The 25 Must-See Titles at the 2017 TCM Classic Film Festival

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Gene Wilder in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Image courtesy of Paramount Pictures.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)

Five children get the opportunity to visit the chocolate factory of a reclusive chocolatier (Gene Wilder).

What can I say about Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory that hasn’t already been said? It’s a wonderful story about why children should shut and behave or face being tortured with all manner of chocolatey doom devices. Gene Wilder, one of several legends who passed last year, is being honored with this year’s screening and the magic hasn’t diminished a bit.

Wilder presents Willy Wonka as the ultimate puppet master. You can never predict his moves, but you’re drawn into the mystery of it all. (Really, this movie is a notch away from turning into a Dateline special.) The movie is still droll, hilarious, and vaguely terrifying. “Don’t I do not want a boat like this,” indeed.

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I recently saw this on the big screen last year, and though I’d love to see it again, especially poolside, the timing doesn’t work. However, this is one of those movies that desperately needs to be experienced with an audience. The lines are ridiculously quotable, the songs are infectious, and the characters are memorable.

There you have it: 25 TCM Film Festival movies you should watch. Perhaps they’ll inspire you to watch along at home?