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Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Original Theatrical poster
Directed by Ken Hughes
Produced by Albert R. Broccoli
Stanley Sopel
Written by Roald Dahl
Ken Hughes
Richard Maibaum (additional dialogue)
Based on book:
Ian Fleming
Starring Dick Van Dyke
Sally Ann Howes
Adrian Hall
Heather Ripley
Lionel Jeffries
Music by Richard M. Sherman
Robert B. Sherman
Irwin Kostal
Cinematography Christopher Challis
Editing by John Shirley
Distributed by United Artists
Release date(s) 16 December 1968
Running time 144 minutes
Country UK
Language English

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 Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: The Magical Car. 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 (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.

Contents

Plot

Set in the 1910s, the story opens with Jeremy and Jemima Potts, who live with their widowed father Caractacus Potts, an eccentric inventor, and his equally peculiar father. While skipping school, they meet Truly, a beautiful upper-class woman with her own motorcar, who brings them home to report their truancy to their father. Truly shows interest in Caractacus' odd inventions, but he is affronted by her attempts to tell him that his children should be in school.

The children have grown fond of a wrecked racing motorcar, and implore their father to buy it before it is sold for scrap. Discovering that one of the candies he has invented can be played like a flute, he tries unsuccessfully to sell the "toot sweet" to Truly's father Lord Scrumptious, a major confection manufacturer. He takes his automatic hair-cutting machine to the fair in an effort to raise money, but it malfunctions. He "hides" from an angry customer by joining a song and dance act, stealing the show and earning enough from tips to pay for the car.

He restores the car, which he nicknames Chitty Chitty Bang Bang for the noises its engine makes, and he and the children, accompanied by Truly, go for a picnic on the beach, where Truly becomes very fond of the Potts family and vice versa. Caractacus tells them a story about nasty Baron Bomburst, the tyrant ruler of fictional Vulgaria, who wants to steal Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and keep it all for himself:

In the story, the quartet and the car are stranded by high tide, but Chitty suddenly deploys huge flotation devices and they escape inland. The Baron sends two comical spies ashore to capture the car for him, but they briefly capture Lord Scrumptious by accident, and then kidnap Grandpa Potts, mistaking him for his son. Caractacus, Truly, and the children see him being taken away by zeppelin, and give chase. When they accidentally drive off a cliff, Chitty sprouts wings and a propeller and begins to fly.

They track him to Vulgaria, where Baroness Bomburst orders the imprisonment of all children, which she abhors. Grandpa the "inventor" has been charged by the baron to make another floating car, and bluffing to avoid punishment. The Potts party is hidden by a local toymaker, who is now resigned to working only for the baron. The children are captured by the baron's childcatcher, and Chitty is discovered and taken to the castle.

The toymaker takes Truly and Caractacus to a grotto far beneath the castle where the townspeople have been hiding their children, and they concoct a scheme to free the Pottses and the village from the baron. The toymaker sneaks them into the castle disguised as life-size dolls, gifts for the baron's birthday. Caractacus snares the Baron and the town's children swarm the banquet hall. In the ensuing chaos, the baron, baroness, and childcatcher are all captured. The Pottses are freed and fly back with Truly to England.

Jeremy and Jemima finish the story themselves: "And Daddy and Truly were married!" which Truly seems to find appealing, but Caractacus is evasive, believing that the class distance between them is too great. But when Lord Scrumptious surprises them with an offer to the buy the Toot Sweet, Caractactus realizes that he has become wealthy, and rushes off to propose to Truly. As they drive off together in Chitty, the car takes to the air again, this time without wings.

Cast

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang landing in Vulgaria.

Songs/musical numbers

Memorable songs include:

  1. "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang"
  2. "Truly Scrumptious"
  3. "Hushabye Mountain"
  4. "Me Ol' Bamboo"
  5. "Toot Sweets"
  6. "The Roses of Success"
  7. "Lovely Lonely Man"
  8. "You Two"
  9. "Chu-Chi Face"
  10. "Posh!"
  11. "Doll on a Music Box"
  12. "Doll on a Music Box/Truly Scrumptious"
  13. "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).

Soundtrack

The original soundtrack album, as was typical of soundtrack albums up until the 1980s, 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.

Tracklisting

  1. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang ^
  2. Elephant +
  3. You Two
  4. If I May +
  5. Toot Sweets
  6. Hushabye Mountain
  7. Come to the Funfair (the tune and background lyrics are here, not the entire song as it was cut from the movie)
  8. Me 'Ol Bam-Boo
  9. Potts The Optimist +
  10. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang ^+
  11. Truly Scrumptious
  12. All Engines +
  13. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang ^++
  14. Lovely Lonely Man
  15. Posh!
  16. Hushabye Mountain (Reprise)
  17. The Roses Of Success
  18. Hang On +
  19. Chu-Chi Face
  20. Doll On A Music Box/Truly Scrumptious
  21. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Finale)
  22. A Happy Ending +
  23. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Main Title)
  24. 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

Locations

Reception

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. Movie critic and historian Leonard Maltin considered the picture "one big Edsel, with totally forgettable score and some of the shoddiest special effects ever."

Novelisation of film

Novelisation of the film by John Burke, published by Pan Books

The film did not actually follow Fleming's novel particularly closely, so a novelisation of the film was published around the time the film was released. It basically followed the plot of the film, but there were a few differences of tone and emphasis, e.g. it mentioned that Caractacus Potts had had difficulty coping after the death of his wife, and it made it clearer that the sequences including Baron Bomburst were extended fantasy sequences. It was written by John Burke, but it was not clearly credited to him and some people who read it may have been under the impression that this was Fleming's original novel.

Remake

A remake of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is possibly in the works. EON Productions, the producers of the James Bond films, purchased the rights to make an adaptation, and plan to make the film under the partnership of Sony Pictures. It is one of the many new non-Bond films in development at EON.[1]

References

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was a 1968 children's film based on a 1964 novel by Ian Fleming, and made by a team which included many who had worked on the James Bond series.

Contents

Grandpa Potts

  • Nasty smelly things, motorcars!
  • Never say ‘no' to adventures. Always say ‘yes,' otherwise you'll lead a very dull life.
  • [reading a book out loud] And the big brown bear came lolloping over the mountain. 'No, no!' the princess cried.

Caractacus Potts

  • You'll find a slight squeeze on the hooter an excellent safety precaution, Miss Scrumptious.
  • [to Truly] Maybe my children like running wild in the street. Had that occured to you?

Child Catcher

  • There are children here somewhere. I can smell them.
  • Come along, kiddie-winkies!
  • [to the Toymaker] I don't trust a man who makes toys in a land where children are forbidden.
  • [threatening the Toymaker] The Baroness will have your teeth for a necklace, and your eyes for earrings.
  • Let me tell you something, Toymaker. This nose of mine has never failed me. And if there are children here, my friend... you will die. [laughs maniacally]

Dialogue

Jemimah: He's awful!
Jeremy: He's terrible!
Caractacus Potts: Not only that, he isn't even nice!

Caractacus Potts: Do you think Coggins might do a deal, so much a week?
Grandpa: Coggins? That lives down the road? Sure. He wouldn't light your pipe if his house was on fire.

Caractacus Potts: How was India, Grandpa?
Grandpa: How was India? I'll tell you how India was. I got up this morning and I shot an elephant in my pajamas.
Grandpa, Caractacus, Jemimah, and Jeremy: How an elephant got in my pajamas, I shall never know.
Grandpa: You've heard it before.
[They all laugh.]

Truly Scrumptious: I've never been...
Caractacus Potts: Spoken to like that? Well, maybe it's about time!

Caractacus Potts: The nerve of that woman! Coming in here and telling me how to raise my children! Do I need someone telling me how to raise my children? Do I? Where is my cardigan?
Jemimah: Under your jacket.
Caractacus Potts: Under-.Yes. Self-righteous busy body. Well, she won't be bothering us anymore.
Jemimah: But I liked her.
Jeremy: So did I. She was very pretty.
Caractacus Potts: She certainly was. Do you think your father's a crackpot?
Jeremy: Your cardigan's inside out.
Caractacus Potts: What? Oh. Do you think your father's a lunatic? Wasting my time on a lot of silly inventions?
Jemimah: But they aren't silly! They're wonderful!
Jeremy: Nobody else can think of them.
Caractacus Potts: That's right! That is right! Nobody else can think of them.

Truly Scrumptious: [after Potts kisses her] Well, Mr. Potts!
Caractacus Potts: What's wrong?
Truly Scrumptious: Now you'll have to marry me!
[They laugh as they head for the car.]

Truly Scrumptious: Wh-what are you going to do?
Caractacus Potts: I'm going to carry you.
Truly Scrumptious: Oh dear. Must you?
Caractacus Potts: Well, unless you'd rather ride piggyback.

Truly Scrumptious: What's your name?
Jemimah: I'm Jemima.
Jeremy: And I'm Jeremy.
Jemimah: What's yours?
Truly Scrumptious: Truly.
Jemimah: That's a very pretty name.
Truly Scrumptious: Now, where is your house?
Jeremy: Oh, we don't live in a house.
Jemimah: We live a castle. On top of a hill.
Truly Scrumptious: [laughs] A castle? I didn't know there were any castles around here.
Jemimah: Well, it isn't a castle exactly.
Jeremy: That's what Daddy calls it. He says King Alfred used to live there hundreds of years ago.
Truly Scrumptious: And does your Daddy know you aren't in school?
Jemimah: Oh, he won't mind. He never does.
Jeremy: Anyway, he's awful busy.
Truly Scrumptious: Is he? Well, he'll have to find time to see me because I have a few things to say to him.

[The two spies are thrown off the baron's blimp and into the sea]
Second Spy: What do we do now?
First Spy: Start swimming!
Second Spy: I can't swim!
First Spy: Then start drowning! [swims away]

Truly Scrumptious: What an unusual car.
Jeremy: Daddy made it.
Truly Scrumptious: [laughs] Oh? And it actually goes?
Jemimah: It's called Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Truly Scrumptious: That's a curious name for a motorcar.
Jemimah: But that's the sound it makes. Listen.

Caractacus Potts: And after that, Vulgaria became a free country and all the children laughed and played in the sunshine, and they were very, very happy. And Chitty flew high over the mountains back to England, everyone safe and sound, and...
Jemimah: And Daddy and Truly were married.
Jeremy: And lived happily ever after.
Jemimah: Yes!
Truly Scrumptious: Is that how the story ends?
Caractacus Potts: [pauses] It's getting late. We'd better be getting back. [gets out to restart the car]

Caractacus Potts: Truly! I'm sorry about the children. I hope they didn't embarrass you.
Truly Scrumptious: In what way?
Caractacus Potts: Why, that silly joke about us getting married. Well, you know how kids are.
Truly Scrumptious: Yes, I understand.
Caractacus Potts: Well, I don't think they realize how ridiculous that would be.
Truly Scrumptious: Ridiculous?
Caractacus Potts: Well, yes. Well, the factory, and your father and all. It's a different world, Truly.
Truly Scrumptious: You know, if I said something like that, you'd call me a snob.
Caractacus Potts: [realizes his mistake] What? I didn't mean sn...
Truly Scrumptious: [offended] Goodbye!

Peter: Sir, have you come to help us? [Catactacus walks over to him] Are you going to help us out of here?
[Catactacus kneels in front of him]
Caractacus Potts: What's your name, son?
Peter: Peter, sir.
Caractacus Potts: [compassionately] Well Peter, you shouldn't be afraid.
[Truly, the Toymaker, and the children listen with interest]
Caractacus Potts: [kindly] Even in a terrible place like this. Because there's always hope. That's what I always tell my children when they're...afraid.

Truly Scrumptious: [referring to helping the children] It's a beautiful dream Caractacus, but I don't see how it's gonna help them.
[Truly looks at the children around them and Caractacus stands up.]
Caractacus Potts: [confidently] You know what we're gonna do? We're gonna get up into that castle!
Toymaker: [incredulous] It is impossible!
Caractacus Potts: Well, we'll see.
[Caractacus runs up to a large water channel and looks at the children watching.]
Caractacus Potts: [loud and clear] Now everyone listen to me! You wanna get out of here, don't you?
[The children cheer and Caractacus moves behind the water channel.]
Caractacus Potts: Tomorrow is Baron Bomburst's birthday, yes?
[The children boo with their thumbs down.]
Caractacus Potts: [proud and confident] Well, we're gonna give him a birthday party he'll never forget!
[The children cheer and gather around as Caractacus makes the plan.]

External links

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