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Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Review


Good
I'm old enough to have seen Chitty Chitty Bang Bang during its original theatrical run, and I've just about recovered. Like The Wizard of Oz, this movie has the power both to delight and to traumatize children. I'm not sure my parents quite knew what they were putting me through.

Based on a story by Ian Fleming (of James Bond fame), produced by Cubby Broccoli (of James Bond fame), and written by Roald Dahl (who knew a thing or two about scaring children), this gadgety fantasy finds unsuccessful inventor Caractacus Potts (Dick Van Dyke) working on a supercar that can both fly and float while also taking care of his dotty father (Lionel Jeffries) and his two children Jeremy and Jemimah (Adrian Hall and Heather Ripley). Also on hand, a potential love interest for Potts named Truly Scrumptious (Sally Ann Howes), heiress to the Toot Sweet candy fortune.

Continue reading: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Review

The Italian Job (1969) Review


Very Good
Only the British and Steven Soderbergh seem to be able to make funny caper movies. The Italian Job -- the original one, that is -- is a quite funny, minor classic of the genre, elevated from midnight movie fare thanks to the presence of a spot-on Michael Caine.

The film's setup is pretty staid: Caine's Charlie Croker is straight outta prison, and he's right back at the crime game the moment he's released. Thanks to guidance from boss Bridger (Noel Coward, appearing primarily in films given to Caine), the job is meticulously planned and staffed: Ultimately the gig is to cause a giant traffic jam in the city of Turin, steal $4 million in gold from an armored car, and escape using clever non-roadway surfaces so the cops can't follow them.

Continue reading: The Italian Job (1969) Review

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