Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) Poster


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.
In an interview during filming in October 1967 Dick Van Dyke revealed 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 both the Sleeping Beauty (1959) Castle at Disneyland, which was the symbol of the Disney television program Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color (1954), and the Walt Disney Pictures studio logo.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Heather Ripley recalled that she did not realize until much later that Dick Van Dyke was an alcoholic when the film was made.
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.
James Robertson Justice had a stroke shortly after filming ended and had to give up acting.
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.
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.
Dick Van Dyke, who was smoking up to 40 cigarettes a day, found the dance numbers very demanding.
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.
The first non-Walt Disney film to feature songs by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman.
It was widely noted (particularly by Dick Van Dyke) that whilst Ken Hughes was a talented 'action' director he was not good at directing actors , especially children. Consequently, it fell to Van Dyke, Sally Ann Howes and members of the crew to entertain the children and guide them through their performances.
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.
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.
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 Child Catcher 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.
Dick Van Dyke's character was named for Caractacus, the last independent ruler of England before the Roman conquest of southern England.
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.
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.
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.
The name Toot Sweet is a play on "tout de suite", a French expression meaning "right away" or "quickly".
Child actress Heather Ripley (Jemima)'s only feature 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 colors of the floating Chitty - purple, green, and white - were the colors of the women's suffrage movement of that time.
Chitty's license plate is "GENII" which can be read as "Genie", hinting that the car is magic.
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.
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.
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.
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, Desmond Llewelyn and Anna Quayle. The film was also produced Albert R. Broccoli, who also produced the James Bond film franchise from 1962-1989.
When the balloon arrives in Vulgaria, Grandpa Pott's shack is 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."
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.
Director Ken Hughes reportedly hated the finished film.
According to Dick Van Dyke on Kevin Pollak's Chat Show (2009), he said he was called into producer Albert R. Broccoli's office one day and offered the role of James Bond. Van Dyke declined, jokingly asking Cubby if he had heard his British accent, to which Cubby subsequently quipped "Oh yeah that's right" and quickly rescinded the offer.
8 of 8 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Bomburst's medals and ribbons are also the colors of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang floating device.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang's number registration plate "GEN 11" is now registered to a 2014 Honda Jazz.
British censor John Trevelyan in an interview with Box-office magazine about censorship in 1969 mentioned that he was forced to make 2 small cuts when this was submitted for classification.
Film producer Albert R. Broccoli, best known for producing the James Bond film franchise from 1962 to 1989, wanted to replicate similar success that Mary Poppins (1964) had enjoyed in its initial theatrical release and sought out to bring Ian Fleming's novel "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" to the screen. Desperately wanting to emulate Mary Poppins in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) in both tone and style, Broccoli hired the same musical talents of Mary Poppins to work on the film: songwriters Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, musical adapter/arranger/conductor Irwin Kostal, and choreographers Marc Breaux and Dee Dee Wood. He even went far to try to re-team Dick Van Dyke and Julie Andrews for the film, but for reasons unknown, Andrews turned down the offer. The casting decision of Sally Ann Howes may be viewed as a pale imitation of Julie Andrews, as the producer wanted the role and characterization of Truly Scrumptious to be tailor-made for Andrews.
Benny Hill was first brought onto the project to rewrite some scenes at the request of Dick Van Dyke.
6 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Voted number 14 in Channel 4's (UK) "Greatest Family Films".
For many years, Heather Ripley never talked about the movie because her parents divorced during its making.
4 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
One of the CCBB cars is on display at The National Motor Museum, Beaulieu near Southampton, UK.
8 of 10 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
During down times on the set, Benny Hill and Dick Van Dyke would have lengthy conversations about their favorite actors, Charles Chaplin, Stan Laurel, and Buster Keaton. Van Dyke would later recall in an interview, "We both thought that we were born in the wrong era."
6 of 7 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Peter Picton aka Pierre the Clown was one of the drivers during the filming. He bought the car when that ended and owned it for 40 years. He used it as a prop in his act. He died in November 2016 in England .
9 of 12 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The song "Me Ol' Bamboo" provides the tune for the parody musical number "A Bag of Weed" in Family Guy episode Family Guy: 420 (2009).
When the soldiers and child catcher first enter the toy makers home searching for the children, the dress that Truly wears while doing the toy box scene can be seen in the corner of the room.
4 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

See also

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

Contribute to This Page