Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Turner Info, (c) Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc


Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, USA, 1968

Director: Ken Hughes

Actors: Dick Van Dyke, Sally Ann Howes

The most fantasmagorical musical entertainment in the history of everything!

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

After saving Chitty Chitty Bang Bang from the junkman’s  fiery furnace, Caractacus Potts (Dick Van Dyke), a somewhat crack-pot, absent-minded inventor, gets the broken-down old racing car roadworthy again and sets off for a day at the seaside with his two children, Jeremy (Adrian Hall) and Jennifer (Heather Ripley).

On the way they pick up Truly Scrumptious (Sally Ann Howes), the beautiful daughter of Lord Scrumptious (James Robertson-Justice), who joins the outing.

After a picnic on the beach, Potts, who is something of a daydreamer, begins to tell the youngsters a story about pirates when a tugboat appears on the horizon.

Potts immediately weaves the boat into his story.  It is not a tugboat, he says, but the yacht of Baron Bomburst (Gert Frobe), the most evil man in the world who has come all the way to England from Vulgaira to steal Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

No Sooner has he spoken than they realize that the tide has come in, cutting them off from the beach, and that the Baron’s yacht is bearing down on them, canon at the ready.

It is then that they discover that Chitty is a magical car.  Suddenly her engine roars into life and she becomes a hovercraft, skimming them across the waves to safety.

But Baron Bomburst is hysterically intent on having the car for himself and sends two spies ashore, who mistake the children’s eccentric Grandpa (Lionel Jeffries) for the inventor, Potts, and summon the Baron’s zeppelin to kidnap him while he is in his privy, which they believe to be his laboratory.

As soonas Potts, Truly, and the children spot the zeppelin gliding overhead trailing Grandpa and the privy beneath it on the end of a rope, they give chase.  And once again Chitty comes to their aid with her magical powers.  Potts drives the car so fast in pursuit that he is unable to stop when they reach the cliff edge and they plunge over the edge towards the rocks below.  But suddenly Chitty sprouts over a pair of wings and a propeller, pulls neatly out of her deathdive and soars across the sky after they airship.

They follow the zeppelin to the Castle if Vulgaria and land Chitty near the local village, where they discover that Baroness Bomburst (Anna Quayle) hates children so much that she has ordered that they all be killed on sight.

The village toymaker hides Jeremy and Jennifer while he and Potts investigate the area, but on their return they learn that Vulgaria’s evil Childcatcher (Robert Helpman) has captured the youngsters and hauled them off to the castle, where Chitty, too, has been chained in captivity.

Determined to rescue the children, Grandpa and the car, Potts, Truly, and Toymaker go to a secret cave beneath the castle where all the village children who have not been caught by the Baroness live like urchins.

Potts tells them of his plan to liberate Vulgaria.  First, he and Truly smuggle themselves into the castle as life-size puppets ¯ the birthday gift of the Toymaker to Baron Bomburst.  Then, at a given signal, all the children burst into the castle though ventilators and pipes to join the attack.  After a running battle, the Baron’s men are defeated; Jeremy, Jennifer, Grandpa and Chitty are freed and, realizing that all is lost, Bomburst and the Baroness try to make their getaway in the zeppelin.

But a prod from Grandpa’s umbrella as they fly by in Chitty punctures the airship, dumping the Baron and Baroness in the lake below.

With a dip of its wings, Chitty sets a course for home, accompanies by cheers and waves from the jubilant people of Vulgaria.

Back in the beach in England, Jeremy and Jennifer sigh with delight.  It has, of course, all been one of Potts’ daydreaming tales for the youngsters.  But by now he and Truly realize that they are in love and when she agrees to marry him he promises that in the future he will concentrate more on his responsibilities instead of daydreaming so much.

It is fine to have dreams, he says as they drive off.  “But, just because you dream something up doesn’t mean it’ll come true.”

And with that, to everyone’s amazement, Chitty slowly rises into the sky and they fly over the hills and away…

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