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Filming Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at Rothenburg

This post features a recently discovered 8mm home movie which was taken in Rothenburg ob der Tauber at the time the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was being filmed. The film shows many of the stars of the film and the iconic car herself.

I discovered the film as I was sorting through a bundle of standard 8 films I bought a couple of years ago.

It was in a yellow Kodak envelope of the sort the films used to arrive back from the processors in, and it had written on the side a word which I couldn’t easily read but it looked something like ‘Rothenking’. This didn’t mean anything to me, but after I’d scanned the film and saw the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car I did some research on locations used for filming and discovered that some of the action took place at Rothenburg. Once I saw that I worked out what the writing actually said.

Filming Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at Rothenburg

So this film was taken in July 1967 when the scenes of the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang film which were taken at Rothenburg were filmed.

The film starts with some general scenes looking around the town which had been transformed for the filming which was going to take place. There is a very short clip of Sally Anne Field and then some more shots of the town and what I assume are some of the production staff.

The first glimpse of Dick Van Dyke shows him sitting on a chair with other members of the cast and crew, and then the cameraman moves to the other side of the chairs and takes a closer shot of Dick Van Dyke talking to another member of the film crew. Shortly after this scene at about 40 seconds in, the car make an appearance with what I assume to be Gert Frobe standing up in the car with the two children.

After some more shots of the town the Child Catcher, played by Robert Helpmann is seen, first swirling his brightly coloured cloak around and then leading a horse and carriage through an archway.

The car makes another appearance with Dick Van Dyke, Sally Anne Field, the two children in the film and another character I couldn’t make out properly standing next to it. I wondered if this was a publicity shoot since they seemed to be posing.

I discovered a few seconds later that the character I couldn’t recognise was Benny Hill, who appears in close up waiting for a scene he isn’t in to be filmed.

The rest of the clip focuses on soldiers on horseback who must have been in the film but I don’t actually remember them very well.

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If you see anything in the film which you recognise or you think gives clues to the location or date, please let me know in the comments below. Also, please share this post with your friends if you think they may be able to help locate scene in this film.

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A software developer by profession and an amateur photographer by hobby I've been interested in all things photographic since I was a teenager some 40 years ago. Many of my interests centre around vintage film photography and cinematography.

  1. Dave Hinett says:

    wow this is amazing footage of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, I also have some vintage 8mm footage shot on set

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