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3.7 out of 5 stars
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Bilingual) [Import]
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on February 13, 2004
I kept hearing from my friends who have young children (2 - 5 year olds) that their children loved this movie, so I decided to finally buy it and check it out for my 2.5 year old son. He loves it and so do I. It has all the important components for a fun family/childrens movie:
1. The Music: It's fun and gets my son up and dancing around the room. Also the words are catchy and easy for children to learn (although Chitty can be tricky for the little ones :-)
2. Story line: It's really fun and easy to follow. Anything with a car, let alone a flying car rates high with my son.
3. Children: The children in the story are sweet and respectful. Since there is a boy and a girl not only does my son like it, but his little friend (a girl) also relates.
I have a lot of "dusty" DVD's that I wish I could return, but I'm confident that you won't regret spending $'s on this one and making part of your family DVD/VHS collection.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 10, 2002
"Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" came out in 1968, and I can remember seeing it on t.v. when I was growing up in the 70's. It was on par with "The Wizard of Oz" as it was shown once or twice a year on television, and they are both perfect films for the entire family to watch together. You can't say that about many movies that come out these days.
Dick Van Dyke plays Caracatus Potts, a oddball inventor, who lives in England with his two blond children, Jemima and Jeremy.
He is raising them on his own, and when the children almost get run over by "Truly Scrumptious", played by Sally Ann Howes, he meets the woman who just may help him out in bringing the children up. The four of them embark on great adventure and song! There are a few creepy moments. I especially was always freaked out by the childnapper. Other than that, it is a pure joy to view this over and over.
There are a lot of songs in this movie such as the title song, "Truly Scrumptious", "Toot Sweets", "POSH", and "Hushabye Mountain". I really like all the music here as it all has it's place in this truly remarkable piece of family entertainment.
You can even watch it in "sing a long" mode and sing along with the cast. I can only hope in a few years, in the days of "Harry Potter" and "Spy Kids", that he will still appreciate this classic endearing piece of cinema.
There aren't any extras aside from the theatrical trailer, but I love this movie so much that didn't bother me. One should purchase for the great movie that it is.
I am highly recommending you pick this movie up for your family's dvd collection!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 2010
I own this movie on DVD, and have seen it countless times on television. This felt like I was watching it for the first time. The quality of the image restoration is incredible. The audio is muffled at times, especially for some of the songs, which was somewhat disappointing. The real "wow" factor is how this movie LOOKS! The DVD that I had was the "full screen" 4:3 aspect ratio, and there was so much going on in each frame that I simply missed on the DVD because nearly half the frame was cut off. Also, the colors were all muddy on previous releases. When I saw the flying Chitty, I noticed that the fold out wings were bright red and yellow, on the DVD it looked like brown and sepia. Also, the scenes at the beach had spectacular natural lighting, with rather high contrast, and beautiful technicolor "punchy" colors, which simply never came through before. This was an amazing video clean-up, I only wish that they would have been as careful with the audio.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2000
It amazes me how both Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Willy Wonka have gotten blastings from some critics for having "forgettable" scores. How do you explain "The Candy Man?" or "Truly Scrumptious?" Almost everyone knows these songs, as they are well written and enjoyable. As is this movie.
Set in a turn-of the century small village, apparently in England (mixed accents notwithstanding-Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory has a similar problem), an eccentric inventor creates a magical car for his adoring children. An evil King gets wind of the invention, and sends spies to steal the car. They instead steal Grandfather, and Van Dyke and his children take off in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to retrieve him.
Largely overlooked is the heavy World War II symbolism sprinkled throughout the film. The King who hates children represents a racist Hitler, supported by the Gestapoesque Child Catcher and spies who could easily be SS Soldiers. Watching the film with this knowledge makes for an entirely different experience, one many reviewers missed. Especially chilling is a scene near the beginning in which the spies attempt to blow up a bridge. They fail, and when the charge explodes belatedly, the smoke clears to reveal both spies frozen in a Nazi "Heil" salute.
But even without this decidedly adult take on the plot, the film is extraordinarily entertaining. Great songs like "The Old Bamboo," "Toot-Sweet," and "Truly Scrumptious" will be attractive to both parents and children, and frequent use of passable, if dated special effects enhance the feel of the film. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is a great film for adults and children, one you'll enjoy watching frequently.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 22, 2003
What a treasure this movie is on DVD, finally the remastered Widescreen version is available. Presented in the 2.20 aspect ratio and comes with a new Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack.
Completely marvellous and enchanting viewing for any age, the colours are superb. Not one spot or grain, forget about the negative reviews, this movie is a treasure to keep in the DVD library. It's all for fun and good entertainment, brilliant music and cinematography.
A big thank you to MGM who finally gave us this DVD Widescreen remaster with a brillaint box cover that comes with it. So bright and eye catching.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2004
Theyve finally rleased this film in widescreen as they should have done years ago. And for the record this is NOT a DISNEY movie! It was made and released by UNITED ARTISTS. Don't you guys read the credits?
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CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG [1968] [Blu-ray] [UK Release] A Vivid, Splendid Ride! The Most Fantasmagorical Musical Entertainment in the History of Everything!

Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, start your engines. You are about to take an incredible ride with one of the most wonderful family films of all time. With its clever tunes, including the 1968 OSCAR® Nominated Original Title Song. Marvellous cast and enchanting storyline, this delightful romp is lots of fun and simply "toot sweet" to pass up! Dick Van Dyke stars as eccentric inventor Caractacus Potts, who creates an extraordinary car called Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. It not only drives, but also flies and floats, as it leads him, his two children and his beautiful lady friend, Truly Scrumptious [Sally Ann Howes], into a magical world of pirates, castles and endless adventure.

FILM FACT: "Doll on a Music Box" is sung near the end of the musical by Truly Scrumptious and is a musical counterpoint, also being sung simultaneously with Caractacus Potts' 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." The Caractacus Potts inventions in the film were created by Rowland Emett. In 1976, Time magazine, describing Rowland Emett's work, said no term other than "Fantasticator...could remotely convey the diverse genius of the perky, pink-cheeked Englishman whose pixilation's, in cartoon, watercolour and clanking 3D reality, range from the celebrated Far Tottering and Oyster Creek Railway to the demented thingamabobs that made the 1968 film `Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' a minuscule classic." The part of Truly Scrumptious had originally been offered to Julie Andrews, to reunite her with Van Dyke after their success in `Mary Poppins.' Julie Andrews rejected the role specifically because she considered the part too close to the Mary Poppins mould.

Cast: Dick Van Dyke, Sally Ann Howes, Lionel Jeffries, Gert Fröbe, Anna Quayle, Benny Hill, James Robertson Justice, Robert Helpmann, Heather Ripley, Adrian Hall, Barbara Windsor, Davy Kaye, Alexander Doré, Bernard Spear, Stanley Unwin, Peter Arne, Desmond Llewelyn, Victor Maddern, Arthur Mullard, Ross Parker, Gerald Campion, Felix Felton, Monti DeLyle, Totti Truman Taylor, Larry Taylor, Max Bacon, Max Wall, John Heawood, Michael Darbyshire, Kenneth Waller, Gerald Taylor, Eddie Davis, Michael Audreson (uncredited), Theo Aygar (uncredited), John Baskcomb (uncredited), Phil Collins (uncredited), John Crocker (uncredited), Gabrielle Daye (uncredited), Harry Fielder (uncredited), Kay Hamilton (uncredited), Miranda Hampton (uncredited), Connel Miles (uncredited), Roy Murray (uncredited), Grace Newcombe (uncredited), Dickie Owen (uncredited), Colin Rix (uncredited), Jessie Robins (uncredited), John Ruddock (uncredited) and Richard Wattis (uncredited)

Director: Ken Hughes

Producers: Albert R. Broccoli and Stanley Sopel

Screenplay: Ken Hughes and Roald Dahl

Composers: Richard M. Sherman (lyrics), Robert B. Sherman (lyrics) and Irwin Kostal (score) (uncredited)

Cinematography: Christopher Challis

Video Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.20:1 [Super Panavision 70]

Audio: English: 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, Spanish: 5.1 Dolby Digital and French: 5.1 DTS

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish and French

Running Time: 140 minutes

Region: All Regions

Number of discs: 1

Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Andrew's Blu-ray Review: When one thinks of Ian Fleming, one name usually pops to mind: Bond; James Bond. But in 1968, another of Fleming's creations made the leap to the big screen with ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.’ This curiously titled film is based on a children's book by Ian Fleming and stars Dick Van Dyke, who previously appeared in the highly successful 1964 fantasy film, ‘Mary Poppins’ now appears as Caractacus Potts, an inventor who spins a remarkable tale for his two children about a magical flying car.

‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' belongs to a class of films that are often mistaken for Disney productions when they're in fact not. While on other movies the reasoning doesn't usually go further than the use of animation or archetypes made popular by Disney, in the case of `Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' the confusion is more warranted. Dick Van Dyke playing the male lead in a splashy, two-and-a-half-hour 1960s musical with songs by the Sherman Brothers and score by Irwin Kostal is understandably reminiscent of ‘Mary Poppins.’ `Throw in a prim and proper female lead and two children, all from England, and the comparisons to Disney's 1964 classic are inevitable.

Loosely based on a book by creator Ian Fleming, ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' finds its protagonist by way of Caractacus Potts [Dick Van Dyke]. Caractacus Potts is an inventor, but not a very successful one. As the single father of children Jemima [Heather Ripley] and Jeremy [Adrian Hall], he struggles to make ends meet. The children request he save a used motorcar from destruction, so Caractacus Potts has it completely refurbished, christening it Chitty Chitty Bang Bang based on the sound it makes.

With Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the trio meets the refined, well-to-do Truly Scrumptious [Sally Ann Howes], daughter of a rich candy factory owner. She joins the group on a picnic that leads to storytelling from Potts. In his tale, the petulant and greedy Baron Bomburst [Gert Fröbe] seeks to steal Chitty for himself. Unable to do so, he kidnaps Grandpa Bungie Potts [Lionel Jeffries], thinking him to be the creator of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car. Thanks to the features Caractacus Potts has installed in the vehicle, the gang follows Baron Bomburst by both sea and air to the land of Vulgaria, where children are strictly prohibited. Now Caractacus Potts finds himself having to both rescue Grandpa Bungie Potts and keep his children safe.

The second half of the picture works much better, which is unusual, since many musicals have a strong first act to which the second can't compare, especially with films of the genre of ‘The Sound of Music,' `Funny Girl' and `Fiddler on the Roof' immediately come to mind. That's not to say that `Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' in Act II isn't perfect, however. The whole thing is played pretty much as a farce and because of that, there's barely a sense of peril. Only two scenes involving Robert Helpmann's as the creepy “Child Catcher” character present any real tension.

Even at its most self-serving, the picture is still entertaining for a variety of reasons. The songs by Richard and Robert Sherman are as strong as those of their other works. The title song and "Toot Sweets" both stay in one's head for days while "Doll on a Music Box" has a haunting quality to it. The choreography by ‘Mary Poppins' Marc Breaux and Dee Dee Wood is also impressive, particularly on "Toot Sweets" and "Me Ol' Bamboo." Often, musical numbers have a different feel from their surroundings, but these ones display just as much creativity and imagination as the dramatic scenes.

The screenplay, by Roald Dahl and Ken Hughes, who also directs, is remarkably good. The music is not distinguished, but with lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, like "Oh, what a lovely, lonely man," and "There's magic in the wake of a fiasco" and lines like "Zis is X speaking." The film, which accelerates, as a musical should, as it goes along can hardly miss. The preoccupation with sweets and machinery seems ideal for children. There is a very jolly, well done dance number, in which Miss Sally Ann Howes and Dick Van Dyke play puppets in Vulgaria, and another wittily vicious, patty cake minuet, choreographed by Marc Breaux and Dee Dee Wood.

Dick Van Dyke essentially plays himself here, which is just fine as he exudes natural charm as always. His charisma is almost enough to make one forget he's the sole American in this production, a fact that makes him being the father of two British children a bit odd, and Dick Van Dyke reportedly refused to do an accent for the film after the criticism he endured for his Cockney one in `Mary Poppins.'

The rest of the cast is likewise appealing and obviously having a great deal of fun. Most surprising is Gert Fröbe. Having only seen him as the calm and collected Bond villain Goldfinger, his over-the-top temper tantrums as the Baron are quite a revelation. Other cast members like Sally Ann Howes, Benny Hill, and Lionel Jeffries feel slightly underutilised, but they make the most of their screen time, particularly Lionel Jeffries.

The fantasy side of the film is deliberately a little obvious technically, so that when Chitty Chitty Bang Bang flies or floats, in a kind of paper cut-out processing shot, it is just clear enough that what's happening is not real. The jokes and puns are fairly distributed among age levels. There are some subtle, intelligent concessions to a child's view of the absolute, unappeasable arbitrariness of adult power, particularly the habit of replying to an absolutely crucial question, some children, in this case, wanting to know whether they are going to get out of a dungeon or not, "Well, we'll see."

There's a lot to like about `Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.' It has memorable numbers, staggering production design, and a sense of whimsy that's reflected in its cast. Unfortunately, it takes too long to really get going and prefers showing off what it can do rather than serving the story it's telling. So long as expectations are kept in check, fans of musical fantasies in the vein of ‘Mary Poppins' should enjoy this.

Blu-ray Video Quality – `Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' was shot in spherical 65mm format, but a 70mm for theatrical prints, here called Super Panavision as that company provided the lenses and cameras, but which was basically the same as Todd-AO, the better-known process, at least as Todd-AO existed in the late-1960s. The result is an extremely sharp, steady image along the lines of similar 65mm titles released films. The detail is just incredible, especially in wide shots and tight close-ups, where landscapes and actors' faces, pebbles on a beach, the texture of the costumes and make-ups on the actors, really take on an almost 3D look. Viewers can note the extreme detail given to even the extras' costumes and grotesque make-up and hairstyles, or in Ken Adam's highly imaginative set design.

Blu-ray Audio Video – The Roadshow presentations of `Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' were also in six-track magnetic stereo, with fully directional dialogue and superb fidelity that, to my ears at least, home theatre audio still can't quite surpass. The 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio comes awfully close, however. It's extremely strong for what it is, really maximizing the audio in every scene. The film was preceded by a brief overture, includes an unusual cliff-hanger intermission break, entr'acte, and exit music, all of which are included here.

Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:

Special Feature: Sing-Along: The Blu-ray carries over virtually all of the supplements from 2003's two-disc Special Edition DVD starting with a sing-along. As expected, this offers all of the film's musical numbers with accompanying lyrics that change colours so the singer can follow along. In a nice touch, this can be activated on the film itself or one could choose to play only the musical numbers individually or consecutively.

Special Feature: Chitty Chitty's, Bang Bang: Driving Game: The first of the Blu-ray-exclusive is where the player must guide the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car through a path made out to look like a 2D board game. Along the way, the player must avoid hitting obstacles and characters. The gameplay itself is shockingly clunky compared to most Blu-ray games, and to make matters worse, it is over in approximately 60 seconds.

Special Feature: Toot Sweet Toot's Musical Maestro: At six points throughout the film, a selection of coloured candies will emerge at the bottom of the screen. The player must press the corresponding colour keys on their remote in the same order the sweets twirl in. Why this is placed over the feature film six times instead of in an isolated set-top game is anyone's guess. It's boring and offers no treat for successful play.

Special Feature: Remembering `Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' with Dick Van Dyke [2003] [25:58] Showcases a then-current interview with the actor about his experiences making the film. While he lavishes praise on his co-workers and the film itself, he still provides plenty of substantial information. Nearly every musical number he was a part of is given some attention, and he even points out little details to look for in each. While it's a shame Sally Ann Howes and the two actors who played the children weren't interviewed to give this piece a broader perspective, Dick Van Dyke's winning enthusiasm makes the featurette worth a look.

Special Feature: A Fantasmagorical Motorcar [2003] [9:43] looks at the iconic car itself and its owner Pierre Picton. Pierre Picton tells of how he was entrusted with the car's maintenance during production and how he later stumbled upon it once again, purchasing it for himself. He also gives a detailed examination of the car and all of its kooky details. Pierre Picton's anecdotes are interesting, and the showcasing of the car gives one an appreciation for its design.

Special Feature: Sherman Brothers Demos [2003] [30:20] Performed by the Sherman Brothers themselves, whether or not both are present is difficult to tell as only Richard is singing. What makes this particularly unique is that three of the demos are for songs that didn't make it into the film. All are a treat to hear and are surprisingly crisp in quality. Note that during the duration of these songs, a static image of the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car is placed on the screen. While a half-hour may not be enough time to create burn-in on a screen, it's still a little uncomfortable not to have other images in rotation.

Special Feature: Vintage Documentary: The Ditchling Tinkerer [1968] [10:06] You get a trio of promotional clips from the time of the film's release. Focuses on inventor Roland Emmett. Roland Emmett can be credited with the many bizarre contraptions found in the Caractacus Potts home, and he even gives us a closer examination of how these work.

Special Feature: Dick Van Dyke Press Interview [1967] [8:48] Here you have a single-take Q & A between the actor and off-screen journalists whose questions are rather banal and even a little sceptical. While Dick Van Dyke's answers are well thought-out, his mannerisms and expressions throughout the interview make him seem a little tipsy. When one knows of the actor's struggle with alcohol during this time period, it makes for somewhat uneasy viewing.

Special Feature: The Potts Children [3:05] Looks at the child actors Heather Ripley and Adrian Hall. We see them fooling around with the other actors in between takes and even some of their (staged) time exploring the German countryside. Oddly, the children, especially Heather Ripley, sound significantly older in their narration, making one wonder how long the film's post-production process ran.

Special Feature: Photo Gallery: You have a 46-still photo gallery contains various shots from the set, both candid behind-the-scenes and ones shot for promotional purposes.

Vintage Advertising Galleries: Contains the Theatrical Trailer [3:20], a French Theatrical Trailer [3:36] and five TV spots [3:36].

Finally, while perhaps falling short of being a genuine classic, ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' remains an absolute cinematic delight, which has been a massive favourite of mine for years. It is definitely recommended for viewers of all ages, but it's absolutely essential viewing for children. The hi-definition image and sound are terrific, making it easy to suggest why you should get this awesome Blu-ray disc and again I am so proud to now have it added to my Blu-ray Collection and if you have not got this in your Blu-ray Collection, then you are missing out on a fantastic treat and it will take you on a fantastic journey and all the extras you get with this Blu-ray disc is totally fascinating and is an added bonus. Highly Recommended!

Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom
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on November 25, 2003
Just received the latest 2-DVD Special Edition of this movie today (11-25-03) and I couldn't wait to watch it again. As of today, Amazon is still using the old cover art for this edition which didn't show the attractive new graphic art. What a package? MGM has outdone them again on an extremely generous offering. They have already given us the 2-DVD Special Editions of "West Side Story," "Windtalkers," and "Dances with Wolves."
MGM first put out this movie on Standard Format only a few years ago. I enjoyed the original DVD very much with its bright transfer and good music. However, I always wish them to put out the ultimate widescreen edition as it's my preferred choice of watching this movie.
The dream has just been answered. Just look at this package - a choice to watch this movie in either widescreen or standard format (both versions on the same disc); the whole movie has been freshly remastered; a 32-page Collectible booklet plus many other supplementary materials. All these at a very attractive price. I couldn't ask for anything more. What a steal - it's the best deal in town.
One look at the picture and you have to agree that this is truly the "ultimate" edition for this movie. It's like the movie was just freshly made yesterday. I whole-heartedly recommend this 2-DVD Special Edition Set to anyone who enjoys this movie.
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on March 11, 2003
I don't remember that many movies from when I was a youngster, probably because not that many stood out as anything special. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang however, is one movie I remember vividly. The sense of excitement, the colour, the music is all woven together in a spectacle of movie making that we seldom, if ever see these days. This way out fantasy is aimed at children but is none the less great entertainment for the entire family. Dick Van Dyke gives an outstanding performance and displays talents that are rarely seen in actors these days. The simple theme song is a classic that many baby boomers would easily be able to sing along to. It may be difficult to cultivate as much excitement as I had for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, with kids nowadays. They are conditioned to movies of a different ilk. If you have young kids however, I think we owe it to them, to introduce them to the movie so they can see for themselves a movie made in the old fashion way, which focuses on fun and adventure. Highly recommended.
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on August 17, 2002
This picture is just plain fun and the older i get the more i like it and discover new things about it. My favorite character is the "child catcher with the net." Why can't there be someone like that in real life especailly with todays kids. But i digress.Even though i find the kids voice somewhat annoying, the sound that is on this DVD is really great. The THX 5.1 sound catches everything that was originally recorded for the highest highs to the lowest lows. The picture quality is excellent and the film is in it's Roadshow presentation with the Intermission.This film is a total JOY for all ages. And with the ever so talented Dick Van Dyke you simply can not get any better. Sally Ann Howes is a broadway gem of a star as well as the entire cast and somehow you get a found appreciation for Benny Hill who is really totally out of character in this movie. He's wonderful. This film is a classic and if you a bit down or sad, put this movie on for a great uplifting feeling.
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