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Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) Poster

Trivia

In an interview during filming in October 1967 Dick Van Dyke revealed that he only accepted the role of Caracatus Potts on the condition that he would not have to attempt an English accent. This was after Van Dyke's attempt at a Cockney accent in Mary Poppins (1964) had been widely mocked by critics.
In an interview with Rosie O'Donnell, Sally Ann Howes reported that despite the difficulty of the choreography of the song "Doll on a Music Box", she was able to film it in one take.
The musical number 'Toot Sweets' took three weeks to film and involved 38 dancers, 40 singers, 85 musicians and 100 dogs.
Dick Van Dyke originally turned the part down but was repeatedly offered the part with more money added in each offer. When the offer reached seven figures plus a percentage of the profits, he accepted the role.
Baron Bomburst's castle is Neuschwanstein, built between 1869 and 1886 for the Bavarian King Ludwig II, "The Mad King of Bavaria". This castle is also famously known as the model for the Sleeping Beauty (1959) Castle at Disneyland, which was the symbol of the Disney television program Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color (1954) aka "Walt Disney Presents" aka "Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color".
Seven different Chitties were built: a worn-out one, a restored one, one for the flying scenes, one for the water scenes and three partial models for various other scenes.
According to Dick Van Dyke, director Ken Hughes hated children and Van Dyke would often have to tell him to stop cursing in front of the child actors.
Lionel Jeffries played Dick Van Dyke's father, despite the fact that Dick Van Dyke is actually six months older than Jeffries.
The film "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" has a different story than the original book by James Bond creator Ian Fleming. The screen story was a creation of children's-book author Roald Dahl (of James and the Giant Peach (1996), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), etc.), who had recently written the screen story of You Only Live Twice (1967), the first Bond film to deviate severely from the original Fleming book. Fleming's "Chitty" story was about the Potts family and their flying motorcar who rescue a French candy maker and his family from ordinary gangsters led by Joe the Monster. The story of "Vulgaria" is entirely a Dahl creation, full of his distinctive stock characters and situations. Dahl also came up with the character name Truly Scrumptious, which is possibly a tribute to Fleming's stock of female characters with playful names such as Honey Ryder, Pussy Galore, and Kissy Suzuki.
The role of Truly Scrumptious was originally offered to Julie Andrews, but she declined. Sally Ann Howes had replaced Julie Andrews in the Broadway company of "My Fair Lady" when Andrews went to London in the musical, so Howes was offered the role.
Has the distinction of being the only (and final) non-James Bond film produced by Albert R. Broccoli after the Bond series began. This is because the novel on which the movie is based was written by Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond.
Dick Van Dyke had appeared in two Walt Disney movies prior to this. In a press release he quipped, "This will out-Disney Disney."
The name Toot Sweet is a play on "tout de suite", a French expression meaning "right away" or "quickly".
The first non-Walt Disney film to feature songs by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman.
Heather Ripley recalled that she did not realize until much later that Dick Van Dyke was an alcoholic when the film was made.
In a 2011 episode of SyFy Channel's Hollywood Treasure (2010) Dick Van Dyke got to sit in the "hero" car for the first time in over 40 years, and noted that he could have purchased it for $30,000 after the movie wrapped. This is the car that was offered on eBay for $1,000,000. Later in the episode, the car auction was expanded to bidders at the auction house, but failed to receive any bids. However, after auction negotiations, Chitty-Chitty sold for a reported $800,000.
The name "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" was inspired by a series of actual race cars named "Chitty Bang Bang" - I, II, etc - in the early 1920s, notable for their use of enormous aircraft engines.
Phil Collins 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.
While not the huge financial failure it had often been described as, the film did nevertheless lose money on its release and received generally negative reviews.
Robert Helpmann (the Child Catcher) took his top set of false teeth out to aid his gaunt pinched face. It also helped produce his creepy voice, as he 'hisses' whenever he speaks.
With a running time of approx. two hours and 20 minutes, it's one of the longest children's film in history, certainly for its time. It wouldn't be until the next millennium, with the Harry Potter films, that films for children of such length would be made again.
Whilst filming one of the scenes where the Child Catcher rides his horse and carriage out of the village, the Cage/Carriage uptilted with Robert Helpmann on board. Dick Van Dyke recalls Helpmann being able to swing out of the carriage and literally skip across the crashing vehicle. Van Dyke claims Helpmann did this with incredible grace and much like a dancer - which was Helpmann's original claim to fame.
When the production filmed in the German town of Rothenburg on the Tauber, some locals were used. Senior citizens were cast as the townspeople of Vulgaria, while the local university's riding teams played the Vulgarian soldiers.
Many parallels are drawn between Vulgaria's situation and the WWII resistances against the Nazis. Of particular note is the Childcatcher's tactic which resembles one used by Nazi scientist Josef Mengele. Mengle is noted for his eugenic experimentation and torture often with children, to whom he would offer candy to gain their trust.
Dick Van Dyke's character was named for Caractacus, the last independent ruler of England before the Roman conquest of southern England.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang's main song was used as a wake up call for Commander Pamela Ann Melroy and the Space Shuttle Discovery crew on November 7, 2007.
Helpmann's character has often been named as one of the scariest characters ever to be brought on screen. Not only did it make it into Empire magazine, but also onto Channel 4's 100 Scariest Movie Moments. The Child Catcher was the inspiration for Marilyn Manson's "Smells Like Children" EP. The title and cover art, as well as Manson's outfit and appearance during the album, reference the Robert Helpmann character.
In his 2011 autobiography "Dick Van Dyke: My Lucky Life In and Out Of Show Business", Dick Van Dyke revealed that he did not get along with producer Albert R. Broccoli or director Ken Hughes during filming.
The scenes in and around Baron Bomburst's castle in Vulgaria were shot on location at King Ludwig II's Castle Neuschwanstein, located at the foot of the Alps on the German-Austrian border.
According to Dick Van Dyke, the Vulgarian adventure was written to be "real," with the "fantasy narrative" aspect being a last minute addition to the script.
Child actress Heather Ripley (Jemima)'s only feature film.
The current owner of the Chitty car is director Peter Jackson. He could be seen near the WETA Workshop in New Zealand driving cast members of The Hobbit films around in the car while playing the main theme song through a sound system.
The colors of the floating Chitty - purple, green, and white - were the colors of the women's suffrage movement of that time.
Dick Van Dyke, who was smoking up to 40 cigarettes a day, found the dance numbers very demanding.
The original book "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" was written by the creator of "James Bond", Ian Fleming. In "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" three actors from "James Bond" films appear: Gert Fröbe and Desmond Llewelyn and Anna Quayle.
The original Broadway production of the stage musical "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" opened at the Hilton Theater in New York on April 28, 2005 and ran for 285 performances.
Lionel Jeffries, who played Grandpa Potts, was actually six months younger than Dick Van Dyke.
Director Ken Hughes reportedly hated the finished film.
The license number for Truly's car, CUB 1, was the car number for producer Albert R. Broccoli, who was known as Cubby.
The sound of the name Caractacus Potts is meant to resemble "crackpot," a common expression for a fool, reflecting how most of Mr. Potts' neighbours view him.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang's number registration plate "GEN 11" is now registered to a 2014 Honda Jazz
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James Robertson Justice had a stroke shortly after filming ended and had to give up acting.
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When the balloon arrives in Vulgaria, Grandpa Pott's shack in on the ground. A set of steps is wheeled up to the gondola so the Admiral and crew can disembark. On the side of the steps is printed "VULG-AIR."
Voted number 14 in Channel 4's (UK) "Greatest Family Films".
Bomburst's medals and ribbons are also the colors of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang floating device.
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Chitty's license plate is "GENII" which can be read as "Genie", hinting that the car is magic.
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While the character, played by Bernhard Spear, assumes to be very cowardly, his awards, on his uniform, state him as quite heroic, and being quite faithful to Kaiser Franz Josef. He has several highly distinguished medals, including the Maria Theresia Award, the highest award that can be bestowed on a man in the Austrian Armed Forces.
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In an interview, Christopher Challis said the scene in the village, when the children run out of the toy shop to the child catcher, who is dressed in disguise, turned out to be the hardest to film. He said: "It was filmed on location, in a Germany village, on the Austrian border, most of the locals were either uneducated or had very little education, like many people of their day, and could only speak German and Latin fluently. After two days of trying to film it, one of the crewmen, whose father had worked in Old Hollywood, said: "I know somebody we can get ahold of who speaks German fluently." The next day, Hedy (Hedy Lamarr) showed up on the set, and after talking to the director, she went over to talk to the locals. After that, she went over to the children and talked to them. However, you have to remember, Hedy had seen it from both sides, with English being a foreign language to her. Basically, Hedy told the children to just do what the director said and ignore what the locals were yelling at them. It was great, because Hedy was the only person, there, that actually knew what the locals were saying to the children. It was weird, when you look at it, because a man who grew up in Los Angeles, whose father worked in films in Old Hollywood, was working on a film in Germany, contacted a woman from Austria, whom he knew could speak German fluently. Like the Roman Catholics say: "The Lord moves in mysterious ways."
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