Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

4.9 23
Director: Ken Hughes

Cast: Dick Van Dyke, Sally Ann Howes, Lionel Jeffries

     
 

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One of the stars of Walt Disney's Mary Poppins, Dick Van Dyke, is re-united with that film's composer and lyricist, Richard M.Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, in this big budget and bloodless children's fantasy musical, based on the children's book by James Bond author Ian Fleming. Van Dyke plays Caractacus Potts, a failed inventor who lives in a big house withSee more details below

Overview

One of the stars of Walt Disney's Mary Poppins, Dick Van Dyke, is re-united with that film's composer and lyricist, Richard M.Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, in this big budget and bloodless children's fantasy musical, based on the children's book by James Bond author Ian Fleming. Van Dyke plays Caractacus Potts, a failed inventor who lives in a big house with his two children -- Jemima Heather Ripley and Jeremy Adrian Hall -- and eccentric father Lionel Jeffries. Potts has to raise 30 shillings so his children can buy a broken-down racing car from the junkyard. After a disastrous attempt to sell his invention of whistling sweets to Lord Scrumptious (James Robertson-Justice), the local candy maker, he finally gets enough money for the car by doing a Dick Van Dyke dance routine at the county fair. Potts takes the car and miraculously transforms the vehicle into a shiny new car named Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. While on a picnic with the children and Truly Scrumptious (Sally Ann Howes), Lord Scrumptious' beautiful daughter, Potts concocts a fantasy tale about the magical powers of the car, which can now float on water and fly. In the tale, Baron Bomburst (Gert Frobe) wants the car for himself and kidnaps the automobile and the inventor. But Bomburst captures Grandpa by mistake along with the wrong car, so Potts, Truly, and the children have to enlist Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on a rescue mission to Bomburst's lair to save Grandpa.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Donald Liebenson
Based on a children's book by James Bond creator Ian Fleming, the 1968 musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang has never enjoyed critical cachet. Yet, thanks to Dick Van Dyke's energetic performance, its flights of high-flying fantasy, wacky inventions, and Oscar-nominated title song, it holds a special place in viewers' hearts. Van Dyke stars as crackpot inventor Caractacus Potts, who lives in the English countryside with his two children and their dotty grandfather. The first hour sputters along, as Potts's various inventions, including Toot Sweets, a candy/whistle, backfire. But with the introduction of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang -- a junked race car that Potts restores -- the film switches gears into fantasy overdrive, as Chitty flies, floats, and generally thwarts efforts by the buffoonish Baron Bomburst to capture her. The music by Richard and Robert Sherman lacks the magic of their earlier Mary Poppins score, but the rollicking "Me Ol' Bamboo" and the lovely lullaby "Hushabye Mountain" keep things rolling. Bond buffs will delight in the appearance of Desmond "Q" Llewelyn as a junkyard dealer, and Gert "Goldfinger" Frobe as the Baron; while the heroine's name, "Truly Scrumptious," will also raise an eyebrow. Benny Hill shows up as the toy maker who aids Potts and his family, making this a cameo lover's must-see. Chittyhas been fired up and polished for the two-disc Special Edition, which boasts a 2003 interview with Van Dyke, vintage production featurettes, a sing-along option, and a 34-page storybook.
All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
By the end of the 1960s, the financial failure of big-budget films like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang started the final descent of the traditional film musical. However, while it is hardly a classic, it is fondly remembered by many who grew up with it. The basic story ingredients -- crackpot inventor, beautiful love interest, magic car, exotic settings -- are perfectly fine, but somehow the mixture fails to gel. Part of the problem is the tone of the film, which is often overly arch or cloying. Much of the dialogue just doesn't work, and the film is much too long and never as inventive as it needs to be. The score is very hummable, with many numbers -- the title song, "Truly Scrumptious," "Hushabye Mountain," "Toot Sweets" -- that stay with the audience long after the movie is over. Although the kids are a bit much, Dick Van Dyke is appealing and handles the material well; his dancing is, as always, delightful. Sally Ann Howes is a lovely and charming Truly, and Anna Quayle makes the most of her brief supporting role. As the Child Catcher, Robert Helpmann is perhaps too disturbing for little ones. The special effects are not very impressive, but the scenery is quite attractive. There's enough here to make the film worth viewing, but overall it's a missed opportunity at a great family film.

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Product Details

Release Date:
12/04/1992
UPC:
0027616164735
Original Release:
1968
Rating:
G
Source:
Mgm (Video & Dvd)

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Dick Van Dyke Caractacus Potts
Sally Ann Howes Truly Scrumptious
Lionel Jeffries Grandpa Potts
Gert Fröbe Baron Bomburst
Anna Quayle Baroness Bomburst
Benny Hill Toymaker
James Robertson Justice Lord Scrumptious
Robert Helpmann Child Catcher
Heather Ripley Jemima
Barbara Windsor Blonde
Davy Kaye Admiral
Bernard Spear Second Spy
Alexander Dore First Spy
Stanley Unwin Chancellor
Peter Arne Capt.of Guard
Desmond Llewelyn Coggins
Victor Maddern Junkman
Arthur Mullard Big Man
Ross Parker Chef
Gerald Campion Minister
Felix Felton Minister
Monte de Lyle Minister
Totti Truman Taylor Actor
Larry Taylor Lieutenant
Max Bacon Orchestra Leader
Max Wall Inventor
John Heawood Actor
Michael Darbyshire Actor
Gerald Taylor Inventors
John Baskcomb Chef
Adrian Hall Jeremy Potts
Totti Truman Taylor Duchess
Kenneth Waller Actor
Richard Wattis Secretary at Sweet Factory

Technical Credits
Ken Hughes Director,Screenwriter
Ken Adam Production Designer
Gus Agosti Asst. Director
Vic Armstrong Stunts
Marc Breaux Choreography
Joan Bridge Costumes/Costume Designer
Albert R. Broccoli Producer
Christopher G. Challis Cinematographer
Roald Dahl Screenwriter
Elizabeth Haffenden Costumes/Costume Designer
Fred Hynes Sound/Sound Designer
Irwin Kostal Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Richard Maibaum Screenwriter
John W. Mitchell Sound/Sound Designer
Harry Pottle Art Director
Richard M. Sherman Score Composer,Songwriter
Robert B. Sherman Score Composer,Songwriter
John Shirley Editor
John Stears Special Effects
Dee Dee Wood Choreography

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