Our Fine Four Fendered Friend - Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Oscar and Golden Globe nominated musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang premiered on December 18, 1968, starring Dick Van Dyke, Sally Ann Howes and Lionel Jeffries. Van Dyke played oddball inventor Caractacus Potts. Potts, the father of two prepubescent munchkins named Jemima and Jeremy, lived in the English countryside with his peculiar father, Grandpa Potts. Times were tough economically, but the family had imagination and knew how to have fun.

The Film and the Music

Jemima and Jeremy frequented the local junkyard, imagining many adventures as they played with a broken down old jalopy. They pleaded with their father to buy it for them and fix it up, having great faith in their father as an inventor. Although times were tough, their father danced his way to raise the 30 shillings needed to buy the clunker. Once Potts got it home however; the wheels began spinning in many ways. And, the uncategorical, fantasmagorical machine, known for over forty years as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, was born. Along with Truly Scrumptious, the family heads to a picnic where Potts spins a yarn about faraway Vulgaria, a land where children are outlawed and the pirates who spirit the family away on a marvelous adventure in the air and on the seas. 

The MGM film, shot on location in the United Kingdom, France and Germany, was filmed in Super Panavision at the Technicolor Laboratory, with special effects such as a flying and water floating car. Ian Fleming of the James Bond book series actually wrote the novel, but the screenplay was written by Roald Dahl and Ken Hughes with little semblance to the original book. Hughes also directed the 142-minute film--reportedly hating the finished product. 

The MGM Trailers/Stills/Music

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Lyrics

Trivia/Quotes

The Stars

Dick Van Dyke...................................Caractacus Potts 

Sally Ann Howes...............................Truly Scrumptious

Lionel Jeffries.....................................Grandpa Potts

Gert Fröbe.........................................Baron Bomburst

Heather Ripley...................................Jemima

Adrian Hall.........................................Jeremy 

Family musicals in the sixties were the perfect comic vehicle for Van Dyke's rubber face and rubber legs singing and dancing antics. Howes, a singer, was quickly snubbed regarding her acting ability. Lionel Jeffries, who played Potts father, was actually younger than Van Dyke. And for years, audience goers swore up and down that Jemima and Jeremy were brother and sister in real life. In reality, they weren't related, but a faction of excellent casting.

The Movie and its Stars

Chitty Bang Bang Synopsis

The Car

There were actually five Chitty Chitty Bang Bang cars created for the movie. Each had different uses in the film from stunts to flying and trailer sequences, to scenes where Chitty was trapped in the water in fictional Vulgaria.

The original Chitty Bang Bang was created in the 1920s by Count Louis Vorrow Zborowksi and Captain Clive Gallop for racing purposes. The original movie car is owned by Pierre Picton who rents it out as it is road worthy.

About Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

The Five Chitty Bang Bangs

The Real and Original Chitty Bang Bang

Miscellaneous

There are over 50 blatant "goofs" in the movie from visible crew to continuity problems to dirty faces. Rent it for the first time or rent it again and see if you can match the "goofs" with the link below. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is now a Broadway musical running since November 18, 2008.

Goofs

Broadway's Chitty Bang Bang

 


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