Chitty Chitty Bang Bang - Product Applications - honeycomb wall panels

Published: 06th April 2011
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Set in the 1910s, Jeremy and Jemima Potts live with their widowed father Caractacus Potts, an eccentric inventor, and his equally peculiar father. While skipping school, they meet Truly, a beautiful upper-class woman with her own motorcar, who brings them home to report their truancy to their father. Truly shows interest in Caractacus' odd inventions, but he is affronted by her attempts to tell him that his children should be in school.

The children have grown fond of a wrecked racing motorcar, and implore their father to buy it before it is sold for scrap. Discovering that one of the candies he has invented can be played like a flute, he tries unsuccessfully to sell the "toot sweet" to Truly's father Lord Scrumptious, a major confection manufacturer. He takes his automatic hair-cutting machine to the fair in an effort to raise money, but it malfunctions. He "hides" from an angry customer by joining a song and dance act, stealing the show and earning enough from tips to pay for the car.

He restores the car, which he nicknames Chitty Chitty Bang Bang for the noises its engine makes, and he and the children, accompanied by Truly, go for a picnic on the beach, where Truly becomes very fond of the Potts family and vice versa. Caractacus tells them a story about nasty Baron Bomburst, the tyrant ruler of fictional Vulgaria, who wants to steal Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and keep it all for himself:

In the story, the quartet and the car are stranded by high tide, but Chitty suddenly deploys huge flotation devices and they escape inland. The Baron sends two comical spies ashore to capture the car for him, but they briefly capture Lord Scrumptious by accident, and then kidnap Grandpa Potts, mistaking him for his son. Caractacus, Truly, and the children see him being taken away by zeppelin, and give chase. When they accidentally drive off a cliff, Chitty sprouts wings and a propeller and begins to fly.

They track him to Vulgaria, where Baroness Bomburst orders the imprisonment of all children, which she abhors. Grandpa the "inventor" has been charged by the baron to make another floating car, and bluffing to avoid punishment. The Potts party is hidden by a local toymaker, who is now resigned to working only for the baron. The children are captured by the baron's childcatcher, and Chitty is discovered and taken to the castle.

The toymaker takes Truly and Caractacus to a grotto far beneath the castle where the townspeople have been hiding their children, and they concoct a scheme to free the Pottses and the village from the baron. The toymaker sneaks them into the castle disguised as life-size dolls, gifts for the baron's birthday. Caractacus snares the Baron and the town's children swarm the banquet hall. In the ensuing chaos, the baron, baroness, and childcatcher are all captured. The Pottses are freed and fly back with Trudy to England.

Jeremy and Jemima finish the story themselves: "And Daddy and Truly were married!" which Truly seems to find appealing, but Caractacus is evasive, believing that the class distance between them is too great. But when Lord Scrumptious surprises them with an offer to the buy the Toot Sweet, Caractactus realizes that he has become wealthy, and rushes off to propose to Truly. As they drive off together in Chitty, the car takes to the air again, this time without wings.


Chitty Chitty Bang Bang landing in Vulgaria.

Dick Van Dyke as Caractacus Potts

Sally Ann Howes as Truly Scrumptious

Adrian Hall as Jeremy

Heather Ripley as Jemima

Lionel Jeffries as Grandpa Potts

Gert Frbe as Baron Bomburst

Anna Quayle as Baroness Bomburst

Benny Hill as Toymaker

James Robertson Justice as Lord Scrumptious

Robert Helpmann as Child Catcher

Desmond Llewelyn as Mr. Coggins

Alexander Dore as First Spy

Bernard Spear as Second Spy

Peter Arne as The Captain of Bomburst's army.

Victor Maddern as the Customer/Junkman.

Songs/musical numbers

Memorable songs include:

"Chitty Chitty Bang Bang"

"Truly Scrumptious"

"Hushabye Mountain"

"Me Ol' Bamboo"

"Toot Sweets"

"The Roses of Success"

"Lovely Lonely Man"

"You Two"

"Chu-Chi Face"


"Doll on a Music Box"

"Doll on a Music Box/Truly Scrumptious"

"Come to the Funfair"

"Doll on a Music Box" is sung near the end of the musical by Truly and is a musical counterpoint, also being sung simultaneously with Caractacus' rendition of the song "Truly Scrumptious". Two songs apparently intended for the film but ultimately relegated only to instrumental background music are "Come to the Funfair" and the "Vulgarian National Anthem"; they were published with lyrics in the sheet music along with the other film songs when the movie was released. The stage version restores these two as vocal numbers. The Sherman Brothers also were hired to write several new songs for the stage production including "Think Vulgar!" which was replaced in 2003 with "Act English", "Kiddy-Widdy-Winkies", "Teamwork" and "The Bombie Samba"

Two songs stand out for the use of musical instruments in the orchestra: "Toot Sweets" especially in the motion picture employs a multitude of flutes; and the subject of "Me Ol' Bamboo" is aurally suggested by the xylophone (and accompanies Potts performing a Morris dance with a troupe).


The original soundtrack album, as was typical of soundtrack albums up until the 1980s, presented mostly songs with very few instrumental tracks. The songs were also edited, with specially recorded intros and outros and most instrumental portions removed, due both to time limitations of the vinyl LP and the long-held belief that listeners would not be interested in listening to long instrumental dance portions during the songs.

The soundtrack has been released to CD twice, both releases utilizing the original LP masters rather than going back to the original music masters to compile a more complete soundtrack album with underscoring and complete versions of songs. The 1997 Rykodisc release included several quick bits of dialogue from the film between some of the tracks and has been out of circulation for quite a while. On February 24, 2004, a few short months after MGM released the movie on a 2-Disc Special Edition DVD, Varese Sarabande reissued a newly remastered soundtrack album without the dialogue tracks, restoring it to its original 1968 LP format.


Chitty Chitty Bang Bang ^

Elephant +

You Two

If I May +

Toot Sweets

Hushabye Mountain

Come to the Funfair (the tune and background lyrics are here, not the entire song as it was cut from the movie)

Me 'Ol Bam-Boo

Potts The Optimist +

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang ^+

Truly Scrumptious

All Engines +

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang ^++

Lovely Lonely Man


Hushabye Mountain (Reprise)

The Roses Of Success

Hang On +

Chu-Chi Face

Doll On A Music Box/Truly Scrumptious

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Finale)

A Happy Ending +

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Main Title)

Chitty Speaks +

^ - instrumental used for the film's "exit music"

+ - dialogue track only included on the Rykodisc release

^+ - first vocal performance from the film

^++ - second vocal performance from the film


Scrumptious Sweet Co. factory (exterior) - Kempton Waterworks, Snakey Lane, Hanworth, Middlesex, England. This location now includes a steam museum open to the public.

Scrumptious Mansion - Heatherden Hall at Pinewood Studios in Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, England

Windmill/Cottage - Cobstone Windmill in Ibstone, near Turville, Buckinghamshire, England

Duck Pond - Russell's Water, Oxfordshire, England

Beach - Cap Taillat in St. Tropez, France

Baron Bomburst's castle - Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria, Germany

Bridge where spies attempt to blow up Chitty - Iver Bridge, Iver, Buckinghamshire, England

Bridge where spies kidnap Lord Scrumptious - Ilmer Bridge, Ilmer, Buckinghamshire, England

Vulgarian village - Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

Lighthouse and white cliffs Beachy Head, East Sussex, England

Rock spires in the ocean - The Needles stacks, Isle of Wight, Alum Bay, Hampshire, England

Train scene - The Longmoor Military Railway


The film went significantly over budget, but was a box office hit. Although it received favorable reviews in the UK, Europe, and the East Coast of the United States, Hollywood was unkind in its reviews. Movie critic and historian Leonard Maltin considered the picture "one big Edsel, with totally forgettable score and some of the shoddiest special effects ever."

Novelisation of film

Novelisation of the film by John Burke, published by Pan Books

The film did not actually follow Fleming's novel particularly closely, so a novelisation of the film was published around the time the film was released. It basically followed the plot of the film, but there were a few differences of tone and emphasis, e.g. it mentioned that Caractacus Potts had had difficulty coping after the death of his wife, and it made it clearer that the sequences including Baron Bomburst were extended fantasy sequences. It was written by John Burke, but it was not clearly credited to him and some people who read it may have been under the impression that this was Fleming's original novel.


A remake of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is possibly in the works. EON Productions, the producers of the James Bond films, purchased the rights to make an adaptation, and plan to make the film under the partnership of Sony Pictures. It is one of the many new non-Bond films in development at EON.

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Chitty Chitty Bang Bang


Caractacus Potts  Truly Scrumptious  Child Catcher  Baroness Bomburst  Baron Bomburst

Objects and locations

Vulgaria  Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (car)


Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: The Magical Car  Chitty Chitty Bang Bang  "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" (song)  Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (musical)


Ian Fleming

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The Sherman Brothers

Richard M. Sherman  Robert B. Sherman

Motion pictures

(since 1961)

The Parent Trap  The Absent-Minded Professor  Greyfriars Bobby  Bon Voyage!  A Symposium on Popular Songs  In Search of the Castaways  Summer Magic  The Sword in the Stone  Big Red  Those Calloways  Moon Pilot  The Misadventures of Merlin Jones  The Moon-Spinners  Mary Poppins  Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree  The Monkey's Uncle  The Happiest Millionaire  That Darn Cat  The Jungle Book  The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band  Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day  Chitty Chitty Bang Bang  The Aristocats  Goldilocks  Bedknobs and Broomsticks  Snoopy, Come Home  Charlotte's Web  Tom Sawyer  Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too!  Huckleberry Finn  The Slipper and the Rose  The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh  The Magic of Lassie  Magic Journeys  Winnie the Pooh and a Day for Eeyore  Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland  Beverly Hills Cop III  The Mighty Kong  Winnie the Pooh: Seasons of Giving  The Tigger Movie  The Boys: The Sherman Brothers' Story

Stage musicals

(since 1971)

Victory Canteen  Over Here!  Dawgs  Busker Alley  Chitty Chitty Bang Bang  On the Record  Mary Poppins  Merry-Go-Round

Theme park


(since 1963)

Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room  It's A Small World  Carousel of Progress  Adventure Thru Inner Space  America on Parade  America Sings  Golden Horseshoe Revue  Imagination!  Innoventions  Journey Into Imagination  King Arthur Carrousel  Magic Journeys  Main Street Electrical Parade  The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh  Meet the World  Rocket Rods

v  d  e

Works by Roald Dahl

Children's novels

The Gremlins (1943)  James and the Giant Peach (1961)  Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964)  The Magic Finger (1966)  Fantastic Mr Fox (1970)  Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator (1973)  Danny, the Champion of the World (1975)  The Enormous Crocodile (1978)  The Twits (1980)  George's Marvellous Medicine (1981)  The BFG (1982)  The Witches (1983)  The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me (1985)  Matilda (1988)  Esio Trot (1989)  The Minpins (1991)  The Vicar of Nibbleswicke (1991)

Children's poetry

Revolting Rhymes (1982)  Dirty Beasts (1983)  Rhyme Stew (1989)

Adult novels

Sometime Never: A Fable for Supermen (1948)  My Uncle Oswald (1979)

Adult short story


Over to You: Ten Stories of Flyers and Flying (1946)  Someone Like You (1953)  Kiss Kiss (1960)  Tales of the Unexpected (1979)  Switch Bitch (1974)  The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More (1977)  Two Fables (1986)  More Tales of the Unexpected (1980)  Roald Dahl: Collected Stories (2006)


The Mildenhall Treasure (1946)  Boy: Tales of Childhood (1984)  Going Solo (1986)  Memories with Food at Gipsy House (1991)  Roald Dahl's Guide to Railway Safety (1991)  My Year (1993)

Film adaptations

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)  Danny, the Champion of the World (1989)  The BFG (1989)  The Witches (1990)  James and the Giant Peach (1996)  Matilda (1996)  Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)  Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)


The Honeys (1955)

Film scripts

You Only Live Twice (1967)  Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)  The Night Digger (1971)  Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)

Television series

Tales of the Unexpected (197988)

See also

Roald Dahl short stories bibliography  List of Tales of the Unexpected episodes



External links

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the Internet Movie Database

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at Allmovie

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the TCM Movie Database

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at Rotten Tomatoes

Categories: 1968 films | Musical fantasy films | Films based on children's books | Films shot in 70mm | Films shot in Technicolor | English-language films | British films | Children's fantasy films | United Artists films | Films directed by Ken Hughes | Screenplays by Roald Dahl | Chitty Chitty Bang Bang | Films set in the 1910s | Fantasy-comedy films | Aviation filmsHidden categories: Articles lacking sources from July 2009 | All articles lacking sources

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