Monday, 23 February 2015

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Review

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Release Date: 19th December 1968 - Australia 

Production Companies
Dramatic Features

Genre: Family/Musical

Rating: G

Runtime: 144 minutes

Budget: $10,000,000 
Box Office Gross: $7,500,000 
(USA) (Rentals)

Plot Summary
An eccentric professor 
invents wacky machinery, 
but can't seem to make 
ends meet. When he 
invents a revolutionary car, 
a foreign government 
becomes interested in it, 
and resorts to skulduggery 
to get their hands on it.

Dick Van Dyke - Carcatacus 
Sally Any Howes - Truly 
Gert Fröbe - Baron Bomburst
Anna Quayle - Baronness 
Benny Hill - The Toymaker
Heather Ripley - Jemima 
Adrian Hall - Jeremy
Lionel Jeffries - Grandpa 
James Robertson Justice - 
Lord Scrumptious
Robert Helpmann - The 
Child Catcher

Screenplay/Director - Ken Russell 
Based on Book "Chitty Chitty 
Bang Bang" - Ian Fleming
Screenplay - Roald Dahl 
Additional Dialogue - Richard 
Producer - Albert R. Broccoli 
Production Designer - Ken Adam
Creator: Potts Inventions - 
Rowland Emett 
Colour Costume Designers - 
Joan Bridge and Elizabeth 
Director of Photography - 
Christopher Challis
Special Effects - John Stears
Stagers: Musical Numbers - 
Marc Breaux and Dee Dee 
Songs/Lyrics - Richard M. & 
Robert B. Sherman
Conductor/Music Supervisor - 
Irwin Kostal


1969 Academy Awards
Best Music, Original Song "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" -
Richard M. & Robert B. Sherman (Nominated)

As most of you viewers are probably too young to recognise or have heard the name "CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG" when the feature was already well-known to movie buffs since 1968. Through all my years, I have grown from this family-musical and I wasn't keen to review this ever since family films from nowadays like recent ones have lost the adult appeal for example, the abysmal trilogies of THE SMURFS and ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS. Behind the wheels on this jovial musical, there lies the comic brilliance from screenwriter Roald Dahl as he adapts the book from James Bond creator, the late Ian Fleming and added a few signature styles to make the movie very childish. Of course having the heroes as slightly comical and the antagonists as laughably immature fits his capable ground of foretelling a story or character.

I don't mind Dick Van Dyke as well as the songs from The Sherman Brothers, I'm not exactly above enjoying their work in CHITTY CHITTY since they all previously worked with Dick before in MARY POPPINS. Though few of their tunes have some catchiness in between them. My main favourite part that I definitely find interesting is the Child Catcher character, looking back now, he was really creepy for his appearance and enjoys kidnapping young kids. Australian actor Robert Helpmann did an incredible job in mastering the villainous character to feel as sinister although the character does come out as seemingly in a over-the-top villainy when in front of children.

It's a price to pay that there aren't any more non-Bond films made from the makers that did the series. It's a good way to give the people for extra credit when they're not doing more films of the spy-saga in favour of this cheerful tone of the musical. Likewise for myself, I find CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG as one of the two singing films to be very uptight respectable to revisit. So remember to skip the film's intermission when some of the kiddies are bored!

Star rating: (8/10) Very Good Movie

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