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Chitty Chitty Bang Bang [2 Disc Special Edition] [1968] [DVD]

Guide price: £6

Last updated on 8th Jul 2013

Tags: home entertainment

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Chitty Chitty Bang Bang [2 Disc Special Edition] [1968] [DVD]

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang entranced and thrilled children and their parents when it puttered into the cinema in 1968. More than three decades later, and despite the eventual arrival of a stage version that throws the full weight of blockbuster effects at the story, the original remains the real thing for fans of all ages. The flying car is the star and it's impossible not to feel a surge of thrilling relief as the wings kick in when she plunges over the cliff and soars off on her great adventure.

The songs might not be the greatest in musical history, but they are delivered with great charm by Dick Van Dyke as Caractacus Potts (a toned-down version of his infamous Bert in Mary Poppins), Sally Ann Howes (Truly Scrumptious) and the children. And then there is Robert Helpmann's child catcher, a terrifyingly sinister figure who exudes a pungent whiff of undiluted evil unmatched by any character since Dorothy squared up to the witch in The Wizard of Oz.

Cameos from British character actors abound: Benny Hill, Lionel Jeffries, Anna Quayle, James Robertson Justice and Max Wall all put in appearances that add some fibre to the overall sweetness of the story. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is the ultimate nostalgic confection for family viewing.

On the DVD: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Special Edition comes to DVD in widescreen format with a Dolby soundtrack to recreate the authentic cinematic experience for everyone who remembers it from the first time round. The picture quality is robust, revealing some rather homespun aspects to the special effects. Extras are dominated by Dick Van Dyke remembering his time on the film, plus a short item on the origins of the car itself and various trailers.

--Piers Ford

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