Question: How was Harry able to remain in business? Surely the word would get around quite quickly that the cars he sells fall apart within days.

Answer: Harry was a seasoned con artist (synonymous with "used car salesman?) who would be able to come up with rational, believable, convincing stories (lies) to explain whatever gripe a complaining customer has, placing the blame on anyone/anything other than the dealership. Used cars, typically sold "as is" or with a limited warranty (30 days) fall under "caveat emptor" - let the buyer beware, so there isn't really much expectation for buying a problem-free used car. All complainers would be dealt with in a way that manipulates them into believing Harry was acting in their best interests and went above and beyond other remedial actions offered by used car sales people to their customers. An exceptionally good case of "making things right" is broadcasted to the public to portray a positive image. Used car dealerships, in general, are known to be questionable or shoddy businesses. Also, many people don't take the time to investigate a car dealership's reputation so don't know their risk.


Question: Is that a tissue stuck in Miss Honey's watch band? And if it is, why is it there?

Answer: That's where a proper lady keeps her tissue/handkerchief by rules of etiquette.


Answer: As stated above it is a tissue and kept there as etiquette. You actually see her use and replace the tissue on a couple of occasions.

Ssiscool Premium member

Answer: He has been receiving and selling stolen car parts.

Answer: He had stolen car parts.

Plus he had been putting the mileage back on the cars and simply running an illegal call lot.

Ssiscool Premium member

Question: One of the cops said Matilda would end up in a federal orphanage once Harry was in federal prison, but can't her mother take care of her? She seems to have no idea that Harry's a criminal, and also where is the evidence that the mother is involved?


Answer: She knows. Listen to her and Harry after their TV explodes: "I told you that was a cheap set." "It's not a cheap set, it's a stolen set!" She knows that Harry is a criminal.


Answer: Another way to tell is when Harry takes Mickie and her to his shop. She sees him using sawdust in the transmission and tells him he is doing something illegal.

Answer: The "real world" answer is that it's a movie, and without Trunchbull, there's no villain at the school for Matilda to battle. Within the context of the film, everyone, including the staff, is afraid of her and fear if they speak up, she'll retaliate.

Answer: They would have been simply too afraid of the Trunchbull to report her.

Question: Miss Trunchbull is not married, hence Miss. Miss Honey's father is Magnus, Miss Trunchbull's brother, so would he not be Magnus Trunchbull, and Miss Honey also be named Miss Trunchbull?

Answer: No Miss Trunchbull was her mother's stepsister - Miss Honey says this in her story.

Answer: He doesn't bring her in the book, but in order for the plot to work out, they had to plant her there some way.

Answer: Just to bring her, as her guardian.

But she's always at home alone?

Answer: They are FBI, and they are undercover.

Question: If the Wormwoods are moving to Guam to escape from the police, why move to Guam, a U.S territory, where the Speedboat salesmen or whatever can easily find/extradite them?


Answer: It's a joke, because they are too stupid to know that Guam is a territory of the United States.

Question: Can anyone tell me what the music is that plays in the scene when Matilda is making all the cards and gambling chips fly about?

The Doctor

Answer: The song is "Little Bitty Pretty One" by Thurston Harris.

Chosen answer: It's called "Send Me On My Way," and is performed by Rusted Root.

Hamster Premium member

Chosen answer: What about choosing not to cook precludes owning a recipe book? I'd guess Zinnia bought it simply because it's the type of thing a housewife would own. Or I suppose there's a chance Matilda, who is very resourceful and very fond of books, procured one herself from the library or elsewhere.

Phixius Premium member

Answer: As said in the comment above, it is also mentioned in the book that she procured it from the library, and was very fond about learning how to cook.

Question: This may not be true for everybody, but I read that *all* babies are born with blue eyes, and then the color changes as the person gets older. When we see Matilda as a baby, her eyes are brown. Is that possible?

Answer: While babies are often born with paler eyes than they will have as toddlers, many babies are born with brown eyes.


Question: Did Miss Trunchbull really kill Miss Honey's father? If she did, why was she never arrested for it?


Chosen answer: Yes she did. Whatever way she killed him she made it look like a suicide so that's what the police ruled it as. No reason to arrest her if they ruled it a suicide.

Answer: It's a common enough trope to the point where it has become cliche. Stories set in a school will almost always have a teacher or principal (or both) openly dislike their students. Stories aimed at a younger audience will often exaggerate this to an extreme, where the teacher/administrator has a hatred of children in general that borders on insanity.


That's exactly why I dislike movies about teachers - always very cliched characters and plots.

raywest Premium member

Answer: The answer is: "Power." Miss Trunchbull is a sadistic bully, as a school headteacher she can terrorise, frighten and dominate children and teachers. Also the job pays a good salary. She has probably arranged things so the other teachers do all the real work and the difficult jobs. She lives in a house attached to the school, so she gets free accommodation. She can run scams: for example the pupils must be fed, so she gives the catering contract to a company who pay her a "backhander." Thus she has a lucrative job where she does very little work. Plus, you cannot have a story without a villain to be defeated, so Miss Trunchbull is a brilliant opponent for Matilda.

Rob Halliday

Chosen answer: The glue would keep the car part on but only for a short time because only glue was used. Harry didn't use tools to put on any bolts or anything to keep it in place so eventually it would fall off from the glue drying up.

Question: Why would Matilda interfere with the FBI investigation? Wouldn't she want her father to go to jail?


Answer: No. She didn't get along with her family, but she was a basically kind girl who still looked out for her father.

Brian Katcher

Continuity mistake: When Harry puts Million Dollar Sticky on the TV, between shots Zinnia puts her sunglasses on twice. (00:18:45)

Hamster Premium member

More mistakes in Matilda

Harry Wormwood: A book? What do you want a book for?
Matilda: To read.
Harry Wormwood: To read? Why would you want to read when you got the television set sitting right in front of you? There's nothing you can get from a book that you can't get from a television faster.

More quotes from Matilda
More trivia for Matilda

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