The world just lost one of it’s greatest comedians. While not really connected with the kind of films I review here, Gene Wilder has always been a favorite actor of mine.
Whether playing the nearly narcoleptic gunfighter, The Waco Kid in Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles.
Or the hilariously demented Dr. Frankenstein (Pronounced Fronk-En-Steen please) in young Dr. Frankenstein, which he co-wrote with Mel Brooks. Gene Wilder had a distinctive and unique presence.
The wild, curly blond hair, intense blue eyes and a voice that could shift from a quiet almost hypnotic whisper into a manic, shouting fit in seconds, made him a unique and distinctive actor. He was also a talented singer and dancer, who could lampoon a Broadway number and make it look better than the original.
The film that most defines Wilder to many in my generation is Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The film really shows his range, from song and dance numbers, pratfalls, manic energy and moments of quiet intensity. Willy Wonka shows the full range of his considerable talents.
Goodbye Gene Wilder, you’ll be truly missed.