THING -Chitty Chitty Bang Bang …an in-depth look #2

Here we continue to examine just what is so great about this film.
If you haven’t already, read from the start.

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Scrumptious and foreboding.

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The colour is draining. An echoey reception foreshadows the frosty reception Professor Potts is about to receive.

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Intimidating or what? Again, colour is now two-tone so the jump to almost black & white in the next scene won’t be too jarring to viewers.

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Again a large set for performing crowds. This time colour is drained, allowing only the sweets to stand out.

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The background cast are all set for their big number…

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…and off they go!

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I could go on about the top-class choreography and timeless classic tunes, but just how long do you want to be here? Anyway, most great musicals are excellent in these areas. We’re talking here about the ‘extra’ things that make Chitty Chitty Bang Bang so good (in my opinion).

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“Use the space!” …And they do.
Making use of the minimalist setting, nothing is wasted

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Colour spills across the bare set, showing chaos -as later when the children have their revolution and throw buckets of ‘red’ on the floor for soldier to slip on.

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Look at the “lived-in mess” that is this room. For some reason, Jemima’s bed is in two halves. The blankets are also in two halves.
My guess is to allow the camera fit in that space as it pans through the room.

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As the camera pans from Jeremy to Jemima, Professor Potts sings
“It fills the sails of boats that are waiting…”
…and what do we see onscreen at that point, chief among the ‘incidental clutter’?

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Now more impeccable crowds. Do I need to point out the orange set and matching costumes? I don’t think so.

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There are no awkward extras in this film. People with 1-second walk-through parts are all believeable -this is amazing for any film.

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This set is fully-loaded. People are piled on top of each other, giving the full flavour of a crowded fair.

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Cyril tests his strength as Babs notices Dick.

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“It tickles”
“Ooh you always say that, Cyril!”

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Now, is this funny or what!?

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Caractacus escapes to join the Morris Dancers (as one does). But look again at the posters behind -very convincing for this era.

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Ok, I said I won’t go on about the choreography, but this has the rank among the best-choreographed scenes/ dance-routines ever. They jump, they throw and wave their sticks and Dick Van Dyke does a great impression of someone trying to keep up with them -of course that too is choreographed to be slightly behind the timing of the others.

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…but Dick soon falls into step, keeping up excellently with the ‘professionals’.

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…which earns him enough to buy that car we saw before.

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…but as Grandpa says “It’ll never go m’boy!”
Lionel Jeffries is outstanding in this movie. And you’d never guess that he is/was actually younger than Dick Van Dyke!

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Look at his hat. The sun has touched that crown once too often.

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So the car enters the barn and work begins on Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!

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“…and the big brown bear came LLOLLLOPPING over the mountain!”

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“…and the big brown bear came LLOLLLOPPING over the mountain!”

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Huh!? Noise has stopped! Has he finished!? (no -not quite)

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Can’t you just HEAR that swell of music as the shiny car is gently pushed through the doors?

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HONK HONK
Nice shot -just had to leave it in here.

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“I’m off to Alaska m’boy!”

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It works!

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Spot the producer’s name?

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To be honest, I don’t think all of these sailors behind are quite pulling their weight, but just look at these other ‘extras’ giving it their all.

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I mean is it POSSIBLE to watch this movie and not sing along and wave to all those passers-by?

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Even in still-form I feel like waving! Wave with me!! …Chitty Bang Bang, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang… come on!

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Now continue to page 3 of this THING

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One thought on “THING -Chitty Chitty Bang Bang …an in-depth look #2”

  1. Love it, love it, love it! And I thought I’d found all the layers!

    But I couldn’t get past page 2!! “The page doesn’t exist…”

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