Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Veruca Salt

Today's post is only nominally related to salt, but I think it still counts.

No doubt many of us are familiar with the world of Willy Wonka, be it from either of the films or from the classic Roald Dahl book.  Consequently, one of the more popular characters (in a love-to-hate sort of way) was the spoiled, bratty Veruca Salt.

In the 1971 film, "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," Veruca is played by the young Julie Dawn Cole.  In the 2005 film, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," which shares its name with the original novel, Veruca is played by Julia Winters.  I find it a sort of interesting coincidence that both actresses have essentially the same name, were both plucked from obscurity (Veruca Salt being their debut film role), and were both cast at the age of 12.

Julie Dawn Cole in Veruca's big scene. Warning: May Contain Spoilers!

Part of the character's nastiness comes from, in my opinion, an apparent self-awareness.  Particularly in the above scene we can see that she knows that she's a total b****, and that just makes it all the more so.

In the original novel, Veruca's inevitable demise (I'll try not to give too much away, for those who are unfamiliar with the story) is caused at the hands of a troop of angry squirrels.  In the 1971 film, the squirrels are changed to a few rather indifferent geese, and Veruca sort of causes her own downfall.  In the 2005 film, the squirrels are restored.

Now, I read the book when I was a kid, and I've seen the original film, but I've yet to see the 2005 movie.  Something about Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka seems more appealing to me than Johnny Depp.  It's not that I don't like Johnny Depp, but I've grown rather skeptical of Johnny Depp/Tim Burton pairings (Burton being the director of the 2005 version).

And no, I haven't seen "Edward Scissorhands." 

By the way, the name Veruca Salt (my only real connection to salt for this post, after all), has an interesting meaning: "Veruca" is a manipulated spelling of Verruca (from the Latin VerrÅ«ca), which is the sciencey term for "wart" (eg. Verruca Vulgaris, Veruca Plantaris).  The word "salt" also has some negative connotations that suggest anger, aggression, and piquancy.

To me, though, "salt" means "love."


  1. I liked the band Varuca Salt!
    And now we all know where George Lucas got the garbage shoot scene from!

  2. Great post, I am also somewhat sceptical of Johnny Depp/Tim Burton even if I thought 'Edward Scissorhands' was a great film.

  3. I'm fascinated how much there is to know about salt!

  4. The movie wasn't that bad. It had a lot of great moments. But also a lot of Tim Burtisms... like a Willy Wonka's father subplot. That came out of nowhere, really.

  5. salt! who would've of guessed it would be this interesting

  6. This is definitely salt related. I haven't read the story but it seems interesting.

    Regarding the Depp/Burton duo, I too have grown quite skeptical...

  7. I could watch the first movie all day. Such dark humor.

  8. haha its amazing how much salt-related things you know :D

  9. Even though you have good reason to be skeptical of the Willy Wonka Remake (it sucks) GO SEE EDWARD SCISSOR HANDS


to prove that you're worth your salt.