Arthur Slugworth

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Arthur Slugworth
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory character
First appearance Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Created by Roald Dahl
Portrayed by Günter Meisner (1971)
Phil Philmar (2005)
Gender Male

Arthur Slugworth is a character in the Roald Dahl children's books Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, and the former's 1971 and 2005 film adaptations.


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 keeping 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 five minutes.

1971 film[edit]

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 girl 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.

As each Golden Ticket is found during the early parts of the film, 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 boy 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. Before the ticket holders go enter the factory, Slugworth is seen in the crowd, he thumbs up each ticket holder as they pass him, but gives an enthusiastic thumb up to Charlie when he passes.

During the boat ride through the tunnel, a visual projection of Slugworth appears among other disturbing images, much to Charlie and Grandpa Joe's shock. Grandpa Joe also responds near the end of the movie after Willy Wonka snaps at him and Charlie for sampling Fizzy Lifting Drinks (probably a final test by Wonka of character). Grandpa Joe threatens to give Slugworth the Everlasting Gobstopper in vengeance.

However, Charlie can't bring himself to intentionally betray Wonka and thus returns the candy to him. 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 test of moral character.

Slugworth/Wilkinson was played by Günter Meisner, a West German actor.

2005 film[edit]

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.

He is portrayed and probably voiced by Philip Philmar.


A spy who originally worked for Wonka's, Prodnose was the one who made the chewing gum that never lost its flavor.

He was portrayed and seemingly voiced by Chris Cresswell, who was a member of The Flatliners.


Fickelgruber stole the design for ice cream that never melted. Bill Fickelgruber worked for Wonka, but turned spy for Slugworth.

He was portrayed and voiced by Tony Kirwood.


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