfather, (even with his distinguishable American accent) he tries everything he can to refuse that connection – even correcting the pronunciation of his last name so as to not be confused.
See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989)
Wilder is Dave, a deaf man who meets a blind man called Wally (played by Richard Pryor) after accidentally witnessing the murder of a man. With the police laughing at them and with a target on their backs by the real killers, the duo try to work together to save themselves and bring the real killers to justice. Wilder and Pryor make the ultimate laugh-out-loud pair. With quotes like “Today I threatened to shoot a naked woman with my erection” from Dave and Wally’s “I hear prison isn’t so bad if you like it up the butt” – it’s hard to not laugh at those two on screen trouble makers.
Alice in Wonderland – TV Movie (2000)
Wilder is the Mock Turtle in this TV-film adaption of Alice in Wonderland. Although he makes only a small appearance in the film, his acting and singing is simply beautiful that it lasts throughout its entirety. Alongside the Gryphon (voiced by Donald Sinden), together they sing Will You Won’t Join The Dance and Beautiful Soup with Alice herself (played by Tina Majorino). It’s a memorable few minutes that make you sing along – blissfully unaware of the outside world of reality.