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Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) Poster

Goofs

Anachronisms 

Truly Scrumptious's outfits were fashionable from about 1897 to 1907, and fashion changed rapidly after that. The car was retired in 1909, so the film is set in 1910 or later. If she was as rich as she appears to be, she would've worn more up-to-date fashions.
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When Grandpa Potts first arrives in Vulgaria, he says, "On behalf of Her Majesty, the Queen..." In 1910, the reigning British monarch was Edward VII, or George V, who took over after Edward died that same year.
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During the "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" reprise, when they're floating on the water, a tall radio tower is visible in the background.
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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.
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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. In 1910, the covers were text.
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In the film, Potts invents the first vacuum cleaner in 1910. The first vacuum cleaner was invented in the 1860s, and the first electric vacuum cleaner was invented around 1900.
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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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When the spies cross the railway to set a trap for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, one track has concrete sleepers.
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Audio/visual unsynchronised 

When everyone pushes the car, Mr. Potts looks over to Grandpa and says "comfortable, Grandpa?" His mouth movements do not match the dialog.
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During "Toot Sweets", some of the whistling isn't in sync with the music.
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Character error 

Strictly speaking, the aircraft in the film is not a zeppelin, it's a semi-rigid airship. 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.
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Continuity 

Ragdoll runs up the stairs in big rectangular yellow shoes. He enters the corridor in normal black shoes.
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When the spies try to catch Chitty under a bridge, Mr. Scrumptious's car drives through their picture of the tunnel and into their truck. When car breaks through the picture, nothing is behind it. No truck. In the next cut, the car goes up the ramp and into the truck.
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When Truly's car runs in to the lake, the children's faces are dirty. When they arrive home, their faces are clean. When they are getting ready to eat, their faces are dirty again.
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During the Baron's birthday party, Truly (as a doll) dances on top of a music box spindle within an unfolded screen of mirrors, visible on the floor for all the guests to see. When Caractacus (as a puppet) rises from his box and starts to dance, the camera pulls back, and Truly's music box is gone. When Caractacus goes over to sing a duet with Truly, she and her music box are visible again.
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When the first Chitty crashes, the front end suspension is badly damaged and the left front wheel is bent. When the car arrives at the Potts workshop, the front end is not damaged and the steering works fine.
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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, she has her scarf but not her hat.
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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. The film jumps as it drops over the edge, and the pole suddenly spans the entire length of the wall.
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After the tide comes in, water surrounds the car. A brief close-up shot shows the car is sitting far from the water.
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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, and the tires are clean.
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In the candy factory, the color and cut of Mr. Potts' haircut change right before Toot Sweet.
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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. It reappears when they land at the castle.
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When Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is on the sand bar and Caractacus Potts begins telling his story, Jemima Potts holds a half-eaten apple. After the boat appears and heads towards them, only a few bites are missing from Jemima's apple.
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When the Baron and Baroness sing and dance before attending the birthday party, the Baroness wears high-heeled shoes. She falls through the trapdoor wearing flat shoes. When she re-appears soon after, she's wearing high heels.
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When they enter the shop floor, the windows are all closed. During the dog invasion, they're open.
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When Chitty switches to "boat" mode after the tide comes in, a stick or rod lifts up the propeller in the back. It's not visible in any other shot.
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At the end of the Toot Sweets song, Lord Scrumptious is on the right side of the camera, near Truly. When they sing the last note, he is on the left side of the camera, alone.
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The Goodyear logo on Chitty Chitty Bang Bang's tires changes from white-painted letters to unpainted letters.
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When the dog breaks free of its leash during "Toot Sweets", he knocks the pedal bike over and drags it across to the steps. Two shots later, when the pack of dogs runs toward the factory, they run up the steps where the bike is seen standing neatly upright, as before.
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During the shots of the haircut and the man chasing Mr Potts, the carousel in the background is running at full speed during most of the shots. In one shot, it is slowing to a stop. About 15 seconds later, it's running at full speed again.
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In one overhead shot of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in the water, racing around the ship, the wake shows that the car was at a full stop seconds before.
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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 disappears as the car cruises on the water, then reappears when they drive out.
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Before the pirate story, the car is parked in different places on the beach.
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The main floor of the toy shop is slightly below street level. The basement ceiling is about 3 feet above street level.
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In the last shot of the still-closed barn doors, just before Jemima says "It's awfully quiet in there!", the barn door on the left begins to open for a split second.
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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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While Truly sings Lovely Lonely Man in the garden, she sits on the bench swing in full sun. When she gets up to leave, the bench swing is now in the shade of the tree next to it.
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While the Toymaker is sculpting wood-sculpting, he wears his tool skirt. When he reluctantly gets up to help Caractacus Potts, the tool skirt has suddenly disappeared.
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During the driving scenes to the beach, and the flying scenes as they are approaching Neuschwanstein Castle, the foliage changes back and forth between summer and fall.
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In interior shots of the car, when the Professor, the children, and Truly are driving in the water at the beach getting away from the Baron's ship, the same mountain passes by two or three times.
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After Potts and the children drop Truly off at her house after the picnic, as they're driving Chitty home, Truly is seen again in the car in a long shot as the car drives over a bridge.
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The wrinkled table cloth quickly gets smooth before the plates roll down to the table.
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When Truly first arrives with the children at their house, she wears a hat. In some shots tissues are stuffed in the ruffles. In others, they have been removed.
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For special effects shots, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang's hood often changes from highly reflective chrome to less reflective silver.
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When Chitty crashes in the prologue, the radiator is clearly 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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When Mr Potts is on the "rocket Ramp", the sky changes from clear to cloudy to overcast.
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When the zeppelin carries the privy, it appears to be moving much faster than the privy during close up shots of the flight deck.
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When the zeppelin carries Grandpa's privy, it appears to be at least 25,000 feet up. Seconds later, it is so low it hits the water.
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When the group has their goofy moments on the beach, the camera zooms in on Truly laughing loudly. She was grinning in the previous shot.
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The sound of Chitty's engine frequently changes from a normal-sounding motor to "chitty chitty bang bang" without warning or pattern.
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In the scrap yard, Chitty's front wheel (and probably axle) are clearly damaged, which means it's not roadworthy. When Potts brings it home, it's undamaged and running freely on a tow.
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Grandpa Potts complains that he will not get any sleep during the rainstorm due to his hut's leaky roof, yet during the part of the film where the hut is being transported, it is shown to be just a few feet square, with no room inside for Grandpa's bed; no bed is visible during his "posh" song, either; just a mostly-empty room.
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Crew or equipment visible 

When the Baroness ejects from the car, the Baron shoots her down. As the Baroness falls into the lake, a circular pattern from a helicopter downdraft is visible just before she hits the water.
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Reflections and shadows from professional lighting equipment are visible in Mr Potts's home and workshop.
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When Grandpa Potts lands in the castle, the shadow of a crane is visible in the background of multiple shots.
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When Professor Potts tests his rocket pack, a visible cable pulls him along the ground.
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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 when the car was in the water. It's also visible during another beach scene.
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Factual errors 

The cooking machine switch has wires connected to only one side of the switch.
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During the opening credits, an ad at the 1908 British Grand Prix uses the American spelling of "tires", instead of the English "tyres"
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The "G" in the "Grand Prix Deutschland 1908" banner is actually a fraktur "S".
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During the main song sequence, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang passes a J94 "Austerity" Saddle Tank locomotive with "GWR" (Great Western Railway) on the side. The J94 was built in the 1940s, and the Great Western Railway never operated any J94s. The GWR livery was also deep green, not blue.
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Miscellaneous 

A medium to large tan dog either falls, is pushed, or jumps off the second floor in the "dog invasion" scene.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

When they take Chitty out for the first time, Grandpa says he is going to Alaska. At the time, it was the District of Alaska or the Alaska Territory. It wouldn't be unusual for someone to shorten the name.
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White streaks appear and disappear from Jeremiah's blond hair throughout the film. It may be a lighting trick.
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Plot holes 

The junkyard owner tells the children that their father must buy the car before tomorrow morning, when the other man will come to pick it up. Counting the nights in the movie, the children go to sleep twice before Potts buys the car. He missed the deadline by one day.
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Revealing mistakes 

When Caractacus dances as a puppet, thin wire meant to aid his dancing is visible in some shots.
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When Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is a boat, Caractacus turns the steering wheel left and right multiple times, but Chitty keeps moving forward.
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When Truly runs into the pond, the car's engine is still running until Mr. Potts goes to get her. The car wasn't far enough in the pond to prevent her from backing out, like she did the first time she ended up in the pond after swerving to avoid the Potts children.
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The cooking machine heats plates hot enough to fry eggs and sausages before sending them down the ramp to the table. When the plates and metal roller frames arrive at the table, they should still be hot enough to cause burns. Mr. Potts and the children grab the plates with their bare hands.
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After Truly brings the children home, in mid-afternoon, their father tells them to go inside for tea. By the time they finish eating a bit later, their father tells the children to go up to bed because it's dark.
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When they get up from the table, the cooking machine is not in operation, yet the power switch for the cooking machine is in the "on" position.
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In the opening sequence, during the French Grand Prix, car 42 loses a wheel on a turn, followed by car 2A. There is an obvious jump in the editing where the first shot of car 42 losing its wheel was combined with the second shot of where it's been placed.
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During the chase scene with Chitty as a boat, close-ups of the Baron and his officers on the bridge of his yacht show small wrinkles in the funnels behind them, revealing them as foil covered props. Wide shots show solid, brass-looking funnels.
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The haircut machine removes a lot of hair from the man's head, but no hair falls on the white cape around his neck.
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When they are spinning on the carts, most of the carts are moving on their casters. Mr. Potts's cart appears to be mounted on a swivel-type pedestal.
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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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When Mr. Potts turns on the cooking machine, two plates are visible. When everyone sits around the table, four plates are visible.
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In the establishing shot of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang driving down to the beach, the sea on the left side of the sand spit doesn't move.
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The workshop windmill never stops turning, even when no sails or wind are present.
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When Chitty comes in to rescue the Potts and Miss Scrumptious, Chitty makes a turn turning tighter than the front wheels will allow. The car is clearly on a dolly.
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When Baron Bomburst's ship arrives on the beach after chasing Chitty on the water, you can see a wire tow cable at the very front of the ship, half way down between the deck and water.
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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," the subject of the he told all of Caractacus' life. Lord Scrumptious probably wouldn't 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.
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Continuity 

At the end of the movie, Potts pulls up behind Lord Scrumptious's car, and both are facing the house. When Chitty flies around the house, Lord Scrumptious's car is turned the other way.
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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. More soldiers run in a few seconds later, 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. A code, 696 A, is clearly visible on the goblets's base.
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See also

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

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