|Portrayed By:|| Günter Meisner (1971)|
Phil Philmar (2005)
|First Appearance:||Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory|
Arthur Slugworth is a fictional character in Roald Dahl's 1964 children's novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
In the book, Arthur Slugworth is one of Willy Wonka's rival chocolatiers. Slugworth, along with Wonka's other rivals Mr. Fickelgruber and Mr. Prodnose, sent in spies to steal the secret recipes to Wonka's treats. Having obtained these, he began making candy balloons that a consumer blows up to incredible sizes, and then causes to burst before eating them; a plagiarized invention. The work of Slugworth (along with the other rivals) came close to ruining Wonka's factory. Wonka was forced to close his factory and fire all his workers. A few years later, Wonka's factory began working again (operated exclusively by Oompa-Loompas) and his work continued to dominate the candy industry, with no rival able to plagiarize his work because using the Oompa Loompa as his workers enables Wonka to operate his factory without regular employees and keep it off-limits to the public, so no spies can infiltrate. Slugworth is never heard from again, but it is stated that Slugworth, Prodnose, or Fickelgruber would each give their front teeth to enter Wonka's inventing room (a laboratory) for three minutes.
In the 1971 film, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Slugworth's company is in business. Inside Bill's Candy Shop, Wonka's products and signs are the most visible; but Slugworth's Sizzlers are also prominently displayed, and one is even sold to a child called June Marie. Also seen are signs for Fickelgruber's candy. Grandpa Joe describes Slugworth as the worst of Wonka's rivals, telling Charlie that he was one of those who sent his spies in dressed as Wonka workers to steal Wonka's Recipes. A man calling himself Slugworth is a prominent character later in the film. As each Golden Ticket is found, a sinister man approaches the finder and whispers something into his or her ear. After Charlie finds the last ticket, the same man approaches Charlie as well, and delivers what is presumably the same speech he has given the other children. He introduces himself as Arthur Slugworth, president of Slugworth Chocolates Incorporated, and bribes the child to bring one piece of the newly invented Everlasting Gobstopper to him so he can discover and plagiarize the formula. Two of the children respond to Slugworth's bribe. Veruca Salt crosses her fingers behind her back when Willy Wonka asks the children to promise not to show the Everlasting Gobstopper to anyone else. Mike Teavee asks his mother what secrets they can sell to Slugworth; his mother is also heard telling her son to keep his eyes peeled and his mouth shut. Grandpa Joe also responds near the end of the movie. After Willy Wonka snaps at him and Charlie Bucket for sampling Fizzy Lifting Drinks, (probably a final test of character by Wonka) Grandpa Joe threatens to give Slugworth the Everlasting Gobstopper. However, Charlie can't bring himself to betray Wonka and thus returns the Everlasting Gobstopper to Wonka. Although at first it seems as though Slugworth is the film's main villain, Wonka eventually reveals at the end of the film that the man is not Slugworth, but a fellow Wonka worker named Mr. Wilkinson, and that his offer was a moral test of character. The movie does not explain how the false Slugworth was able to approach each winner so soon after they found their tickets. However, it's implied Wonka somehow managed to keep track of each ticket's destination and then he told Wilkinson where they're most likely to be found. The movie also doesn't explain whether or not Slugworth was another person, and if the false Slugworth was just pretending to be him. Slugworth/Wilkinson was played by Günter Meisner, a West German actor.
Slugworth only makes a split-second appearance in Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He receives a secret recipe from Prodnose and is not heard of again. Examples of the plagiarization are shown, as is Wonka closing the doors on his workers, including Grandpa Joe. When Grandpa Joe meets Wonka, he tells him he used to work in his factory. Wonka does not seem to recognize Grandpa Joe, instead demanding if Grandpa Joe was one of the spies. When Grandpa Joe says that he wasn't one of the spies, Wonka says "Welcome Back." He is played by Philip Philmar.
|Main Films||Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory|
|Characters||Augustus Gloop • Arthur Slugworth • Charlie Bucket • Grandpa Joe • Mike Teavee • Veruca Salt • Violet Beauregarde • Willy Wonka|