Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (film)

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (film)

Infobox Film
name = Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

caption = Original Theatrical Poster
director = Ken Hughes
producer = Albert R. Broccoli
writer = Roald Dahl,
Ken Hughes,
Ian Fleming
starring = Dick Van Dyke
Sally Ann Howes
Lionel Jeffries
music = Richard M. Sherman
Robert B. Sherman
Irwin Kostal
cinematography = Christopher Challis
editing = John Shirley
distributor = United Artists
released = (UK) December 16, 1968
(USA) December 18, 1968
runtime = 144 min.
country = U.K.
awards = Academy 1968:
Best Song (2)
Golden Globe 1968:
Best Orig. Score (2)
Best Orig. Song (2)
language = English
budget =
preceded_by =
followed_by =
amg_id = 1:9402
imdb_id = 0062803

"Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" is a 1968 feature film with a script by Roald Dahl and Ken Hughes, and songs by the Sherman Brothers, based on Ian Fleming's book "". It starred Dick Van Dyke as Caractacus Potts and Sally Ann Howes as Truly Scrumptious. The film was directed by Ken Hughes and produced by Albert R. Broccoli, best known as co-producer of the James Bond series of films, also based on Fleming's novels. Irwin Kostal supervised and conducted the music, and the musical numbers were staged by Marc Breaux and Dee Dee Wood. It was photographed in Super Panavision 70 by Christopher Challis.

The film went significantly over budget, but was a box office hit. Although it received favorable reviews in the UK, Europe, and the East Coast of the United States, Hollywood was unkind in its reviews. The film's producers had culled the behind-the-scenes talent from the biggest Hollywood musicals from the 60s as well as its own team who had worked on the hit James Bond films. The movie has become a children's classic.


The time is an unspecified period in the 1910s or 1920s. Jeremy and Jemima Potts are playing in a wrecked car in Mr. Coggins' junkyard. The wreck, as Mr. Coggins explains to a potential customer, had won a number of Grand Prix races in its past life as a racecar, before it crashed. The customer, a thoroughly unpleasant man, says that he will buy the car for salvage; Coggins agrees, much to the disappointment of the children.

On the way home, the children meet the beautiful Truly, who demands to know why they are not in school. She takes them home to their windmill, where she is introduced to their eccentric father, Caractacus, who is about to make an attempt to fly. She also meets the equally eccentric Grandpa Potts, who, resplendent in soldiers' uniform, explains to Truly that he is going for "a cup of tea with the Maharaja", before disappearing into a small hut at the far end of the garden. Truly shows interest in Caractacus Potts' eccentric inventions, but he is angered by her attempts to tell him that his children should be in school. Angrily, she leaves.

Caractacus and his children prepare for tea, reflecting on what a wonderful family they are, ("You Two"). During tea, the children explain to Caractacus about the car, and he promises that he will try to get it, although he doesn't have nearly enough money. Edison, the family dog, discovers that the supposedly useless "sweets with holes in", made by Caractacus, can whistle. Caractacus goes to a local sweet factory the next day, and attempts to interest Lord Scrumptious- who turns out to be Truly's father, giving her the more-than-appropriate name, "Truly Scrumptious". He initially refuses to even look at the sweets, but eventually gives in, and finds he likes them, ("Toot Sweets"). However, the sound of the whistling attracts what appears to be every dog in the village, and they ruin all the factory's confectionary, causing Lord Scrumptious to reject the sweets after all- although we don't see this happen, it is obvious that it has, because in the next scene, Jeremy and Jemima try to comfort their father, and offer him their most precious things, to sell so that he can buy the car. He refuses to take them, and sings them to sleep, ("Hushabye Mountain").

Caractacus sees a funfair approaching, and decides to make another attempt to raise money for the car. He takes another of his eccentric inventions- the automatic hair-cutting machine- to the funfair and tries to use it to raise money. However, his first customer, Cyril, ends up looking terrible, and chases Caractacus all around the funfair. In order to escape from him, Caractacus disguises as one of the dancers in a musical revue, and manages remarkably well, even though he is always one step behind the others- he even manages to improvise some words, ("'Me 'Ole Bamboo"). The other dancers are so impressed that they give him all the money which the audience give them for the performances, and he returns home triumphantly, in the drivers' seat of the car.

He manages to fix the car, and make it look as good as new, and he and the children, accompanied by Truly Scrumptious, whom they meet on the way, go for a picnic on the beach, ("Chitty Chitty Bang Bang"). They spend a very happy day on the beach, and Jeremy and Jemima reveal that they have come to love Truly Scrumptious- she has become fond of them as well, ("Truly Scrumptious").

After a while, the group get back in the car, and the children ask their father to tell them a story. The story occupies most of the rest of the film. The film introduces nasty Baron Bomburst, the tyrant ruler of Vulgaria, who wants to steal Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and keep it all for himself. They begin firing at the car on the beach, but as the family begin to panic, Chitty suddenly develops powers which enable it to float, and they escape, ("Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Nautical Reprise"). The Baron sends two comical spies ashore to capture the car for him. Caractacus drops Truly off at her home, and when he has left, it is revealed that Truly has fallen in love with him, ("Lovely Lonely Man").

The next day, the spies attempt to capture the car while the group are out for a spin. They fail, and end up capturing Lord Scrumptious and his assistant by mistake. The spies dress up in their clothes, and travel to the Potts' residence. There, they mistake Grandpa Potts for the inventor, and, when he goes into his "laboratory" (an eccentric term for small hut) they send for an airship to come and take the hut to Vulgaria. The airship arrives, with none other than the Baron on board. Caractacus and the others see the zeppelin flying above them, and give chase. They drive over a cliff, but Chitty majestically sprouts wings and begins to fly, and they are saved from certain death. Grandpa, meanwhile, seems perfectly happy at being noticed by upper-class types ("Posh!").

At Baron Bomburst's palace, the vile Baron demands that Grandpa Potts make the "Baronial" car float. Grandpa Potts is worried at first, but the castle's resident inventors soon cheer him up, assuring him that he can accomplish the task ("The Roses of Success") - he fails, and the car falls apart on the last note of the song.

Meanwhile, Caractacus, Truly, and the children fly over the Vulgarian palace, only to be shot at with cannons by order of the spoiled Baroness Bomburst, who abhors children. Fortunately, they are never hit, and hide the car under a bridge. A palace official witnesses the family land in the city and the Baron calls out his guards to capture the car. Baroness Bomburst orders that her most loyal servant, a monstrous Childcatcher, be sent out to kill the children. The Potts family and Truly arrive in the a small village, where the villagers are a despondant, unhappy nation of people. Upon the family's arrival, the whole miserable village stares at them. They wonder why, until it suddenly occurs to them: there are no children in sight!

Then trumpets sound, announcing the arrival of soldiers. "Everyone" hides in their houses, leaving Caractacus, Truly, and the children alone in the streets. Again, they catch a break as a kind toymaker hides them in the hidden lower level of his toy shop, warning them that if the children are found they will be taken away to the castle, as children have been outlawed in Vulgaria by order of the Baroness. Just in time, too, because the Vulgarian army storms the village square. The evil Childcatcher "smells" the children's blood at the toy shop. They discover the trapdoor leading to the lower level. The soldiers search, but find no one. The child catcher yells at them, "You have to know "where" to look; like cockroaches, they get under the floors, in the cracks in the walls, in the woodwork!" Still, no one is found (thanks to an Ingenious hiding place!)- Caratacus, Truly and the children have all disguised as jack-in-the-boxes!

Then the awful words are heard: "We've captured the flying car!" Caractacus decides two things then: to rescue Grandpa, and to get Chitty back. The toymaker helps Caractacus spy on the castle (albeit reluctantly), and quips, "To get in there you'd have to be a mouse or a magician."

Back at the toyshop, the children are starving. Truly goes into the village for food, stressing to the children how important it is to stay hidden in the toy shop. However, despite the warning, the children are lured out and captured by the child catcher, who poses as a lollipop salesman offering free sweets, to lure the children out of the cellar. Truly sees them in the child catcher's cage on wheels, and Caractacus sees her run down the street, yelling, "Children!" He runs up to her and finds out why she is in hysterics.

The children are locked in a tower by order of the Baroness when they insult her. "You're a nasty, horrid mean old lady!" "And very ugly!"

Caractacus and Truly are taken by the toymaker to a space underneath the castle, where all the children of Vulgaria are hidden. It is there that Caractacus finds out about his children. One thing leads to another, and soon Caractacus and Truly are reprising "Hushabye Mountain". They and the children plot revenge on the evil Baron and Baroness.

The next day - Baron Bomburst's birthday - dawns, and the Baron and Baroness sing a song in which they profess their love for one another, ("Chootchy Face"). It soon becomes obvious that the Baron's pleas are fake, and the Baroness' appear to be sincere. The baron attempts to kill the Baroness in various ways throughout the song, and is clearly annoyed each time because he never succeeds. At the Baron's birthday party, all is not going well. The Baroness cheers her husband up by summoning the toymaker, who brings in the Baron's birthday presents. There are two toys: a musical doll, and a clown - Caractacus and Truly in disguise.

The children flee into the crowd of people attending the crowd. Caractacus and Truly rush through the castle looking for Jeremy and Jemima. They knock down the door where the children are being held prisoner, and enjoy a happy reunion.

During the battle, both Chitty and Grandpa find their way back to the family, and Chitty flies back to England, with all good Vulgarians happy. The Baron and Baroness are trapped in a cage, and the Child-Catcher hangs suspended in a net which is on the roof of the banqueting hall.

Back at the seaside, Jeremy and Jemima finish the story themselves: "And Daddy and Truly were married!" "And lived happily ever after!" Truly asks hopefully, "Is that how the story ends?" Caractacus botches it up by not directly answering. He messes things up further while trying to "apologize" for the children's ending. Words are exchanged, and Truly storms off, offended by Caractacus' attempt to explain that their social differences are too great for them to be married.

They get home, and find Lord Scrumptious there! It turns out he is Grandpa's former Brigadier, and has some wonderful news for Caractacus: he could be very rich! The whistling sweets he invented previously are useless for humans, but wonderful for dogs. Thus begins the product "toot sweets" which have been renamed "Woof Sweets"! Caractacus is about to sign the contract, but dashes off in Chitty to tell Truly the good news.

He runs her off the road (for the third time) and finds out that she already knows. He rescues her from the car, and they stare into each other's eyes for a moment, then kiss. It is decided that they will be married after all. As they drive off together in Chitty, the car takes to the air again, this time without wings.


*Dick Van Dyke .... Caractacus Potts, an inventor who invents Chitty.
*Sally Ann Howes .... Truly Scrumptious, the young, only daughter of a millionaire confectionare.
*Lionel Jeffries .... Grandpa Potts, Caractacus's eccentric father.
*Gert Fröbe .... Baron Bomburst, the cruel yet comedic monarch of Vulgaria.
*Anna Quayle .... Baroness Bomburst, his doting wife, who despises children.
*Benny Hill .... Toymaker, a poor native of Vulgaria who serves the baron.
*James Robertson Justice .... Lord Scrumptious, Truly's pompous father.
*Robert Helpmann .... Child Catcher, the grotesque servant of the Baroness who murders the children of Vulgaria.
*Heather Ripley .... Jemima, Caractacus' daughter and Jeremy's twin sister.
*Adrian Hall .... Jeremy, Caractacus' son and Jemima's twin brother.
*Barbara Windsor .... Blonde
*Davy Kaye .... Admiral
*Alexander Doré .... First spy
*Bernard Spear .... Second spy
*Stanley Unwin .... Chancellor
*Peter Arne .... Captain of Guard
*Desmond Llewellyn .... Coggins
*Victor Maddern .... Junk man
*Arthur Mullard .... Big man
*Ross Parker .... Chef
*Gerald Campion, Felix Felton, Monti de Lyle .... Ministers
*Tottie Truman Taylor .... Duchess
*Larry Taylor .... Lieutenant
*Max Bacon .... Orchestra leader
*Max Wall, John Heawood, Michael Darbyshire, Kenneth Waller, Gerald Taylor, Eddie Davis .... Inventors
*Michael Audreson* .... Peter

* Not credited on-screen.

ongs/musical numbers

Memorable songs include:
# "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang"
# "Truly Scrumptious"
# "Hushabye Mountain"
# "Me Ol' Bamboo"
# "Toot Sweets"
# "The Roses Of Success"
# "Lovely Lonely Man"
# "You Two"
# "Chu-Chi Face"
# "Posh!"
# "Doll On A Music Box"
# "Doll On A Music Box/Truly Scrumptious"
# "Come to the Funfair"

"Doll On A Music Box" is sung near the end of the musical by Truly and is a musical counterpoint, also being sung simultaneously with Caractacus' rendition of the song "Truly Scrumptious". Two songs apparently intended for the film but ultimately relegated only to instrumental background music are "Come to the Funfair" and the "Vulgarian National Anthem"; they were published with lyrics in the sheet music along with the other film songs when the movie was released. The stage version restores these two as vocal numbers. The Sherman Brothers also were hired to write several new songs for the stage production including "Think Vulgar!" which was replaced in 2003 with "Act English", "Kiddy-Widdy-Winkies", "Teamwork" and "The Bombie Samba"

Two songs stand out for the use of musical instruments in the orchestra: "Toot Sweets" – especially in the motion picture – employs a multitude of flutes; and the subject of "Me Ol' Bamboo" is aurally suggested by the xylophone (and accompanies Potts performing a Morris dance with a troupe).


The original soundtrack album, as was typical of soundtrack albums up until the 1980's, presented mostly songs with very few instrumental tracks. The songs were also edited, with specially recorded intros and outros and most instrumental portions removed, due both to time limitations of the vinyl LP and the long-held belief that listeners would not be interested in listening to long instrumental dance portions during the songs.

The soundtrack has been released to CD twice, both releases utilizing the original LP masters rather than going back to the original music masters to compile a more complete soundtrack album with underscoring and complete versions of songs. The 1997 Rykodisc release included several quick bits of dialogue from the film between some of the tracks and has been out of circulation for quite a while. On February 24, 2004, a few short months after MGM released the movie on a 2-Disc Special Edition DVD, Varese Sarabande reissued a newly remastered soundtrack album without the dialogue tracks, restoring it to its original 1968 LP format.


# Chitty Chitty Bang Bang ^
# Elephant +
# You Two
# If I May +
# Toot Sweets
# Hushabye Mountain
# Come to the Funfair (the tune and background lyrics are here, not the entire song as it was cut from the movie)
# Me 'Ol Bam-Boo
# Potts The Optimist +
# Chitty Chitty Bang Bang ^+
# Truly Scrumptious
# All Engines +
# Chitty Chitty Bang Bang ^++
# Lovely Lonely Man
# Posh!
# Hushabye Mountain (Reprise)
# The Roses Of Success
# Hang On +
# Chu-Chi Face
# Doll On A Music Box/Truly Scrumptious
# Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Finale)
# A Happy Ending +
# Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Main Title)
# Chitty Speaks +

^ - instrumental used for the film's "exit music"
+ - dialogue track only included on the Rykodisc release
^+ - first vocal performance from the film
^++ - second vocal performance from the film


* The inventor's interesting contraptions were made by Frederick Roland Emett - the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto has a large collection of them and displays them annualy around Christmastime.
* Because of his comment 'This will out-Disney Disney', Van Dyke was banned from doing Disney productions for several years. However, Van Dyke was honored as a Disney Legend in 1998.
* The late Robert Helpmann, who played the 'Child-Catcher', was well-liked by the child actors. After each day's filming, he would give the children his wax facial add-ons.
* Lionel Jeffries (10th June 1926), who played Grandpa, is actually 6 months younger than Dick Van Dyke (13th December 1925).
*Barbara Windsor, most famous for the campy "Carry On" films and as Peggy Mitchell in "EastEnders", appears briefly as the wife of Arthur Mullard who was subjected to Potts' automatic haircut machine.
*The song "You Two" was parodied in an episode of "Family Guy", entitled "Peter's Got Woods" (aired 9/11/2005), as Peter duets with actor James Woods on a re-written version of the song.
*The Sherman Brothers, famous for their creation of the word 'Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious' for the film "Mary Poppins" (1964), also coined a word for the title song of "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang", which was 'fantasmagorical'. Although there was always the word 'Phantasmagoria', until the release of the 1968 motion picture, there was no record of the 'F' spelling or the 'al' suffix which cobbles the root word into the adjective form. 'Fantasmagorical', as a descriptive, was subsequently used in many of the promotional materials to describe the film and later on, the London West End and Broadway stage musicals. In a maguffin gag of a classic Warner Brothers cartoon featuring Daffy Duck and an Elmer Fudd-esque hunter woe-betiding the unseen writing on a sheet of paper (held in a valise by an unnamed crying duck character), Daffy mentions that the message on the paper is not only horrible... "It's fantasmagorical!" It is not known which spelling was used in the script.
*Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the car of the film, was not a pre-1930s car at all. Four cars of this type were purpose-built in 1967 for the film, and these, due to using Ford Zodiac Essex 3.0L V6s, would easily keep up with the fastest vehicles of the day. Different Chittys did different duties (i.e. one was set up for floating out at sea - it was mounted on a speed boat and was remote controlled), and Chitty did actually fly (a partial car – hood only – being mounted underneath a helicopter in certain scenes).
* The car appeared in a humorous Public information film aimed at motorists, intended to remind them to pay their vehicle excise duty. Ironically, there was criticism as the car was technically exempt from VED (commonly known as Road tax). All cars registered before January 1, 1973 are exempt from vehicle excise duty in the UK, though they have to display a tax disc saying so. Appropriately enough, the PIF was a parody of the film.
*The full name "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" is spoken (as opposed to sung or chanted) only once, by Jemima just after Truly has joined the picnic outing:::Jemima: It's called Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. ::Truly: That's a curious name for a motor car.
*In examples of American advertising for the film, Chitty was depicted as a left hand drive car. In the film, being based in the United Kingdom, Chitty is right hand drive.
*Truly Scrumptious drives a yellow Humber 1909 in the film, with the registration plate 'CUB 1'. This plate was an in-film wink to Albert R. Broccoli (the film's producer) whose nickname was 'Cubby'. The original car, which was an antique, was a standard shift and proved too difficult for star Sally Ann Howes to drive; it was also a different color and the owners refused to allow the production to repaint it, therefore, a new Humber 1909 was built, and this one was automatic and painted to the production designer's liking.
*Michael Audreson, who would later become better known as Brains in the children's comedy series "Here Come the Double Deckers", appears uncredited as Peter, one of the imprisoned children of Vulgaria.
* Dick van Dyke portrays an English character, yet oddly, he speaks with an American accent, in contrast to even his own children and Grandpa Potts.
* The character of Coggins, the junkyard dealer who sells the car to Caractacus Potts, is played by Desmond Llewelyn, the same actor who plays Q, the person in charge of developing all the gadgets in the James Bond films. He is reunited with Bond producer Albert R. Broccoli and "Goldfinger" villain Gert Frobe.
* Marilyn Manson Wrote a song called Shitty Shitty Gang bang, an Obvious take on the Movie's Title.


* Scrumptious Mansion - Heatherden Hall at Pinewood Studios in Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, England
* Windmill/Cottage - Cobstone Windmill in Ibstone, near Turville, Buckinghamshire, England
* Duck Pond - Russell's Water, Oxfordshire, England
* Beach - Cap Taillat in St. Tropez, France
* Baron Bomburst's castle - Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria
* Bridge where spies attempt to blow up Chitty - Iver Bridge, Iver, Buckinghamshire, England
* Bridge where spies kidnap Lord Scrumptious - Ilmer Bridge, Ilmer, Buckinghamshire, England
* The Church that the family in Chitty drive past - St. Mary the Virgin - Hambleden, Buckinghamshire, England
* Vulgarian village - Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany
* Lighthouse and white cliffs Beachy Head, East Sussex
* Rock spires in the ocean - The Needles stacks, Isle of Wight, Alum Bay, Hampshire, England


ee also

*Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (car)

External links

*imdb title|id=0062803|title=Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
* [ MGM's website for the DVD edition of the movie]
* [ Chitty Chitty Bang Bang... more than meets the eye]
* [ Chitty fan page]

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