LIFE Willy Wonka

LIFE Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

LIFE celebrates the 50th anniversary of the beloved family classic Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory with a veritable chocolate river of stories and photos. The book features a collection of gorgeous behind-the-scenes photographs that reveal the merriment and mayhem of the original movie set. It also tells the improbable story of how Roald Dahl's book was ever filmed in the first place, and tracks how the movie went from being an opening-day dud to a staple of American childhood, as well as the inspiration for a Tim Burton–Johnny Depp remake and a popular Broadway musical. The issue includes tributes to star Gene Wilder and explains why he was the perfect Wonka, and shares what became of the movie's child stars. From Golden Tickets to Oompa Loompas to Everlasting Gobstoppers, LIFE captures everything that made Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory a work of pure imagination.