In the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, he is portrayed by Gene Wilder.
While his personality remains generally the same as in the original, he is more melancholy here, and frequently quotes books and poems, including William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet ("Is it my soul that calls upon my name?
In the sequel book, Grandpa Joe accompanies Charlie, Willy Wonka, and all members of Charlie's family in the Great Glass Elevator and assists the rescue of the Commuter Capsule from the Vermicious Knids.
Grandpa Joe's age is given as "ninety-six and a half" in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", making him the eldest of Charlie's grandparents, but in the musical it is stated he is almost ninety and a half.
He later gains a soft spot for Charlie and offers him a spoon from the chocolate river.
Toward the end of the film, Charlie reconciles the two.
In this version, a back-story was added that Willy Wonka's father (being a dentist) would not let him eat sweets because of the potential risk to his teeth, and that the young Wonka left home to become a chocolatier.
When Charlie helps Wonka reconcile with his father, the family move into the factory and Charlie becomes Wonka's partner.
Unlike the first four finalists, Charlie is honest and generous.
In the 1971 film, Charlie was portrayed by Peter Ostrum, in his only film appearance.
His nationality is never explicitly stated, but in the 1971 film, he speaks with an American accent, and in the 2005 film, he speaks with an English accent.
The filmmakers have stated that it was their intention that Charlie's hometown be kept ambiguous.