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Listen, you little wiseacre. I'm smart, you're dumb, I'm big, you're little, I'm right, you're wrong. And there's nothin' you can do about it.
~ Mr. Harry Wormwood

Mr. Harry Wormwood, also known as Mr. Wormwood, is Matilda's father and the secondary antagonist in Roald Dahl's book Matilda and its 1996 film adaptation.

He was portrayed by Danny DeVito, who also directed the film and narrated it.

Biography

Harry Wormwood is a rich man and a crook who makes dirty dealings like buying stolen car parts.

Harry often abuses Matilda by sending her to her room as a false punishment for being a "smart aleck", calling her names, destroying Matilda's library book, and rants and raves at her.

Later, at the end of the film, due to his illegal dealings which attracted the attention of the FBI, Harry and his wife, Mrs. Zinnia Wormwood, and his son, Michael, are forced to go on a permanent vacation to Guam. After they agree to let Matilda be adopted by Miss Honey, the three drive away, never to be seen again.

Gallery

Trivia

  • A popular theory in recent years is that Harry Wormwood and the Narrator of the film are actually one and the same (given the fact that they were both played by Dany DeVitto, who also directed the film), implying that Harry eventually pulled a Heel-Face Turn and became a better person, which leads him to narrate Matilda's story in a way to atone the fact that he was not the decent father he should have been.
  • It is possible that Mr. Wormwood got his comeuppance offscreen in the end at least in the film canon, as while he and his family go to Guam so the FBI would not capture him, Guam is part of the United States of America and therefore the FBI still has jurisdiction there. In the book, the Wormwoods went to Spain, which is in Europe and therefore the FBI has no jurisdiction there.
    • Given this, it is unknown why Spain was changed to Guam in the film adaptation as it does not affect the story in any way, but it's possible that it was changed, if we believe that Harry was arrested in the end, to reflect Harry's lack of knowledge and intelligence in contrast to that of his daughter.
  • Rhea Perlman, the actress who played Harry's wife Zinnia Wormwood in the film, was Danny DeVitto's wife in real life by the time the film was made.

Navigation

           Roald Dahl Logo Villains

Movies
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Arthur Slugworth | Mr. Fickelgruber | Mr. Prodnose
The Witches: Witches (Eva Ernst/Grand High Witch, Susan Irvine, Nicola Cuttle, Pamela & Lois Leffour)
James and the Giant Peach: Aunt Sponge | Aunt Spiker | Rhino | Skeleton Pirates | Shark
Matilda: Agatha Trunchbull | Harry Wormwood
Fantastic Mr. Fox: Boggis, Bunce and Bean | Rat
The BFG: Giants (Fleshlumpeater, Bloodbottler & Bonecruncher)

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