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Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) Poster

Goofs

Revealing mistakes 

When they get up from the table, the cooking machine is not in operation. However, the "power switch" for the cooking machine is still in the "on" position.
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Anachronisms 

The locomotive overtaken by Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in the main song sequence is a J94 "Austerity" Saddle Tank locomotive. It has the legend "GWR" (Great Western Railway) on the side. The J94 type of engine was not built until the 1940s, and no J94s were ever operated by the Great Western Railway. Also, the GWR livery was a deep green, not blue as shown.
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A tall radio tower is visible in the background during the "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" reprise when they're floating on the water.
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In the opening sequence, the 4 races seen are the "1907 British Grand Prix", the "1908 French Grand Prix", the "1908 German Grand Prix" and the "1909 British Grand Prix". However, there were no British or German Grand Prix until 1926, in Germany the precursor to the Grand Prix was called the "Prinz-Heinrich-Fahrt" in 1908.
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When Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is first hauled back to the Potts' farm, Grandpa Potts is reading a National Geographic with a color cover. National Geographics had text-only covers in 1910.
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Potts is supposedly inventing the first vacuum-cleaner in 1910. The gag fails because the first vacuum-cleaner was already invented in the 1860s and the first electric vacuum-cleaner was invented a few years before 1910.
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Although very beautiful, the gowns worn by Truly Scrumptious are outdated for the time the film is set. If the car was retired in 1909, the film would at least be set in 1910 or later. Truly's outfits were quite stylish from about 1897-1907, but fashion began to change after that, and if she were as rich as she appears to be, would have worn fashions more up-to-date.
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As the spies cross the railway to set up the trap for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, one track has concrete sleepers.
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During the overhead shot of the car driving next to the train, the dotted lines on the paved road are visible.
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Audio/visual unsynchronised 

When the group is on the beach, having their temporarily goofy moments, the camera zooms in on Truly laughing loudly, when she was seen just grinning.
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During the "Toot Sweets" number, some of the whistling is not in sync with the music.
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When everyone is pushing the car, Mr. Potts looks over to Grandfather and says "comfortable grandpa?" His mouth movements do not match the dialog.
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Character error 

Although characters refer to the airship seen in the film as a "zeppelin" strictly speaking it is not. A zeppelin is vehicle with a rigid framework that contains multiple gas cells used to lift the craft into the air. Passenger compartments and mechanical areas are usually within the framework as well. The aircraft seen in the film would be classified as a (semi-rigid) airship.
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During the scene where they take Chitty out for the first time, Grandpa states that he is going to Alaska (statehood established in 1959, movie made in 1968), unfortunately it was referred to as the District of Alaska or the Alaska Territory at that time. Not necessarily inaccurate, but an interesting statement.
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Continuity 

Before the pirate story, we see the car parked in different places on the beach.
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During the birthday party for the Baron, Musicbox dances on a spindle within an opened large box of mirrors. This box is visible on the floor for all the guests to see. When Ragdoll rises from a box, he starts to dance, the camera pulls back and Musicbox is nowhere to be seen. When Ragdoll goes over to sing his duet with her, suddenly Musicbox is visible again.
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Ragdoll at first has big rectangular yellow shoes. He is seen running up the stairs with these same yellow shoes, but when he enters the corridor he is wearing normal black shoes.
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When Edison the dog breaks free of his leash during "Toot Sweets", he drags the push bike over and across to the steps. Two shots later, when the bunch of dogs are running towards the factory, running up the steps and the bike is neatly upright as before.
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In the prologue when Chitty crashes, it is quite obvious that the radiator is damaged in the fire. In the next scene when the children are playing in the soon to be scrapped car, the radiator is fine.
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At the end of the seaside picnic, before Caractacus begins telling the pirate story, Truly ties the picnic basket onto the back of the car. The basket is absent as the car cruises on the water, but reappears when they drive out.
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After "the tide comes in" and we see water around the car, there is one more brief close-up shot where the car is sitting far from the water.
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When Mr Potts is on the "rocket Ramp", the sky changes from clear to cloudy to overcast.
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When Truly's car runs in to the lake, the children's faces are dirty. When they arrive at their house, their faces are clean. However, when they are getting ready to eat, their faces are dirty again.
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When the first Chitty crashes, the front end suspension is badly damaged and the left front wheel is bent. However, when the car arrives at the Potts workshop, the front end is not damaged and the steering works fine.
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The foliage changes back and forth between summer and fall colors during the driving scenes to the beach and the flying scenes as they are approaching Neuschwanstein Castle.
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When Truly joins the Potts' on their picnic, she is wearing her leghorn hat with the scarf tied over it. Both times the family leaves the beach (in the story and after the picnic), she has her scarf but the hat is nowhere to be seen.
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When Mr Potts pushes Chitty Chitty Bang Bang out of his workshop, the tires become coated with sand and dirt from the dirt driveway. In the next shot, the car is in the same place, but the tires are clean.
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In the interior shots of the car when the Professor, Children and Truly are driving in the water at the beach, running away from the Baron's ship, the same mountain is viewed passing by two or three times.
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When the spies are trying to catch the car under the bridge Mr. Scrupmtious crashes through their picture of the tunnel and into the truck but as the car goes through the picture you can see briefly that there isn't anything behind it. In the next cut they go right up the ramp and into the truck.
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The sound of Chitty's engine varies inexplicably between a normal-sounding motor and the "chitty chitty bang bang" pattern.
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The hood area of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang often changes from a highly reflective chrome finish to a less reflective silver finish for the special effects shots.
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When the zeppelin is carrying the privy, the zeppelin appears to be moving much faster than the privy during close up shots of the flight deck of the zeppelin and the privy.
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The main floor of the toy shop is slightly below street level. However, the ceiling of the basement is about 3 feet above the street level.
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The wrinkled table cloth quickly gets smooth before the plates roll down to the table.
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When they enter the shop floor, the windows are all closed. However during the dog invasion, they are open.
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During the shots of the haircut and the man chasing Mr Potts, we see a carousel operating in the background. It is running at full speed during most of the shots. In one shot, it is slowing to a stop. However, about 15 seconds later, we see it at full speed again.
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As the family are preparing the table for dinner, Mr Potts casts the tablecloth over the table, covering the children. In the next shot, camera positioned under the cloth, the children are standing right next to each other. When Mr Potts takes the cloth off, they are standing at least two feet away from each other.
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In the candy factory scene, the colour and cut of Mr. Potts' haircut changes right before the Toot Sweet musical number.
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When Truly first arrives with the children at their house she is wearing a hat. In some shots there are tissues stuffed in the ruffles and in others they have been removed.
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The two spies carry a painting of the bridge and tunnel, wrapped onto a pole about half the length of the tunnel's upper wall. As it drops over the edge, the film jumps due to a cut. The pole suddenly spans the entire length of the wall.
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When Chitty switches to "boat" mode, after the tide comes in, you can see a stick or rod lifting up the propeller in the back. This rod is not present in any other shot where the propeller is visible.
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At the end of the Toot Sweets song Lord Scrumptious is on the right side of the camera near his daughter. But when they cut back to him a second later to make the last note he is on the left side of camera alone.
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During the POSH song, Grandpa drops his pith helmet as the privy jerks downwards and is nowhere in sight for the remainder of the scene, presumably dropping into the sea. However, it has reappeared upon landing at the castle.
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When Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is on the sand bar and Caractacus Potts begins telling his story, the girl Jemima Potts is holding a half-eaten apple. After the boat appears and heads towards them, Jemima is holding a much-less eaten apple, with only a few bites out of it.
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The Goodyear logo on Chitty Chitty Bang Bang's tires switches from white-painted letters to unpainted letters.
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While Truly is singing Lovely Lonely Man in the garden, she goes to sit the bench swing which is in the sun. When she gets up to leave the bench swing is now in he shade of the tree next to it.
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When the Baron and Baroness are singing and dancing before the birthday party, the Baroness is wearing high-heeled shoes, when she falls through the trapdoor she is wearing flat shoes and when she re-appears she is wearing high heels again.
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In one overhead shot of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in the water, racing around the ship, you can tell from the wake that the car was at a full stop seconds before.
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In the last shot of the still-closed barn doors, just before the cut to the children at the window with Jemima saying "It's awfully quiet in there!", the barn door on the left can be seen beginning to open for a split second.
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When the zeppelin is carrying Grandpa's privy, it appears to be at least 25,000 feet up. Seconds later, it is so low that it is hitting the water.
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Crew or equipment visible 

When the Baroness was ejected from the car and the Baron is shooting her down, as the Baroness is falling into the lake we can see the lake disturbed in a circular pattern just before she hits the water. This looks like the downdraft of a helicopter.
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Cable pulling Professor Potts along the ground when he is testing his rocket pack.
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In the seaside picnic scenes, the overhead shot of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang arriving at the beach and leaving the beach show an underwater ramp on the right side (used for when the car was in the water). This is also visible during one of the other beach scenes.
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In Mr Potts's home and workshop, we can see the reflections and shadows from professional lighting equipment.
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Factual errors 

The switch for the cooking machine has wires connected to only one side of the switch.
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Revealing mistakes 

When Chitty comes in to rescue the Potts and Miss Scrumptious, she (Chitty) makes a turn on the floor. The car is clearly turning tighter than the front wheels will allow, it is on a dolly of some kind.
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In the rocket scene, as Mr. Potts is being propelled across the yard, the wire used to drag him is clearly visible.
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The cooking machine heats the plates hot enough to fry the eggs and sausages and then sends them down the ramp to the table. When the plates and metal roller frames arrive at the table, they would still be hot enough to cause burns. However, Mr Potts and the children grab the "burning hot" plates with their bare hands.
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The haircut machine removes a lot of hair from the man's head. However, we do not see any hair falling on the white cape around his neck.
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Caractacus turns the steering wheel of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang as a boat multiple times left and right but the car/boat clearly remains going forward.
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In the opening sequence, during the French Grand Prix, car 42 is seen losing a wheel on a turn, followed by car 2A. There is an obvious jump in the editing where they combined the first shot of car 42 losing its wheel and the second shot of where it's been placed.
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When Ragdoll is dancing, in some shots, you can clearly see a thin wire meant to aid his dancing, while in others it has been painted out.
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When Truly runs into the pond, the car's engine is still running until Mr. Potts goes to get her. Plus the car was not far enough in the pond to prevent her from backing out.
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The workshop windmill never ceases turning, even when no sails or wind are present.
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When they are spinning on the carts, most of the carts are moving on their casters. However, the cart that Mr Potts is on appears to be mounted on a swivel type pedestal.
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Spoilers 

The goof items below may give away important plot points.

Character error 

At the end of the movie, Grandpa introduces Lord Scrumptious as "my Brigadier" about whom he has been telling stories all Caractacus' life. It's not likely that Lord Scrumptious would have changed his name since the time when Grandpa was his batman, so it shouldn't be a surprise to Grandpa that "His Brigadier" had lived nearby all this time.
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Continuity 

When we see Lord Scrumptious's car at the end of the movie, Potts has pulled up behind him, and both are facing the house. When we see Chitty flying around the house, Lord Scrumptious's car is inexplicably turned the other way.
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Continuity 

When the King's guards storm the main doors during the big fight, some boys throw several buckets of liquid on the stone to make the soldiers fall. A few seconds later there is a shot of more soldiers running in and the stone is clean. In the following shot the mess is back again.
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Revealing mistakes 

The imprisoned children attack the upper-class people in the castle. Someone pours liquid from a goblet down a woman's front. On the base of the goblet, there is a code shown clearly. The code is 696 A.
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See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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