In the 1971 film, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Slugworth's company is in business. Inside Bill's Candy Shop, Wonka's products and signs are the most visible; but Slugworth's Sizzlers are also prominently displayed, and one is even sold to a child called June Marie. Also seen are signs for Fickelgruber's candy. Grandpa Joe describes Slugworth as the worst of Wonka's rivals, telling Charlie that he was one of those whose plagiarism convinced Wonka to close his business.
A man calling himself Slugworth is a prominent character later in the film. As each Golden Ticket is found, a sinister man approaches the finder and whispers something into his or her ear. After Charlie finds the last ticket, the same man approaches Charlie as well, and delivers what is presumably the same speech he has given the other children, wherein he introduces himself as Arthur Slugworth, president of Slugworth Chocolates Incorporated, and bribes the child to obtain one piece of the newly-invented Everlasting Gobstopper and bring it to him so he can discover and plagiarize the formula. Two of the children respond to Slugworth's bribe: Veruca Salt crosses her fingers behind her back when Willy Wonka asks the children to promise not show the Everlasting Gobstopper to anyone else. Mike Teavee asks his mother what secrets they can sell to Slugworth; his mother is also heard telling her son to keep his eyes peeled and his mouth shut. At the end of the film, Wonka reveals that the man is not Slugworth, but Mr. Wilkinson who works for Wonka, and that his offer was a moral test of character.
The movie does not explain how the false Slugworth was able to approach each winner minutes after they found their ticket.