Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Released in 1968

-Synopsis-

Released in 1968, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is a musical film adaptation loosely based on Ian Fleming's children's book of the same name.

Background

-Background-

The most fantasmagorical musical entertainment in the history of everything!

Released in 1968, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is a musical film adaptation loosely based on Ian Fleming's children's book of the same name. It was the second of Fleming's books Roald Dahl had adapted after working on the James Bond film You Only Live Twice - or the third, if you also count the fact that Fleming had given Roald the idea for the short story Lamb to the Slaughter.

Roald and director Ken Hughes worked on the script for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Albert "Cubby" Broccoli - with whom Roald had also worked with on You Only Live Twice - produced the film. Much of the action was filmed in Turville, a small English village in the Buckinghamshire countryside, not far from Roald's home in Great Missenden.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang tells the story of two children, Jeremy and Jemima Potts. They live with their widowed father, inventor Caractacus Potts. On a day when they should be in school they meet Truly Scrumptious, the daughter of major confectionery-maker Lord Scrumptious and owner of a motorcar which the Potts' nickname Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Later, Caractacus tells them a story about a fictional country called Vulgaria and its evil rulers, Baron and Baroness Bomburst, who have imprisoned all Vulgaria's children and want to steal Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. In the story, Baron Bomburst kidnaps the Potts' children's grandfather, mistakenly believing he is the magical car's inventor. Jeremy, Jemima, Truly and Caractacus travel to Vulgaria to rescue him but when they arrive, Jeremy and Jemima fall foul of the Baron's evil Child Catcher, played in the film by Robert Helpmann.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is now an established favourite, recognised as a classic family film. The character of the Child Catcher does not appear in Fleming's original book and is usually recognised as Roald's creation. A sinister and frightening figure, he is often described as one of the most terrifying movie villains more than 40 years after the film's release.

Find out more about the period in Roald Dahl's life when he worked on Chitty Chitty Bang Bang