Chitty Chitty Bang Bang


2h 25m 1968
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Brief Synopsis

An eccentric inventor uses his flying car to free a kingdom of children from oppression.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
Comedy
Family
Musical
Fantasy
Adaptation
Release Date
Jan 1968
Premiere Information
New York opening: 18 Dec 1968
Production Company
Dramatic Features; Warfield Productions
Distribution Company
United Artists
Country
United Kingdom
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Chitty Chitty Bang Bang; the Magical Car by Ian Fleming (London, 1964).

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 25m
Sound
70 mm 6-Track
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.20 : 1

Synopsis

Caractacus Potts is a woefully unsuccessful inventor who lives in an Edwardian mill house with his two small children, Jemima and Jeremy, and their eccentric grandfather. In an attempt to raise 30 shillings so that the children can purchase a dilapidated racing car from a junk dealer, Potts tries to sell his latest invention, whistling sweets, to Lord Scrumptious, the owner of the local candy factory. The demonstration at Scrumptious' factory is a catastrophe; but the undaunted Potts performs with a troupe of folk dancers at a country fair and earns the money to buy the car. Using a few odds and ends, plus a great deal of hard work and imagination, Potts converts the old wreck into a shiny new contraption which is affectionately named Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. While on a seaside picnic with the children and Truly, Lord Scrumptious' beautiful daughter, Potts weaves a story about the magical powers of the car ... The evil Baron Bomburst of Vulgaria, who has learned that Chitty Chitty can sail on the water and soar through the sky, is determined to have Potts make him a duplicate model. But it is Grandpa Potts that the Baron's pirates kidnap by mistake and carry away by airship. Witnessing the abduction, Potts, Truly, and the children give chase by flying in Chitty Chitty to far-off Vulgaria. There they learn that Baroness Bomburst so despises children that she has forbidden them in the kingdom. Because of this, Jemima and Jeremy become victims of the royal Child Catcher and are imprisoned in the castle. Aided by the village toymaker and all the children who have escaped capture by hiding in an underground cave, Potts and Truly masquerade as life-sized puppets and gain entry to the Baron's birthday party. At a given signal, all the children rush in and lead a successful mutiny in freeing Vulgaria from tyranny. With Grandpa, Jemima, and Jeremy rescued, Potts and Truly fly home in Chitty Chitty. After the picnic, Lord Scrumptious offers Potts a contract for manufacturing the whistling sweets as candies for dogs. As Potts, Truly, and the children drive off, their happiness is such that they are unaware that Chitty Chitty Bang Bang has once more taken to the skies. Songs : "You Two" (Potts, Jeremy & Jemima), "Toot Sweets" (Potts, Truly, Jeremy, Jemima & Chorus), "Hushabye Mountain" (Potts), "Me Ol' Bam-Boo" (Potts & Dance Ensemble), "Truly Scrumptious" (Truly, Jeremy & Jemima), "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" (Potts, Truly, Jeremy & Jemima), "Lovely Lonely Man" (Truly), "Posh!" (Grandpa), "Hushabye Mountain" (Reprise by Potts & Truly), "The Roses of Success" (Grandpa & Inventors), "Chu-Chi Face" (Baron & Baroness), "Doll on a Music Box," "Truly Scrumptious" (Potts & Truly), "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" (Potts, Truly & Chorus).

Photo Collections

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang - Movie Posters
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang - Movie Posters

Videos

Movie Clip

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) - Definitely Unstable Just rescued after a near-accident by friendly motorist “Truly Scrumptious” (Sally Ann Howes), Jemima and Jeremy (Heather Ripley, Adrian Hill), who never go to school, indirectly introduce their crackpot inventor father Potts (Dick Van Dyke), and later his father (Lionel Jeffries, headed to “Inja!”), early in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, 1968, from an Ian Fleming novel, and 007 producer Albert R. Broccoli.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) - She's Not Just Any Old Car After an elaborate opening confirming the (title) car’s lineage, we meet Jemima and Jeremy (Heather Ripley, Adrian Hill) at play, Victor Maddern making an offer to Coggins (Desmond Llewelyn, James Bond’s “Q”) then meeting Sally Ann Howes (as Truly Scrumptious), in the family musical and technical marvel from Bond producer Albert R. Broccoli, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, 1968, starring Dick Van Dyke.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) - Baron Bomburst, Title Song Inventor dad Potts (Dick Van Dyke) with sweetheart Truly (Scrumptious! Sally Ann Potts) on a beach picnic has just confabulated the evil Baron Bomburst (Gert Fröbe, a.k.a. Goldfinger) for the kids (Heather Ripley, Adrian Hill), cueing another Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman original and one of the first big tech sequences, in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, 1968, from James Bond producer Albert R. Broccoli.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) - Toot Sweets Joining nutty inventor Potts (Dick Van Dyke) making a pitch to candy kingpin Lord Scrumptious (James Robertson Justice), cajoled by daughter Truly (Sally Ann Howes) and his own kids (Heather Ripley, Adrian Hill), the first big production number, and another Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman original, in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, 1968.

Trailer

Hosted Intro

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
Comedy
Family
Musical
Fantasy
Adaptation
Release Date
Jan 1968
Premiere Information
New York opening: 18 Dec 1968
Production Company
Dramatic Features; Warfield Productions
Distribution Company
United Artists
Country
United Kingdom
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Chitty Chitty Bang Bang; the Magical Car by Ian Fleming (London, 1964).

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 25m
Sound
70 mm 6-Track
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.20 : 1

Award Nominations

Best Song

1968

Articles

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang


When one thinks of Ian Fleming, one name usually pops to mind: Bond. James Bond. But in 1968, another of Fleming's creations made the leap to the big screen - Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. This curiously titled film is based on a children's book by Fleming and stars Dick Van Dyke (who previously appeared in the highly successful 1964 fantasy film, Mary Poppins) as Caractacus Potts, an inventor who spins a remarkable tale for his two children about a magical flying car.

Roald Dahl brought the novel to the screen and was quite experienced in this genre, having written such books as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach. Dahl had worked with Fleming's material before; he also wrote the screenplay for You Only Live Twice (1967). But the Bond connection doesn't end there; director Ken Hughes helmed Chitty Chitty Bang Bang one year after Fleming's Bond spoof, Casino Royale (1967), and the producer for Chitty was none other than Albert Broccoli, who produced 16 films in the Bond franchise. The supporting cast for Chitty included German actor Gert Frobe, best known as the Bond villain Goldfinger (1964), and Desmond Llewelyn, who played Q in all the Bond flicks but one (Live and Let Die, 1973) until his death in 1999. English television and film actress Anna Quayle also has a featured role in Chitty and was featured in a bit part in Casino Royale.

Other cast members include Sally Ann Howes, a popular stage actress on Broadway and London's West End, and Lionel Jeffries, who plays Van Dyke's father despite being younger than the actor in real life. Robert Helpmann played The Child Catcher, a character voted as one of the most frightening onscreen by an English magazine survey poll. Helpmann himself was a renowned ballet dancer from Australia who trained with Anna Pavlova's touring company. English comedian Benny Hill has a small part in the film as the kindly toymaker; he was first brought onto the project to rewrite some scenes at the request of Van Dyke. During down times on the set, Hill and Van Dyke would have lengthy conversations about their favorite actors, Charlie Chaplin, Stan Laurel, and Buster Keaton. Van Dyke would later recall in an interview, "We both thought that we were born in the wrong era."

The real star of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, however, was the car itself which was based on three real racecars of the same name. The aero-engined cars were owned by auto enthusiast Count Louis Zboroswki, who raced them on the Brooklands track in the English countryside. It was the third Chitty that was used as a model for the car in the film. The producers wanted it to look as realistic as possible so an actual car was designed and built for the production, not merely a prop version. In all, 3 prop cars would be built in addition to the main vehicle. Over seventeen feet in length and weighing over two tons, the car used in the film is street legal and fully licensed to drive. As in the movie, she is called the GEN 11 per her license plate: the closest the UK licensing office could get to "Genie." The car is currently owned by Pierre Picton, who was also involved with the production of Chitty; he maintained the car during production and drove in some film sequences. Picton now rents out the car for use in special functions. The prop versions of GEN 11 were used for studio shots or the water sequences.

The American film composing team of Richard and Robert Sherman wrote twelve original songs for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The Sherman brothers had just won two Oscars for Mary Poppins for Best Song and Best Score, and their career had been almost exclusively tied to Disney up until this point. In their memoir Walt's Time: From Before to Beyond, they recalled, "As we were under contract with Disney, we were allowed to accept one outside project. When producer Albert R. "Cubby" Broccoli asked us to join the team. . .we went straight to Walt, who gave us his blessing. . ." The Shermans were nominated for another Oscar for Best Song with "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang", but lost the award to "The Windmills of Your Mind," from The Thomas Crown Affair (1968).

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang opened to mixed reviews with many critics unfavorably comparing it to previous children's films like Mary Poppins. Time wrote that the film "is a picture for the ages - the ages between five and twelve. After that, interest is bound to slacken into hostility or slumber." But there were positive reviews too and The New York Times proclaimed it, "...a fast, dense, friendly children's musical, with something of the joys of singing together on a team bus on the way to a game." Strangely enough, The Love Bug (1968), a similar themed movie from Walt Disney about a car with an unpredictable personality, opened the following year and quickly eclipsed the modest success of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Some critics theorized that one reason for the huge success of The Love Bug was its contemporary setting whereas Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was set in the past circa 1910. Ironically, Ian Fleming's original story was set in the present era and Chitty might have reached a wider audience if the filmmakers had not altered the original premise.

Producer: Albert R. Broccoli
Director: Ken Hughes
Screenplay: Ken Hughes, Roald Dahl
Based on the novel by Ian Fleming Art Direction: Harry Pottle
Cinematography: Christopher G. Challis
Editing: John Shirley
Music: Irwin Kostal, Richard M. Sherman, Robert B. Sherman
Cast: Dick Van Dyke (Caractacus Potts), Sally Ann Howes (Truly Scrumptious), Lionel Jeffries (Grandpa Potts), Gert Frobe (Baron Bomburst), Anna Quayle (Baroness Bomburst), Benny Hill (toymaker), James Robertson Justice (Lord Scrumptious).
C-146m. Closed captioning. Letterboxed.

by Eleanor Quin
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

When one thinks of Ian Fleming, one name usually pops to mind: Bond. James Bond. But in 1968, another of Fleming's creations made the leap to the big screen - Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. This curiously titled film is based on a children's book by Fleming and stars Dick Van Dyke (who previously appeared in the highly successful 1964 fantasy film, Mary Poppins) as Caractacus Potts, an inventor who spins a remarkable tale for his two children about a magical flying car. Roald Dahl brought the novel to the screen and was quite experienced in this genre, having written such books as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach. Dahl had worked with Fleming's material before; he also wrote the screenplay for You Only Live Twice (1967). But the Bond connection doesn't end there; director Ken Hughes helmed Chitty Chitty Bang Bang one year after Fleming's Bond spoof, Casino Royale (1967), and the producer for Chitty was none other than Albert Broccoli, who produced 16 films in the Bond franchise. The supporting cast for Chitty included German actor Gert Frobe, best known as the Bond villain Goldfinger (1964), and Desmond Llewelyn, who played Q in all the Bond flicks but one (Live and Let Die, 1973) until his death in 1999. English television and film actress Anna Quayle also has a featured role in Chitty and was featured in a bit part in Casino Royale. Other cast members include Sally Ann Howes, a popular stage actress on Broadway and London's West End, and Lionel Jeffries, who plays Van Dyke's father despite being younger than the actor in real life. Robert Helpmann played The Child Catcher, a character voted as one of the most frightening onscreen by an English magazine survey poll. Helpmann himself was a renowned ballet dancer from Australia who trained with Anna Pavlova's touring company. English comedian Benny Hill has a small part in the film as the kindly toymaker; he was first brought onto the project to rewrite some scenes at the request of Van Dyke. During down times on the set, Hill and Van Dyke would have lengthy conversations about their favorite actors, Charlie Chaplin, Stan Laurel, and Buster Keaton. Van Dyke would later recall in an interview, "We both thought that we were born in the wrong era." The real star of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, however, was the car itself which was based on three real racecars of the same name. The aero-engined cars were owned by auto enthusiast Count Louis Zboroswki, who raced them on the Brooklands track in the English countryside. It was the third Chitty that was used as a model for the car in the film. The producers wanted it to look as realistic as possible so an actual car was designed and built for the production, not merely a prop version. In all, 3 prop cars would be built in addition to the main vehicle. Over seventeen feet in length and weighing over two tons, the car used in the film is street legal and fully licensed to drive. As in the movie, she is called the GEN 11 per her license plate: the closest the UK licensing office could get to "Genie." The car is currently owned by Pierre Picton, who was also involved with the production of Chitty; he maintained the car during production and drove in some film sequences. Picton now rents out the car for use in special functions. The prop versions of GEN 11 were used for studio shots or the water sequences. The American film composing team of Richard and Robert Sherman wrote twelve original songs for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The Sherman brothers had just won two Oscars for Mary Poppins for Best Song and Best Score, and their career had been almost exclusively tied to Disney up until this point. In their memoir Walt's Time: From Before to Beyond, they recalled, "As we were under contract with Disney, we were allowed to accept one outside project. When producer Albert R. "Cubby" Broccoli asked us to join the team. . .we went straight to Walt, who gave us his blessing. . ." The Shermans were nominated for another Oscar for Best Song with "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang", but lost the award to "The Windmills of Your Mind," from The Thomas Crown Affair (1968). Chitty Chitty Bang Bang opened to mixed reviews with many critics unfavorably comparing it to previous children's films like Mary Poppins. Time wrote that the film "is a picture for the ages - the ages between five and twelve. After that, interest is bound to slacken into hostility or slumber." But there were positive reviews too and The New York Times proclaimed it, "...a fast, dense, friendly children's musical, with something of the joys of singing together on a team bus on the way to a game." Strangely enough, The Love Bug (1968), a similar themed movie from Walt Disney about a car with an unpredictable personality, opened the following year and quickly eclipsed the modest success of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Some critics theorized that one reason for the huge success of The Love Bug was its contemporary setting whereas Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was set in the past circa 1910. Ironically, Ian Fleming's original story was set in the present era and Chitty might have reached a wider audience if the filmmakers had not altered the original premise. Producer: Albert R. Broccoli Director: Ken Hughes Screenplay: Ken Hughes, Roald Dahl Based on the novel by Ian Fleming Art Direction: Harry Pottle Cinematography: Christopher G. Challis Editing: John Shirley Music: Irwin Kostal, Richard M. Sherman, Robert B. Sherman Cast: Dick Van Dyke (Caractacus Potts), Sally Ann Howes (Truly Scrumptious), Lionel Jeffries (Grandpa Potts), Gert Frobe (Baron Bomburst), Anna Quayle (Baroness Bomburst), Benny Hill (toymaker), James Robertson Justice (Lord Scrumptious). C-146m. Closed captioning. Letterboxed. by Eleanor Quin

Quotes

Is that all you do Mr. Potts, invent things?
- Truly Scrumptious
You'll find a slight squeeze on the hooter an excellent safety precaution, Miss Scrumptious.
- Caractacus Pott
There are children here somewhere. I can smell them.
- Child Catcher
Come along, kiddie winkies!
- Child Catcher
He's terrible.
- Jeremy
He's horrible.
- Jemimah
Not only that, he isn't even nice!
- Caracticus Potts

Trivia

Dick Van Dyke's character was named for Caractacus, the last independent ruler of England before the Roman conquest of southern England.

Lionel Jeffries played Dick Van Dyke's father, despite the fact that Dick Van Dyke is actually the elder of the two.

'Collins, Phil' claims he was one of the children storming the castle at the end of the film but was edited out because of a rather large and unsightly bandage on his head that was covering a cyst.

Has the distinction of being the only non-James Bond film produced by Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman after the Bond series began.

The first non-Disney film to feature songs by the Sherman brothers.

Notes

Released in Great Britain in 1968.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Winter December 1968

Released in United States Winter December 1968