Chitty Chitty Bible Bible

Talk about hidden in plain sight! I was just made aware that Roald Dahl (author of James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and other classics of the “modern fairy-tale” genre) also had a hand, co-authoring the film script to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, though the author of the book was Ian Fleming. Hidden in plain sight is the car’s licence plate, “Gen 11.” The eleventh chapter of Genesis recounts the rise and fall of the people of Babel. It makes, I believe, the first Torah reference to the “children of men” (or in agenda-free versions, “sons of men”), which hearkens to P. D. James’ book (James normally writes detective stories featuring Chief Inspector Adam Dalgliesh) bearing this expression as its title.

As it happens, both Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Children of Men have, as their premise, a child-free society, though one is by royal edict while the other is by biological hazard, a biohazard similar to the one the people of Æon Flux experience, though in this case unawares thanks to the government taking the liberty to inject in vitro in “suitable” couples. Yet I digress.

But the Biblical references in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang don’t end there. There is the “firey furnace” into which a prospective customer threatens to throw her at the start of the film. There is obvious Biblical jargon in the lyrics, “… fuel burning oracle …” etc. (I love this and the music to The Jungle Book!) Does anyone have any more extensive, less piecemeal commentary on the film?

Yes, they wear funny hats.:tiphat:


OK, I know the movie bears little resemblance to the book, but this ‘reading’ seems completely off-base. For one thing, the “GEN 11” plate number is right in the book (as a hint to the magical nature of the car, “genii”).

Honestly, why the movie tells a totally different story than the book is a mystery to me. I would’ve much rather watched the kids outwitting the gangsters.

Genii. Interesting.

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