Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

  • Directors: Ken Hughes
  • Producers: Albert R Broccoli, Stanley Sopel
  • Writers: Roald Dahl, Ken Hughes, Richard Maibaum
  • Genres: Family, Comedy, Musical, Fantasy
  • Actors: Dick Van Dyke, Sally Ann Howes, Adrian Hall, Heather Ripley, Lionel Jeffries

The time is the 1910s. Jeremy and Jemima Potts are playing in a wrecked car in Mr. Coggins’ junkyard. The wreck, Coggins explains to a potential customer, was a winning Grand Prix race car until it crashed. The customer is only interested in it for salvage, but Coggins accepts his offer, much to the children’s dismay.

On the way home, the children meet the beautiful Truly, who demands to know why they are not in school. They take her home to their windmill, where she is introduced to their eccentric father, Caractacus Potts—who is about to make an attempt to fly—and the equally eccentric Grandpa Potts, who, resplendent in soldiers’ uniform, explains that he is going to India for “a cup of tea with the Maharaja”, before disappearing into the outhouse at the end of the garden. Truly shows interest in Caractacus’ odd inventions, but he is affronted by her attempts to tell him that his children should be in school. Angrily, she leaves.

The children tell Caractacus about the car, and he promises to try and get it, although he can’t afford to outbid the scrap man. Edison, the family dog, discovers that the supposedly useless “sweets with holes in”, made by Caractacus, can whistle. Caractacus goes to a local sweet factory the next day, and attempts to show his new candy to Lord Scrumptious, who turns out to be Truly’s father. He initially refuses to look at the sweets, but eventually gives in, and finds he likes them. However, the whistling attracts every dog in the village, and they ruin the factory’s confectionery, and Lord Scrumptious throws Caractacus out.

Back at the seaside, Jeremy and Jemima finish the story themselves: “And Daddy and Truly were married!” “And lived happily ever after!” When Truly asks, “Is that how the story ends?” Caractacus is evasive, and later tries to “apologize” for the children’s ending by saying “It’s ridiculus for the children to say that”. Truly, feeling rebuffed, storms off. The Potts arrive home to find Lord Scrumptious waiting with wonderful news: he has decided to market the whistling sweets Caractacus invented to dogs. Now assured of riches, Caractacus is about to sign the contract, but dashes off in Chitty to tell Truly the news. He runs her off the road yet again, carries her from the car, and they decide to be married after all. As they drive off together in Chitty, the car takes to the air again, this time without wings.

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