Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is a beloved film from 1968. It’s been made into a musical. It’s lauded as family-friendly fun.
Over the years some people have raised concerns about it’s darker themes. Most often, this has centered around the Child Catcher – the admittedly very creepy villain who, as his name suggests, captures and imprisons children.
But that is not what creeps me out about this film.
No, it’s that weird scene in the film between the Baron and Baroness as they sing ‘Cho Chi Face / My Teddy Bear’. During this song, the Baron and Baroness profess their love for each other while simultaneously the Baton is trying to kill the Baroness. You can watch it on YouTube via this link.
What bothered me most, as a child, was not the cartoonish way in which the Baron tries to kill his wife. Instead, it was the Baroness. Dressed in lingerie, she strikes some relatively sexual poses. What on earth is that doing in a family film? As a child, I instinctively felt that this was inappropriate, and as an adult it seems totally unnecessary. If a point needed to be made that Baron does not like his wife, despite appearances, surely she could be fully clothed instead of dressed like some old-fashioned hooker? And the undertones of a woman offering herself sexually to a violent man just seem distasteful in family fare.
Children’s films have always taken on some darker themes (witness the profusion of parental deaths in Disney films). It may even be said that this is one way children can start to explore these themes in a safe environment. But in this case, one has to wonder what point the filmmakers actually thought they were making. If any.
When I first saw this film as a young boy, I don’t remember anything about the baroness..the next time I saw it was as a teen, OMG I certainly noticed then! I never understood the need for it at all in this film, except maybe giving the dad’s something to remember the film by? The premise of a hot young wife who loves her man dopes all she can for him as he tries to kill her over and over, never made sense to me, nor does it fit with the movie at all. The only bit of reality I can come up with is the fact that the director did a film the year prior called drop dead darling where a man about town weds and kills his brides for money. The women playing the baroness was one of these women, was he turned on by this and extended it to the next movie? It’s just weird. But I must admit as an adult male, she did look pretty good 🙂
I remember a stand-up comedian talking about ‘something for the dads’ – that was hilarious (if a bit sad). Agree it doesn’t fit with the movie – maybe you’re right about the director – isn’t there a similar sort of rumor about Tarantino?
Very strange indeed. ??? I never saw the movie, but I watched about 30 seconds of the clip you shared so I’d know what you were talking about…WOW, absolutely not a family-friendly outfit. 😛
I also found that the director also did the original Casino Royale, again Anna Quayle (the Baroness) is in it and is killed. Very odd!! Well either way, as a kid I remember the car, as a teen I could only lust over the Baroness and my confusion of why any man would not want hers, so I guess they had me for years haha!