6.9/10
40,548
189 user 52 critic

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)

Trailer
3:18 | Trailer
A down-on-his-luck inventor turns a broken-down Grand Prix car into a fancy vehicle for his children, and then they go off on a magical fantasy adventure to save their grandfather in a far-off land.

Director:

Ken Hughes

Writers:

Ian Fleming (novel), Roald Dahl (screenplay by) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
624 ( 2,877)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dick Van Dyke ... Caractacus Potts
Sally Ann Howes ... Truly Scrumptious
Lionel Jeffries ... Grandpa Potts
Gert Fröbe ... Baron Bomburst (as Gert Frobe)
Anna Quayle ... Baroness Bomburst
Benny Hill ... Toymaker
James Robertson Justice ... Lord Scrumptious
Robert Helpmann ... Child Catcher
Heather Ripley ... Jemima
Adrian Hall ... Jeremy
Barbara Windsor ... Blonde
Davy Kaye Davy Kaye ... Admiral
Alexander Doré Alexander Doré ... First Spy (as Alexander Dore)
Bernard Spear Bernard Spear ... Second Spy
Stanley Unwin Stanley Unwin ... Chancellor
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Storyline

In England, circa 1910, eccentric Caractacus Potts works as an inventor, a job which barely supports himself, his even more eccentric father, and his two children, Jeremy and Jemima; but, they're all happy. When the children beg their father to buy for them their favorite plaything - a broken down jalopy of a car sitting at a local junkyard - Caractacus does whatever he can to make some money to buy it. One scheme to raise money involves the unexpected assistance of a pretty and wealthy young woman they have just met named Truly Scrumptious, the daughter of a candy factory owner, but Caractacus eventually comes into another one-time-only windfall of money, enough to buy the car. Applying his inventing skills, Caractacus transforms the piece of junk into a beautiful working machine, which they name Chitty Chitty Bang Bang from the noise its engine makes. At a seaside picnic with his children and Truly, Caractacus spins a fanciful tale of an eccentric inventor, his pretty girlfriend, ... Written by Huggo / edited by statmanjeff

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It Was Just An Old Neglected Car. Who Could Have Guessed... See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In an interview in October 1967 Dick Van Dyke revealed he only accepted the lead role on the condition that he would not have to attempt a British accent. See more »

Goofs

The opening sequence shows 4 races: the 1907 British Grand Prix, 1908 French Grand Prix, 1908 German Grand Prix, and 1909 British Grand Prix. The first British Grand Prix was in 1926. The German precursor to the Grand Prix was the Prinz-Heinrich-Fahrt in 1908; it became the Grand Prix in 1926. See more »

Quotes

Caracticus Potts: Thank you, children. All these wonderful things, they're very precious. But I'm afraid other people wouldn't appreciate them.
Jemima: Why not, Daddy?
Caracticus Potts: Because other people don't see things the way you do.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Also shown in a Sing-a-Long version. See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Fictional Movie Aircraft (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Blue Devils
(uncredited)
Music by Charles Williams
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User Reviews

James Bond goes to Romper Room
22 June 2001 | by imddavehSee all my reviews

I'm one of many thirty-somethings that grew up on this movie and later suffered nightmares featuring the Child Catcher. To this day, I still feel an uneasy chill when I hear the words "kiddie-winkies". Bit I still love this film on several levels. I loved it as a child because it's great cinema for children. I love it as a film student because it's a well-crafted, timeless fairytale. And I love it as an adult because it full of suggestive double meanings, much like the Warner Bros cartoons of the 1940s - the type of things that shoot straight over kids' heads and make adults snicker knowingly. With a screenplay penned by Ian Fleming, this should come as no surprise.

Dick Van Dyke is Caractacus Potts, a wacky inventor who inexplicably lives in England with his two inexplicably English children. Caractacus Potts...wacky inventor,,,get it? Hoo hah! Potts and his two children (whose pictures may be seen in the dictionary next to the word "moppet") live with the senior Mr. Potts in a windmill/labratory. Caractacus rescues a junked motorcar from rusting in a field and restores it to new - meet Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, named for the sounds the car makes. Soon thereafter in one of those Pipi Longstocking-esque child-arranged dates, Potts and his two children go on a picnic with local richgirl Truly Scrumptious - possibly the best Bond Girl name since Pussy Galore. As the day winds down, Potts tells the children a story, in which the foursome embark on a great adventure in the resplendent Chitty Chitty Bang Bang which Potts as rigged to fly, float, drive itself, and perform other turn-of-the-century Batmobile-like functions.

Our heroes end up in a far away kingdom ruled over by the Baron and Baroness Bomburst (Gert Frobe and Anna Quayle), a terribly sad place where children have been outlawed, rounded up, and kept in a dungeon. The gang and Chitty invade the kingdom to rescue Potts' father, who has mistakenly been identified as the inventor of the flying car and kidnapped. There, they befriend a toymaker (played by Benny Hill in one of his stock characters from his TV show) who hides the children while they attempt to spring grandpa Potts. Enter the Child Catcher, who lures the children with free lollipops and takes them away to the dungeon. Potts and the toymaker (who now only makes toys for the child-like king) hatch a plan to infiltrate the castle, rescue the elder Potts and the twin moppets, and free all the other children as well.

I have two favorite scenes in this film. One is the musical number in the castle, where Truly and Potts are disguised as huge toys for the Baron's birthday. Truly is a wind-up doll on a music box, and Potts is a marionette who does a dance number that not only convinces you that he really is on strings, but that Dick Van Dyke is one of the most talented performers ever to be caught on film. My other favorite scene, I admit with guilt, is the one where the Baron and Baroness are readying themselves for bedtime, and prancing around the room in nightclothes calling each other by ultra-gooey-cute pet names. However, whenever the Baroness isn't looking, Baron Goldfinger takes a swing at her with an axe. It's the most entertainingly erotic scene in a kiddie flick since Natalie Wood was covered in cream pies while wearing only frilly turn-of-the-century underwear in "The Great Race".

This film is a rare treat. It's a film that appeals to kids and keeps adults interested at the same time. Let your kids watch it, watch it with them, or just watch it yourself when you're in the mood for some pure, escapist fun.

And try not to think about the Child Catcher when you go to bed afterward.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | German | French | Latin

Release Date:

18 December 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$398
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Mono (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
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