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Quotations and Literary Allusions spoken by Willy Wonka in the 1971 Film

Quotations and Literary Allusions spoken by Willy Wonka in the 1971 Film

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Published by: KAW on Jul 10, 2007
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12/23/2012

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Quotations and Literary Allusions spoken byWilly Wonka in the 1971 film,
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
by Thomas M. Brodhead
First things first: Aaron Villa's wonderful transcriptof the film (left-click to view, or right-click  to download.)When Quaker Oats (yes, the Quaker Oats company!) decided to adapt Roald Dahl's
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
for film, Roald Dahl was asked to write the screenplay. Dahl produced afairly literal translation of his book that was deemed unacceptable by the studio executives. Theyoung writer and script doctor David Seltzer was then asked to "improve" Dahl's script. Theresult was a recalibration of Dahl's story with many significant changes (e.g. rival chocolatier Slugworth became a central character in the film as a tempter of the children, etc.) Moreimportantly, Wonka was cast in a darker light, with an ambiguous stance toward the children (asopposed to the sprightly and somewhat avuncular candyman of Dahl's conception.)In the finished script, Wonka's dialogue is peppered with literary quotations and allusions notfound in Dahl's book. They were all introduced by David Seltzer as part of his rewrite of Dahl'sscreenplay. (Does anyone have a copy of Dahl's original screenplay? Please contact me...)Below is a listing of every line from Wonka's dialogue that I have been able to trace to anexternal source. Most of the quotations are from Shakespeare, two come from Ogden Nash, theothers from various sources. If you know of other quotations in Wonka's dialogue, or if you'dsimply like to rap about Wonka, the Genius of Gene Wilder, or anything else under the sun, please contact me atHugeWonkaFan@yahoo.com[While opening the combination lock]WONKA:
99...44...100 percent pure
Obvious reference:
the Ivory Soap ad line
 Not-so-obvious reference:
Poetry and aphorisms by Ogden Nash are quoted elsewhere byWonka, suggesting that Seltzer was familiar with Nash's output. It is perhaps not a coincidencethat one of Nash's poems is:
 Home, 99 44/100% Sweet Home
 by Ogden Nash [1902-1971]Home is heaven and orgies are vile,But I like an orgy, once in a while.
 
[In the room behind the combination lock door]WONKA:
Is it my soul that calls upon my name?
from
 Romeo and Juliet 
 by William Shakespeare [1564-1616]Act II, Scene 2 [balcony scene]ROMEO
It is my soul that calls upon my name:
How silver-sweet sound lovers' tongues by night,Like softest music to attending ears![In the doorway-filled hallway that becomes increasingly smaller]WONKA:
Oh, you should never, never doubt what nobody is sure about.
The Microbe
 by Hilaire Belloc [1870-1953]The Microbe is so very smallYou cannot make him out at all,But many sanguine people hopeTo see him through a microscope.His jointed tongue that lies beneathA hundred curious rows of teeth;His seven tufted tails with lotsOf lovely pink and purple spots,On each of which a pattern stands,Composed of forty separate bands;His eyebrows of a tender green;All these have never yet been seen--But Scientists, who ought to know,Assure us that they must be so...
Oh! let us never, never doubtWhat nobody is sure about!
[At the chocolate river, watching Augustus Gloop trapped in the pipe]WONKA:
The suspense is terrible. I hope it'll last.
from
The Importance of Being Earnest,
Act III by Oscar Wilde [1854-1900]GWENDOLEN:
The suspense is terrible. I hope it will last.
[To Mrs. Gloop as she is led off by Oompah Loompahs]WONKA:
Across the desert lies the promised land.
 
Source:
probably popular, but compare:
The Dance of Life,
Chapter 3 by Havelock Ellis [1859-1939]
The Promised Land always lies on the other side of a wilderness
[Boarding the Wonkatania]WONKA:
All I ask is a tall ship and a star to sail her by.
from
Sea Fever 
 by John Masefield [1878-1967]I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick, and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,And a gray mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tideIs a wild call and a clear call which may not be denied.And all I ask is a windy day with white clouds flying,And flung spray and blown spume, and the seagulls crying.I must down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,To the gull's way, and the whale's way, where the wind's like a whetted knife.And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow rover,And a quite sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.[Before the Wonkatania enters the dark tunnel]WONKA:
'Round the world and home again, that's the sailor's way!
from
 Homeward Bound 
 by William Allingham [1828-1889]Head the ship for England!Shake out every sail!Blithe leap the billows,Merry sings the gale.Captain, work the reckoning;How many knots a day? -
Round the world and home again,That's the sailor's way!
[Upon the completion of the Wonkatania ride]WONKA:
A small step for mankind, but a giant step for us.
 Neil Armstrong [b. 1930]
One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.

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