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Old 09-18-2005, 03:54 PM
Tracy Lord is offline
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: London, UK
Posts: 1,780

"So shines a good deed in a WEARY world"?

The common version of the quote, featured in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, among others, seems to be "So shines a good deed in a weary world." That's the way I've usually heard it, and that's the way I think most people repeat it.

In The Merchant of Venice, Portia's actual line is "So shines a good deed in a naughty world."

When/why did the quote morph? Was it intentional (maybe to avoid the associations with the word "naughty") or accidental (like Bogie's Maltese Falcon "we are such stuff as dreams are made of")?
Old 09-18-2005, 04:02 PM
pravnik is offline
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: TX
Posts: 13,386
Well, I won't lie; I googled it.

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 a fairly literal translation of his book that was deemed unacceptable by the studio executives. The young writer and script doctor David Seltzer was then asked to "improve" Dahl's script. The result 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.) More importantly, Wonka was cast in a darker light, with an ambiguous stance toward the children (as opposed 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 not found in Dahl's book. They were all introduced by David Seltzer as part of his rewrite of Dahl's screenplay.
It goes on to say that Setzer tweaked the line, probably to be less archaic and more reflective of Wonka's character.
Old 09-18-2005, 07:30 PM
Tracy Lord is offline
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: London, UK
Posts: 1,780
Huh! I guess it is a Bogie-style misquote meme. Thanks!


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