How to eulogize Gene Wilder? I keep sitting here trying to find words worthy of the man who gave us Willy Wonka and Dr. Frederick Frankenstein and the Waco Kid. None do him justice. The most fitting tribute to Wilder came from Wilder himself, in a classic song from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory: When traveling in the world of his creation, what we saw defied explanation.

Wonka said if you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it. When it comes to movies, that’s not always so simple. Some of Wilder’s best performances are currently unavailable online (like Young Frankenstein, shockingly), and none are on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime. If you do want to relive some of Wilder’s greatest onscreen moments (or discover some classics for the first time), here’s a list of seven ScreenCrush favorites that are currently available to rent or stream (mostly rent) at home right now. Follow the links below to pure imagination.

The Producers (1967)
Directed by Mel Brooks
Available for rent

An undercurrent of mania bubbled beneath the surface of every Gene Wilder performance, waiting to erupt at exactly the right moment. Mel Brooks’ 1968 satirical comedy provides several explosions, as the team of Wilder and Zero Mostel attempt to produce the worst musical ever made, which then becomes a roaring success. There's nothing quite like hearing Wilder’s voice rise in pitch to a shrill shriek as the world crumbles down around his characters. It’s impossible not to feel motivated while you’re listening to Wilder scream, “I’ll do it! I’m Leo Bloom! I’m me! I can do whatever I want!” as a huge fountain bursts to life behind him, like some deranged and beautiful dream. — Emma Stefansky


Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)
Directed by Mel Stuart
Available for rent

There’s no Willy Wonka without Gene Wilder. Any actor could don a top hat and play up the zany antics of the candy maker, but Wonka wasn’t just a weirdo. Wilder defined the Roald Dahl character with his signature madcap comedy, crafting a man whose allure was based on his mysterious nature. His Wonka shifted gears from one extreme to the next, wistfully singing about imagination in one scene, then reciting a disturbing poem the next. Wilder played that hysteria best in one of the film’s final scenes, when Wonka gives Charlie his last test. Red-faced and terrifying, Wilder manically shouts “You lose!” then reverses course and gleefully shouts “You win!” Wilder’s Wonka was an enigma, a childlike genius who always seemed on the brink of self-destruction. In a 1971 interview with Roger Ebert, Wilder talked about perfecting the art of lying so he could fool the audience. Maybe that’s part of the brilliance behind Wilder’s Wonka, a character we could never quite understand. — Erin Whitney


Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex But Were Afraid to Ask (1972)
Directed by Woody Allen
Available on TubiTV

Wilder’s reactions were second to none. His portion of Woody Allen’s sex farce is as hilarious as it is strange; Wilder, as a doctor, receives a patient in his office who tells him he’s in love with a sheep named Daisy. When the doctor meets the sheep, he falls in love with her as well, and what starts out as a goof morphs into a devastating drama of love, betrayal, and loss. A single shot turns this good short into a great one: Wilder’s reaction to his patient’s initial confession, held for as long as possible as you watch him go through all kinds of different scenarios in his head, trying not to burst into laughter, is mesmerizing. Here’s an example of an actor who could make the smallest moment hugely funny. — ES


Blazing Saddles (1974)
Directed by Mel Brooks
Available for rent

Saying that you couldn’t make a film like Blazing Saddles today would be a massive understatement. Mel Brooks’ wild Western earned its place as one of the greatest comedies of all time with a ferociously funny script and a fantastic ensemble, including the late, great Gene Wilder. Brooks’ goofy and irreverent satire isn’t flawless, but what makes Blazing Saddles so effective — what makes it so perfect — are the actors, and particularly Wilder, who had such an impressive sense of self-control that he made restraint look effortless. His commitment to inhabiting a role, no matter how silly, made his parts all the more believable — and hilarious. You can still see a hint of mischief in his eyes in scenes like the memorable jailhouse encounter, in which Wilder displays masterful timing and delivery with the simplest of lines. (“My name is Jim. Most folks call me ... Jim.”) Even his moments of silence were incredible. — Britt Hayes


Silver Streak (1976)
Directed by Arthur Hiller
Available for rent

We talk about actors with great range, but few actors found ways to use their entire range in individual performances quite like Gene Wilder. Take Silver Streak, a comedy thriller about an ordinary businessman (Wilder) who stumbles into the middle of a murder cover-up on a train headed for Chicago. Over the course of two hours, Wilder gets to play a leading man (sharing several surprisingly tender and sexy scenes with Jill Clayburgh), an action hero (hanging from and running on top of the train, then shooting a dude with a spear gun!), and an edgy comic foil to Richard Pryor (in Silver Streak’s most famous scene, Wilder and Pryor sneak back onto the locomotive by disguising the exceedingly white Wilder as a black man, a gag that only works because Wilder makes himself to be the butt of the joke). Amidst all that other stuff, Wilder still flies into a few of his signature rages, including the one below where he shuts down a dopey small-town sheriff with a magnificent stream of bile. “You stupid ignorant son-of-a-b---- dumb bastard!” Wilder howls. Yes, he calls someone a moron three times in four words. Now that’s how you yell at an idiot. — Matt Singer


The Frisco Kid (1979)
Directed by Robert Aldrich
Available for rent

Wilder, born Jerome Silberman, was raised Jewish by his parents; his family’s faith even made him the target of bullying while he was a student at the Black-Foxe Military Institute in Los Angeles. Though Wilder wasn’t observant as an adult, he channeled his Jewish upbringing into one of loveliest performances, as Avram Belisnki in the comic Western The Frisco Kid. Sent from his Polish Yeshiva to America, where he’s to become the new rabbi for a temple in San Francisco, Avram gets robbed and left for dead. He’s aided in his quest to get to his new home by a laconic cowboy, played by Harrison Ford in one of his first post-Star Wars roles. Avram has some sublime gags, but some of Wilder’s best moments in The Frisco Kid are the ones where he lets us see the wonder of America through this innocent immigrant’s eyes (“Vat a country!” he exclaims after he’s rescued by a group of Dutch farmers.) Throughout his career, Wilder made an ideal member of a buddy duo; he could play the straight man or the fool equally well, and could flip from one to the other given the needs of any particular scene. Here is a classic example, with the rabbi and the frontiersman bonding over their culture’s respective exclamations of frustration (with some mild NSFW language). — MS


The Woman in Red (1984)
Directed by Robert Aldrich
Available for rent

Wilder’s fourth stab at directing, The Woman in Red is a romantic comedy about love, obsession, loyalty, and disloyalty. Wilder, then in his 50s, looks like a middle schooler on his first date in every scene with Kelly Le Brock, who plays sultry Charlotte opposite his awkward ad man Teddy Pierce. Wilder’s real-life wife Gilda Radner plays a relatively minor character, but watching the two dance around each other in a battle of wills is a treat. Naturally, everything goes completely wrong in Teddy’s attempts to romance Charlotte; Wilder's brand of comedy always infused with a twinge of sadness. When his wife (Judith Ivey) sees him on a news broadcast standing out on the ledge of a hotel window towards the end of the film, she starts to cry, and then laughs, as if she can’t decide which she should pick. Sometimes Wilder made it hard to choose. — ES