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Runcible Cat
May 28, 2007

A post? Never!!

Pillbug

chitoryu12 posted:

How have they not had a single thought at any point that this might be a bad idea? That someone who's gone to all this effort to fill the cave with warning signs and traps might not be too happy with a bunch of nosy Brits showing up in their secret treasure stash or smuggler's cave? These knuckleheads would try to break into the Joker's hideout on the basis of "adventure". just to avoid reversing

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Ichabod Sexbeast
Dec 5, 2011

Giving 'em the old razzle-dazzle


sebmojo posted:

I'm guessing... Jewel thieves?

Gonna say smugglers and/or wreckers, based on the proximity to the sea, the earlier mention of wreckers on Godwin's Sands, and how smugglers seemed to be the go-to criminals for plucky gangs of children to thwart in british novels of that era

Trin Tragula
Apr 22, 2005



Whatever the dastardly Frenchman is up to in that cave will be reason enough to interfere with his perfidious scheming, by Jingo!

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





This is loving precious is what this is.

The_White_Crane
May 10, 2008


chitoryu12 posted:

“By golly, you’re a clever girl, Jemima! I do believe you’ve found the secret.” He called to the other two. “Stand back, everyone. I’m going to press down this switch. Heaven only knows what’ll happen. Ready?” And he pressed down the switch.

Ian Fleming never posted:

Instantly, razor-sharp blades shot forth from concealed apertures, severing Commander Pott's arms and legs in a flash!
Hidden machine-guns sprayed death into the passageway, cutting down Jeremy, Mimsie and Jemima!
A sudden hush fell in the cavern, relieved only by the mournful, lonely rumbling of CHITTY-CHITTY-BANG-BANG.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



Chapter 8: A Nest of Crooks and Gangsters

quote:

From somewhere inside the walls of the cave there came a deep rumbling and grinding of machinery, as, very slowly, the jagged zigzag crack in the solid wall widened and widened and widened until the two halves of what was really a secret door slid sideways into deep slots in the side walls of the cave. And what do you think CHITTY-CHITTY-BANG-BANG’s lights showed through the opening? A huge vaulted room, quite as big as the inside of your village church, and all round the sides were cases and boxes and barrels and sacks neatly stacked up against the walls. It was an underground warehouse — a very secret warehouse for secret things. What could these things be? And who owned them? And why did the owners want to keep them secret? And why did they want a very private cave leading down through the cliff to the sea? And where were the owners? And, since it all smelt so strongly of secrecy, and therefore probably of unlawfulness, how nasty could these owners be?


I think I found this place in Skyrim once!

quote:

These questions and many others ran through all their minds, and Commander Pott put their thoughts in a nutshell when he put his hands on his hips and declared, “Ho hum! I smell dirty work! Now then, everyone, switch on the brains! Full power! What do we do next?”

Mimsie, who was, like all mothers, worried about the children, said at once, “Darling, let’s close the secret door again and reverse quietly back down the way we came. I don’t like the look of this at all.”

Yes!

quote:

But Jeremy and Jemima just wouldn’t agree to this. They were both the tiniest bit trembly about the way the adventure was going, but they had inherited some of their father’s exploring bug and they were terribly eager to discover the secrets of the big underground vault. “Oh, please, Mimsie,” they both pleaded together, “do let’s find out what it’s all about.”

No!

quote:

Commander Pott reflected and said, “Well, Mimsie, after all, no one’s going to eat us. And the children don’t seem worried. I vote we see the adventure through. It would be ghastly reversing CHITTY-CHITTY-BANG-BANG the whole way back now over a mile of cave to the sea. Besides, we’ve been climbing all the way and we can’t be far from the top of the cliff. The cave obviously goes on out of this vault on the other side and leads on to the top. Come on, we’ll drive the car up onto the level floor of the vault and give her a rest and then have a good explore. After all, this is pretty thrilling and we really must get to the bottom of the secret.”

This is peak Irresponsible Dad.

quote:

“All right, darling,” said Mimsie rather reluctantly. “You know I’m just as keen as you are to find out what this is all about. But if you ask me, there’s something pretty fishy about all this — something, well, something criminal. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we hadn’t come upon a nest of crooks and gangsters. I only hope none of them appear while we’re looking into their secret hoard!”

“Oh, well,” said Commander Pott cheerfully, “have to take the rough with the smooth. You never get real adventures without a bit of risk somewhere. Come on!” And they all piled back into CHITTY-CHITTY-BANG-BANG and crept up the last bit of slope until they were parked slap in the middle of the huge secret vault.

And thus begins the tale of how Commander Caractacus Pott and his family were found dismembered, washing up on the shore of Dover.

quote:

While the others piled out and began carefully sniffing about round the edge of the bales and barrels and packages, Commander Pott went back and found the switch on their side of the secret door, and with a grind and a hum of machinery, the two halves came together again. Then he came back and they all systematically began to pry and peer into the secret stocks that were piled up round the walls of the big, echoing vault.

Jeremy was the first. “Machine-guns,” he cried excitedly, “packed in grease-paper. They’re in sections ready to assemble!”

Mimsie said, “Oh, heavens! Boxes and boxes of bombs and hand-grenades!”

“Daggers,” called Jemima, “all kinds of them. And bayonets with rifles to go with them!”

“Well I’m dashed,” said Commander Pott. “Dynamite in these cases, and yards and yards of fuse. And gelignite — the stuff burglars use to blast open safes and strong-rooms.”

“Revolvers,” called out Jeremy, “automatic pistols. Big ones and small ones — every kind. With boxes and boxes of cartridges.”

Someone is going to die in this room.

quote:

Mimsie called out anxiously, “Now, don’t touch anything, children. You can look, but not touch. Something might go off.” (Mothers are always thinking something is going to go off — on Guy Fawkes Day, for instance, with the fireworks. And very often mothers are right about this. I must admit that Jeremy and Jemima knew this through one bitter experience with a box of jumping-crackers, and they were very careful about the way they peered into the boxes and bales.)

So the search went on. And there was no doubt about it, the family had come upon a great secret arsenal of weapons that certainly hadn’t been hidden down in the vault except for some secret and probably criminal purpose.

When people describe this as James Bond for kids, they ain't loving kidding!

quote:

Finally they all came together again in the middle of the vault, and they looked at their father to see what he was going to say about this extraordinary and rather frightening discovery.

Commander Pott had a scruffy bit of paper in his hand and he said, “You know what I think all this stuff is for? In one of the boxes, full of clubs and knuckle-dusters, there was this scrap of paper that says:


Amazingly, this is one of the only addresses in this thread that isn't even a real street!

quote:

“Now, he’s the man I’ve read about from time to time as being responsible for most of the bank robberies and hold-ups in England that the papers are always full of. But the police have never been able to catch him and they’ve never even been able to find out where he gets his weapons from. Well, there’s no doubt about it. This is his secret arms dump, and I bet my bottom dollar he smuggles what he wants from time to time over the Channel on foggy nights by speed-boat. Now”— Commander Pott scratched his head —“what do we do next?”

“I know, I know, I know!” cried Jeremy excitedly. “Blow it all up!”

This is incredible.

quote:

“Don’t be silly, darling,” said Mimsie. “What about us and CHITTY-CHITTY-BANG-BANG? Do you want to blow us up too?”

“Well,” said Commander Pott thoughtfully, “it would be rather fun, wouldn’t it? But first of all we must find the way out of here. The cave must go on to the top of the cliff, or Joe the Monster and his gang couldn’t have got all this stuff down here. Now, I’ve noticed that the draught we’ve been feeling all the way up the cave is coming from over there.” He pointed to the back of the vault. “From behind those huge packing-cases. Let’s just have a look.”

He went over to the packing-cases and hauled on the front one, and instead of weighing a ton as they had all expected, it moved easily aside, and so did the next one and the next one. And when he moved the fourth, with the help of the family all tugging and panting, there was the continuation of their cave sloping upwards, and in the distance there was a pale glimmer of light.

“By golly!” cried Commander Pott. “That must be the top. Now then. We’ll get CHITTY-CHITTY-BANG-BANG through the opening and go on up until we get out of here and then I’ll run back and lay a fuse down the cave to the dynamite and we’ll get as far away as possible before the firework display.” He looked at his watch. “It’s after eight, so it’ll be dark enough to get the most out of our fireworks. But I’m famished and I know all of you must be, so after the big bang, we’ll go off to the nearest town and find somewhere for dinner and bed. We’ll certainly all have earned it after this evening’s work — if all goes well. And I don’t see why it shouldn’t.”

Just casually detonating a hardened criminal's entire hideout and going out for dinner! Fun for the whole family!

quote:

So they piled back into CHITTY-CHITTY-BANG-BANG, and she started up with her two sneezes and two small explosions and they motored between the packing-cases and up the slope and out of the secret vault with its huge hoard of explosives and guns that belonged to the biggest crook in England — Joe the Monster!

Outside the vault, Commander Pott stopped the car and went back, while the twins watched through the entrance to see what he did. He took a long roll of fuse out of one of the boxes (it looks like stiff, thin rope and it’s stuffed with magnesium powder or some other quick-burning explosive, rather like the blue touch-paper you light when you want to set off a firework), and he attached one end to the stacks of dynamite (that comes in oblong sticks) and piled all the gelignite (that’s a stiff putty stuff) on top of the dynamite, and then he unrolled the length of fuse and came back to the car, after blocking up the entrance again with the big crates so that the explosion, when it came, wouldn’t chase them up the cave. Then he gave Jeremy the big roll of fuse to unwind as they went along, and off went CHITTY-CHITTY-BANG-BANG up the sloping cave towards the distant glimmer of light that was the entrance.


Are we sure this was written for kids? We're getting a little Anarchist's Cookbook Junior.

quote:

The entrance was hidden behind a big clump of bushes in an old disused quarry, but CHITTY-CHITTY-BANG-BANG nosed her way through and they bumped and banged across the rough floor of the quarry until they came to a cart track that led away across the fields to one of the French main roads about ten miles away.

It was getting dusky by now, and far away across the fields, they could see the sidelights of a car that seemed to be coming towards them along the same cart track as they were on. “I expect it’s some farmer,” said Commander Pott. “Come on, we’d better set light to the fuse and get away quick, or we — and perhaps the farmer too — may get a lump of chalk on our heads. There’s a terrific load of explosive down there inside the cave, and heaven knows how much of the cliff we’re going to blow up when the fuse gets to the dynamite.”

There is no way this man is qualified for this.

quote:

Commander Pott got out of the car, took the rest of the roll of fuse from Jeremy, cut off the end, and threw the rest of the coil into the back of the car. Then he knelt down and put a match to the end of the fuse.



Well, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a real fuse on fire, but the flame runs almost as fast as you can run, and with a tiny bang and a splutter the little yellow flame darted off across the floor of the quarry back towards the bush that hid the mouth of the cave, and Commander Pott dived for the driver’s seat and got CHITTY-CHITTY-BANG-BANG quickly through the gears and racing off along the cart track away from the danger area. When he had gone a good two hundred yards away from the edge of the quarry, he stopped the car and they all looked back and waited, and I must confess that Mimsie and Jeremy and Jemima all had their hands firmly clamped over their ears.

I legitimately cannot believe this is happening in a children's book.

quote:

“It must be close now,” cried Commander Pott excitedly, and even as he said “now,” there came a deep rumbling roar from right down inside the cliff, the ground shook, a great yellow jet of flame shot out of the quarry they had just left, and from the edge of the cliff there came a distant flash and a deep boom, and a pillar of smoke rose slowly into the air as the force of the explosion rushed down the long cave and burst out down by the edge of the sea. Then there came a series of smaller underground explosions and crackles as the ammunition-boxes blew up one by one and the bombs and cartridges caught fire, and then there came one last terrific roar and whoosh of flame out of the quarry and to seawards, and there was a crackling and rumbling noise in the ground and the cliff-top above the cave split open and smoke and flame came out, like a mixture between a volcano and an earthquake. And then the smoking crack in the ground closed again, leaving a big dent in the grass where the inside of the cliff had collapsed, filling in the underground vault and the remains of the cave.

And then there was silence!

They all let their breath out with a whoosh.

“By golly!” (Jemima)

“Gee whiz!” (Jeremy)

“Well, I never!” (Mimsie)

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





If Bond is the worst spy, this is the worst dad.

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007






Biscuit Hider

Yeah, just a little bit of underground demolition work to liven up the weekend getaway.

Proteus Jones
Feb 28, 2013





Hair Elf

quote:

“I know, I know, I know!” cried Jeremy excitedly. “Blow it all up!”



As a kid I would be 100% Team Jeremy. Hell, as an adult I’m 100% Team Jeremy here.

Runcible Cat
May 28, 2007

A post? Never!!

Pillbug

chitoryu12 posted:

I legitimately cannot believe this is happening in a children's book.

Yeah, it's pretty obvious why this bit didn't make it into the movie.

Trin Tragula
Apr 22, 2005



Runcible Cat posted:

Yeah, it's pretty obvious why this bit didn't make it into the movie.

Well, they do say the French are supposed to be our allies now.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



Chapter 9: Mortal Danger

quote:

“That’s the biggest bang I’ve ever heard,” Commander Pott said. “Now, come on! We’d better get away quick from here before we have to do any explaining. There’s that farmer’s car still coming, and people will have heard that bang as far away as Calais. They’ll even have heard it right across the Channel in England. We’d better steal quietly away, and when we get back to England I’ll go and explain things to Scotland Yard. I bet they won’t make a fuss. Probably even give us all medals! It’s getting dark, and I bet you’re all starving. I know I am.” And he put CHITTY-CHITTY-BANG-BANG into gear, and she roared along the cart track just as if she was as hungry and thirsty as all of them.

"I'm sure there will be no consequences at all for what we just did!"

quote:

BUT —

BUT —

BUT —

And again BUT!

Ah.

quote:

As they approached what they thought had been a farmer’s car, they saw it was a big black open tourer, a very powerful-looking car indeed. It had drawn itself right across the track so as not to let them pass, and four men had got out and were standing, or rather crouching down, and three of them had revolvers in their hands. One of them, a huge unshaven giant of a man with shoulders as big as a gorilla’s, came slowly towards where Commander Pott had been forced to pull up. He looked as if he would burst with rage, and his eyes were red with fury and his lips were drawn back from his big yellow teeth in a snarl.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LehcJeNbFBw

The film has no gangster plot whatsoever. Instead, the villain is Baron Bomburst (played by Gert Fröbe, better known as Goldfinger), tyrannical ruler of the island of Vulgaria, who wants to capture Chitty Chitty Bang Bang for himself. The vacation on Goodwin Sands is instead an attack by the Baron's pirates, and when he accidentally captures Lord Scrumptious and Caractacus Pott's father the family flies off to save them.

Far better known than the actual antagonist is the Child Catcher, who kidnaps children on the island. Roald Dahl and Ken Hughes both fought over who actually invented the character for the screenplay, but the performance by Australian ballet dancer Robert Helpmann turned him into an iconic 1960s children's movie villain.

quote:

Commander Pott whispered, “I regret to have to announce that that’s Joe the Monster. I’ve seen pictures of him outside police stations. And the other three are his gang — Man-Mountain Fink, who’s escaped from heaven knows how many prisons — he must be on the run now; Soapy Sam — he’s their explosives expert for opening safes (‘soap’ is the crooks’ name for gelignite), and Blood-Money Banks, the blackmailer. Watch out! This is going to be tricky!”

They just open fire while Commander Pott is in the middle of explaining this.

quote:

Joe the Monster came up to the car. In his most threatening manner, he growled, “And who might you all be? And what might you all know about that there explosion what’s just taken place?”

Commander Pott said innocently, “Explosion? Explosion?” He turned to the children. “Anyone hear an explosion round here?”

Jeremy said brightly, “There was a bit of a pop just now, Daddy. Over by the cliff. You must have missed it.”

You people are loving dead.

quote:

“Bit of a pop!” Joe the Monster almost exploded himself. He turned round. “Hear that, mates?” He said in a mincing voice, “They think they may have heard a bit of a pop.” He turned back threateningly. “Bit of a pop! Call that whopping volcano a bit of a pop? Why, it sounded like the end of the world!” Now his voice was an angry growl. “I saw you folks drive up out of the quarry and I happen, I just happen like, to see a roll of fuse beside those little rascals in the back seat.” (Oh dear, thought Jeremy and Jemima together, we ought to have sat on it!) “So do you know what I’m going to do with you and this saucy-looking bus of yours?” He gave a great cackle of cruel laughter. “Why, in exchange for you having blown up my belongings, I’m going to blow up yours and you all with it. See? I’m going to light the end of that fuse and put the lighted end in the petrol tank of your fancy motor-car and up you’ll all go! How do you like the thought of that, eh, my fine little family of meddlers in other people’s business?” He turned to the other gangsters. “Get your guns ready, men, and if any of these rascals try to escape, shoot them down like rabbits. Get it?” The dreadful gangsters cackled with joy at the thought of the sport they were going to have, and the Pott family heard the click of the safety-catches going back.

Fleming really loved gangsters, didn't he? He finally got to make a classic London gangster!

quote:

“Now then, you little monkey in the back there, hand over that length of fuse or it’ll be the worse for you.” And he pointed his revolver straight at Jeremy.

“I won’t,” said Jeremy stoutly, “and if I’m a monkey, you’re the ugliest ape outside the London Zoo.” And he took the roll of fuse and sat on it.

How is this a children's book?

quote:

“Ho-ho!” Joe the Monster grimaced with fury at the insult. “You young whipper-snapper. I’ll teach you to do what you’re told,” and he took a big black billy club out of his pocket and walked purposefully towards the car.

Jeremy had butterflies in his tummy at the sight, but out of the corner of his eye he saw Commander Pott’s hand steal across to the little lever that worked the wing mechanism, and as Joe the Monster drew level with the car, Commander Pott pulled the lever sharply down and CHITTY-CHITTY-BANG-BANG’s big green mudguards swung sharply out into their wing-shape. The right-hand wing caught Joe the Monster slap in his tummy and sent him flying head over heels.


And then Chitty sprouted auto-targeting shotguns!

quote:

“Hang on,” shouted Commander Pott. “And keep your heads down.” And he rammed the accelerator down into the floorboards.

CHITTY-CHITTY-BANG-BANG leaped forward with an angry roar from her twin exhausts and swooped low at the other three gangsters, who just had time to throw themselves down on their faces or they would have been mown down, like Joe the Monster, by the charging wings. And then the great green aerocar, for that is what she had become, just cleared the top of the gangsters’ car and roared off towards the main road.

Of course the gangsters were soon on their feet and all their guns spat bullets at the swooping green dragon, but Commander Pott zigzagged the wheel, and although there was one bang as a bullet hit the coachwork, the other bullets whistled harmlessly past and the spurting flames of the revolvers got smaller and smaller in the dusk.

“Whew!” said Commander Pott. “That was a narrow shave.”

You just got shot at! Please take this seriously!

quote:

The others made whewing noises and thanked heaven for the way their magical CHITTY-CHITTY-BANG-BANG had saved them from the gangsters’ terrible revenge.

They got to the main road to Calais and Commander Pott eased CHITTY-CHITTY-BANG-BANG down on to the smooth surface. She gave a bump or two and then was going like the wind down the empty road, with the big headlamps lighting up the way to the distant glow of Calais and the huge feast of omelettes and roast chicken and ice-cream they were all looking forward to.

They drew up in front of a nice-looking hotel called the Splendide (which, as you’ve guessed, is French for “splendid”) and Commander Pott ordered their rooms, and while they tidied up and had a good scrub (much needed by now, as you can guess!) he ordered the delicious dinner in the bright and cheerful dining-room and went out to look after CHITTY-CHITTY-BANG-BANG, because, as you know, you must always see that your car is cosy and happy for the night before you look after yourself.

You're just...checking into the biggest hotel you see in the first town you get into? While being chased by armed criminals?

quote:

Commander Pott filled up the car with petrol and oil and water, checked the batteries and the tyres and drove the car into a comfortable garage beside the hotel. Once he had seen that she seemed contented and in good order, he decided to leave her washing and polishing for the morning, when all the family could help. Then he patted her on her rather hot nose and locked her up for the night and went back into the hotel, where the whole family sat down to their delicious dinner before going up to bed for a wonderful and, I’m sure you’ll agree, well-earned rest.

There is startling consistency in Fleming protagonists.

quote:

BUT —

BUT —

BUT —

And again BUT!

Later that night, when they were all fast asleep, a long black car, with Joe the Monster at the wheel and Man-Mountain Fink and Soapy Sam and Blood-Money Banks crouching down in the body of the car, came creeping up to the Hotel Splendide in the darkness and hid itself amongst the shadows down a side turning.

Joe the Monster and his gang, still bent on revenge, crept round the ground-floor windows of the sleeping hotel, looking for a way to break in and get at Commander Pott and his family.

And once again Commander Caractacus Pott and Mimsie and Jeremy and Jemima were in mortal danger!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cphNpqKpKc4

Epicurius
Apr 10, 2010


College Slice

To be fair to the Potts family, they had had a busy and exciting day, and after a day such as that, one wants a lie in the tub, a big dinner, and a good night's sleep.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



Chapter 10: Not Easily Frightened

quote:

The moon shone down on the Hotel Splendide where the Pott family, Commander Caractacus Pott, Mimsie, and the twins, Jeremy and Jemima, lay fast asleep after their terrific adventures of the last twenty-four hours. In the hotel garage CHITTY-CHITTY-BANG-BANG was also dozing comfortably, as her engine and crankshaft and brake linings cooled off after her exciting dash across the Channel to France.

When Joe the Monster had seen the lights go out in the hotel and had noticed from the shadows on the blinds that Commander Pott and Mimsie were sleeping in one room, with Jeremy and Jemima in another room next door, he and his ruffians got swiftly to work.

From the boot of the car they took out a number of burglarious instruments — a telescopic aluminium ladder for climbing the wall of the hotel, a jemmy (this is a burglar’s tool for opening windows and doors that looks rather like a very powerful tin-opener) and some rope. Joe the Monster whispered a series of commands, and in a trice the gang had run the ladder up the hotel wall to the room where Jeremy and Jemima lay fast asleep. Then, while Man-Mountain Fink, who was as strong and as big as he sounds, held the foot of the ladder, Soapy Sam, who was a very tiny man but a very strong one, crept softly up the ladder and after some quick work with the jemmy slipped over the window-sill into the room where the twins lay sleeping.

This book is teaching kids a lot of things that children's books normally don't!

quote:

He had had his orders. He went first to Jemima’s bed, whirled up the four corners of the sheet on which she was lying, and with her bundled up inside it, tied a knot out of the four corners so as to make her look like a bundle of washing. And almost before she could awake, he handed her softly out of the window and into the arms of Man-Mountain Fink.



Jeremy had stirred in his sleep, but here again it only needed a few quick movements and he too was on his way out of the window, and then their clothes and shoes were hurled pell-mell after them.

But of course the children were quickly awake, and even before they could be bundled into the back of the black car, they had started to struggle and squeak.

But, alas, not loud enough!

Caractacus and Mimsie are going to get fingers in the mail.

quote:

Mimsie woke up and said sleepily to Commander Pott, “Did you hear that squeaking? It sounded sort of muffled. I suppose it wasn’t the children.”

But Commander Pott only gave a sleepy grunt and said, “I expect it was bats or mice,” and went firmly off to sleep again. And neither of them paid any attention to the sound of the black car starting up and softly driving away.

Fortunately CHITTY-CHITTY-BANG-BANG had smelt trouble. Heaven knows how, but there it is. There was much about this magical car that even Commander Pott couldn’t understand. All I can say is that, as the gangsters’ low black roadster stole away down the moonlit streets, perhaps its movement jolted something or made some electrical connection in the mysterious insides of CHITTY-CHITTY-BANG-BANG, but anyway there was the tiny soft whirr of machinery, hardly louder than the buzz of a mosquito, and behind the ornament on the bonnet, a small antenna, like a wireless aerial, rose softly, and the small oval bit of wire mesh in miniature, rather like what you see on top of the big radar towers on airports, began to swivel until it was directly pointing after the gangsters’ car, which was now hurtling up the great main road towards Paris.


This car is magic by virtue of being the most competent character in Ian Fleming's entire body of work.

quote:

And all through the night, while Commander Pott and Mimsie were asleep and while the twins were being bumped about in the back of the gangsters’ car, CHITTY-CHITTY-BANG-BANG’s Radar Eye was following every twist and turn of Joe the Monster, hunched over the wheel of his black tourer.

Now Joe the Monster was in fact head of an international gang of robbers and ruffians and he was known in France as Joe le Monstre (I hope this isn’t the first French word you’ve learnt!). And when things got too hot for him in England, he moved his gang over to France and vice versa.

Teach your kids French, motherfucker!

quote:

As soon as they got out of the town of Calais, he ordered the knots on top of the sheet bundles which contained Jeremy and Jemima to be undone by Soapy Sam and Blood-Money Banks, between whom the twins were wedged on the back seat. For although he was a monster in the eyes of the law, neither he nor his gang of crooks were so monstrous as to want Jeremy and Jemima to suffocate.

The two children were too startled to know really what was happening to them. They both knew it wasn’t something good, but being children of rather adventurous parents, they weren’t easily frightened.

"Adventurous" might be a bit euphemistic here.

quote:

Joe the Monster leant back from the wheel and said over his shoulder, in a voice that was meant to be sugary, “Now then, duckies, everything’s quite all right. Your dear pa and ma have asked us to take you for a little night drive to see something of the French countryside by moonlight.” He turned to Man-Mountain Fink, who sat beside him. “Ain’t that right, Man-Mountain?”

“Absolutely-one-hundred-per-cent-right-and-cross-my-heart-and-wish-to-die,” said the big man all in one breath.

“Hear that, my duckies?” called Joe the Monster above the rushing of the wind. “You’re in good hands, the very best. You just go off to bye-byes, and when you wakey-wakey, there’ll be a delicious brekky waiting for you.”

Now, if there is one thing the twins, and most other children of their age, hate, it is being talked to in baby language. Certainly as far as Jeremy was concerned, he would prefer Joe to be monstrous rather than niminy-piminy. At least you know where you are with grown-ups who behave like grown-ups, but no child likes a grown-up to talk like a baby.

I am again very appreciative of Fleming for writing a children's book that doesn't talk down to its target audience, even if it might be educating them a little too much on the finer points of explosives.

quote:

But truth to tell, both Jeremy and Jemima were too sleepy from the previous day’s adventures to care very much what was happening to them, so they snuggled up together and Jemima was soon fast asleep. But before Jeremy dozed off, he heard snatches of conversation between Joe the Monster and Man-Mountain Fink drifting back from the front seat.

They must be related to James Bond, what with their attempt at sleeping even when surrounded by enemies!

quote:

And the snatches of conversation were something like this:

“Just what we want for the Bon-Bon job . . . innocent pair of monkeys . . . shove ’em in just before closing . . . five thousand francs . . . keys of the safe are in the till . . . when the old geezer goes for the change . . . then Soapy can use the jelly.”

Trying to make head or tail out of these mysterious sentences, Jeremy snuggled up alongside Jemima, and lulled by the speed of the car and the rush of wind, and knowing, as children always do know, that their father and mother would soon rescue them, he too went fast asleep.

Being in mortal peril is very tiring!

quote:

It had been three o’clock in the morning when the children had been kidnapped from the Hotel Splendide, and it was eight o’clock when the gangsters’ car drew up outside a deserted warehouse owned by Joe the Monster in the suburbs of Paris, over 150 miles away from Calais.

And it was precisely at this moment, when the gangsters were carrying the bundled-up children into the building, that the miniature radar on the bonnet of CHITTY-CHITTY-BANG-BANG held steady, as if she knew that this was the end of their journey. Then, perhaps because of a short circuit or perhaps for some other reason quite beyond my understanding, CHITTY-CHITTY-BANG-BANG’s powerful klaxon began to go “GA-GOO-GA, GA-GOO-GA, GA-GOO-GA” and just went on doing it, making the most horrendous din you could imagine.

Even the car is like "gently caress this poo poo."

quote:

Commander Pott and Mimsie were instantly awake, and with, I am sorry to say, a very powerful swear word (it was “Dash my wig and whiskers,” if you want to know), Commander Pott leapt out of his bed, pulled on some clothes, and dashed downstairs and round to the garage to find what the electrical fault was and stop it before they had the whole population of Calais, led by the police and the fire-brigade, charging round to find out who was responsible for the horrendous din. You can imagine his astonishment when directly he tore open the garage doors and stood face to face with CHITTY-CHITTY-BANG-BANG, there was one last “GOO-GA” and then dead silence.



“Now, what the devil’s the matter with you?” said Commander Pott. And as if in reply, the giant headlamps suddenly blazed on and off in one gigantic wink of warning.

If this car had a way to speak, it would be cursing up a storm at them.

quote:

Commander Pott was even more puzzled. “There must be something terribly wrong with your electrical system,” he said sympathetically. “Let’s see what the matter is,” and he went to open the bonnet. But then, for the first time, he caught sight of the thin little radar antenna sticking up in front of the wind-shield, and he stopped in his tracks. “What in heaven’s name . . .” he had just begun, when Mimsie came dashing across from the hotel.

“The children,” she cried desperately, “they’re gone! And their clothes too! There are the marks of a ladder on the window-sill and somebody’s been at the window breaking in! They’ve been kidnapped, I know it, by those awful men we ran into yesterday! For heaven’s sake, Jack,” (which she always used as short for Caractacus) “what are we to do?”

Commander Pott didn’t argue, or say “Are you sure?” or “How do you know?” or even go to see the evidence for himself. He knew that Jeremy and Jemima would never have left the hotel of their own accord — and certainly not, he added realistically to himself, without having had any breakfast. He looked from the tearful Mimsie to CHITTY-CHITTY-BANG-BANG, and suddenly he knew, he knew absolutely for sure, that that was the meaning of the radar device, and that the magical car had sounded her own horn both to wake them up and because she knew where the twins had gone.

“Here, darling,” he said urgently. “Here’s some money. Be a good girl and run over and get the rest of my clothes and pay the bill. CHITTY-CHITTY-BANG-BANG knows where they’ve gone. Don’t ask me how, but I know it for sure, and we’ll get after them.”

We've gone from Moonraker to Goldfinger.

quote:

As Mimsie ran off, glad to have something to take her mind away from her fears, Commander Pott jumped into the driving-seat and pressed the self-starter, and at once the great car, with her usual “CHITTY-CHITTY-BANG-BANG,” leapt into life, and Commander Pott steered her out and across the street just as Mimsie came running out of the hotel.

She jumped in beside him and they were off, slowly at first so that Commander Pott could watch the movement of the little radar scanner on the bonnet just in front of him. At first it pointed left down the main street and then corrected itself just like a compass when it had got on the right course, and then at the big turning towards Paris it swivelled to the right, and Commander Pott obediently whirled the wheel and they were off on the huge main road which said TO PARIS.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk


Ok Google, directions to missing children

Runcible Cat
May 28, 2007

A post? Never!!

Pillbug

chitoryu12 posted:

How is this a children's book?

We need to introduce you to some other classic Brit kids' books just to watch your brain explode. How about the Borribles? Series starts with gangs of immortal street-kid squatters sending representives to assassinate the Wombles and ends with a battle to death with armed police.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



https://twitter.com/realpunknews/st...6191667205?s=21

Proteus Jones
Feb 28, 2013





Hair Elf

I know of him because he got super salty at MST3K both times they did a movie of his.

Dr. Sneer Gory
Sep 7, 2005


I know of him because he does a great job in one of my favorite TV series, Edge of Darkness.

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007






Biscuit Hider


If that's a serious interview that guy is a piece of poo poo. If that's a joke interview that website is a piece of poo poo.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk


Dr. Sneer Gory posted:

I know of him because he does a great job in one of my favorite TV series, Edge of Darkness.

It was the time of the preacher
In the year of 01
And when you think it's all over
It has only begun

Yond Cassius
May 22, 2010

horny is prohibited

Midjack posted:

If that's a serious interview that guy is a piece of poo poo. If that's a joke interview that website is a piece of poo poo.

The Hard Times is a 3Edgy4U alt-culture version of the Onion.

Dr. Sneer Gory
Sep 7, 2005


sebmojo posted:

It was the time of the preacher
In the year of 01
And when you think it's all over
It has only begun

To live is to die.

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007






Biscuit Hider

Yond Cassius posted:

The Hard Times is a 3Edgy4U alt-culture version of the Onion.

Website’s definitely a piece of poo poo.

Ichabod Sexbeast
Dec 5, 2011

Giving 'em the old razzle-dazzle


Runcible Cat posted:

We need to introduce you to some other classic Brit kids' books just to watch your brain explode. How about the Borribles? Series starts with gangs of immortal street-kid squatters sending representives to assassinate the Wombles and ends with a battle to death with armed police.

I remember Boris the Tomato, where a tomato takes over his tomato plant in a fascist coup, and then systematically destroys the other plants in the greenhouse and anyone who defies him.

It ends with him on a compost heap, screaming defiance at the sky as crows circle overhead

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



Chapter 11: The Bon-Bon Job

quote:

Now Commander Pott really trod hard down on the accelerator and the speedometer climbed up and hung around a hundred miles an hour, as the great green car, its supercharger screaming like a banshee, positively ate up the kilometres, which, instead of miles, is how they measure distances on the Continent. As each fork or turning in the road came up, he followed the direction indicated by the radar scanner, and with CHITTY-CHITTY-BANG-BANG going lickety-split, lickety-split, lickety-split, they hurtled on towards the gangster hide-out, where Jeremy and Jemima had been locked into a bare, cell-like room at the back of the deserted warehouse.

Jeremy’s and Jemima’s clothes had been thrown in with them, and they now dressed quickly and began, in whispers just in case anybody might be listening at the door, to wonder where they were and what was going to happen to them — and above all, when somebody was going to bring them their breakfast.

"Now listen here, Joe the Monster, I want a king-size carton of candy cigarettes, scrambled eggs, and a glass of milk on the double! Send your Asian manservant!"

quote:

Jeremy was just telling Jemima about the mysterious words of Joe the Monster, “doing the Bon-Bon job” and “Soapy using the jelly,” when the door was unlocked and Joe the Monster himself came in, beaming (as far as, with his ugly mug, he could beam), while behind him Soapy Sam followed with a tray that he put down on the floor beside the children (there was no furniture in the room — not a stick of it).

Jeremy got stoutly to his feet and said, in as firm a voice as he could muster, “Where are we and what are you doing with us? You’ll get into bad trouble if you don’t take us back to our parents straight away. You’ll have the police after you any moment now.” And he glared as big a glare as he could glare into the black-bearded face of the huge man who towered above him.

Jeremy Bond.

quote:

“Ha, ha, that’s good, that’s real good! Hear that, Soapy? The young ’un says the cops will be after me.” He turned back to Jeremy and leered hideously down at him. “Why, my little man, the cops have been after me since I was smaller than you. Think of that now, all these years they’ve been hunting after me and my pals and they ain’t caught up yet. Often been sniffing at me heels, mark you, even offered ten thousand pounds for what they are pleased to call ‘information leading to my apprehension,’ which, in English, means how to catch me. And now you expect me to quake in my shoes because of a little English family called Pott! Haw, haw, haw!” And he positively shook with demonic laughter.

What the hell did this guy do to become a wanted felon when he was 6?

quote:

Jeremy said angrily, “We’re not so little as all that. My father was a commander in the Navy and he is a famous inventor and explorer, and anyway, besides us there’s CHITTY-CHITTY-BANG-BANG.”

“And who might he be?”

“It’s not a ‘he.’ It’s a ‘she,’ and she’s a car, the most wonderful car in the world, she’s ma . . .” Jeremy was going to say “magical,” but he shut his mouth just in time. Better keep that a secret!

“Oh, you mean that old green rattletrap of yours?” sneered Joe the Monster. “I’ll give you that it’s certainly a rum old bus — the way it took to the air last evening when we had you cornered. I suppose your inventor pa has found some way to make a car fly. That right?” Joe the Monster’s small, pig-like eyes became smaller and craftier than ever. “I suppose you’ve got something there. That invention might be worth a lot of money in the right hands. Now, if you’d like to tell your old pal Joe how it’s done, maybe I can take out some patents and give your dad a piece of the money I’d get for sellin’ ’em. What about it, young feller? You and me go into partnership, sort of?”


Joe is an entrepreneur!

quote:

Jeremy said bluntly, “I don’t know how it works and I wouldn’t tell you if I did know.”

“Oh, well,” said Joe the Monster, “I guess I’m not all that keen to go into the motor-car business. Now then, let’s get down to brass tacks and then you two youngsters can tuck in to that scrumptious brekky Soapy’s brewed up for you. Now then”— he looked at them both craftily —“just you both listen to me, and if you do what you’re told, you’ll come to no harm, and even earn yourself a bit of pocket-money into the bargain. And when it’s over, I’ll see you’re both put on a train and sent back to your precious dad and mum in that hotel in Calais.”

Jeremy opened his mouth to speak, but Joe the Monster held up a big hairy fist. “Now, don’t you argue with me, young ’un, and I don’t want any more of your lip. Just listen carefully to what you have to do.” He paused and spoke slowly, looking from one to the other of them to see that they were paying attention. “Now, all I’m telling you both to do is to go and buy yourselves a big box of chocolates. How would you like that? Just kind of a reward for being such a jolly couple of kids, see? I like kids, I really luv ’em.” (Joe the Monster tried to put a sweet, fatherly expression on his face, but all that he could manage was a kind of ape-like grimace.) “Now then, not far away from here, twenty minutes’ ride, is the most famous chocolate-shop in the world. It’s called Le Bon-Bon, which, in case you don’t know it, is French for ‘sweet,’ and it’s run by an old geezer called Monsieur Bon-Bon. He’s been in it for fifty years, and his dad before him and his grandad before that, and he makes the finest sweets and chocolates in the world, get me? Absolutely the top lollies. Now, this here old geezer’s a funny old guy and he only opens up his shop for four hours in the middle of the day. Can’t be bothered to keep it open any longer because he and his parents have made so much money that he doesn’t have to work too hard, see? So he keeps the shop open from ten to twelve in the morning and from two to four in the afternoon. At twelve o’clock this morning, me and my pals are going to drive you round there and give you a pocketful of money, and all you’ve got to do is what I tell you. You walk into the shop and ask for a box of chocolates costing four thousand francs, that’s about three English pounds in the old francs, which are the only kind I understand, so you can see it’s a fine box of chocolates, eh?” And he looked inquiringly from one to the other.

I am delighted to say that the John Gardner books that we'll see in our next thread actually have villains with dumber plans than this. Also notice how even this book manages to get in the new franc vs. old franc conversion trivia! This would be highly educational even for an adult!

quote:

“Not bad,” said Jeremy grudgingly, as if, in his family, they were given a three-pound box of chocolates every day.

“Not bad, he says!” shouted Joe the Monster angrily. “I’ll say it’s not bad. It’s the biggest box of chocolates either of you have ever seen.” He quickly calmed down, fished out a wallet stuffed with banknotes and took out one and handed it to Jeremy. “There you are, five thousand francs. I’ll tell you what, I’ll even let you keep the change. So there you are, duckies. All you do is walk into the shop together when I tell you, hand over the money, and say politely, ‘A box of chocolates for four thousand francs, please.’ The old geezer don’t know much English, but he’ll understand that sentence in any language under the sun. Then you hand him that bit of money and take the chocolates and your change, and that’s the end of that. Easy job of work, eh? Nice slice of cake. You’re a couple of the luckiest kids I ever did see. Now then, you got all that straight?”

They both nodded.

A £3 box of chocolates in 1961 would be around $80 today. That would be some incredibly fine chocolate or a box big enough to crush Jeremy.

quote:

“OK then,” said Joe the Monster breezily. “Come on, Soapy, and let’s get our chow. Looking at the fine breakfast you’ve dished up for these kids is making me hungry.” He turned at the door. “Ta-ta, kiddies, and be good until Uncle Joe comes and fetches you.” He walked out, followed by Soapy Sam, who locked the door behind them.

Well, the china on the old tin tray was pretty chipped and not all that clean. But by this time Jeremy and Jemima were ravenous and they cheerfully squatted down on the hard concrete floor and set to.

A French breakfast is very different from an English one. To begin with, French bread, instead of being in loaves, comes in long, thin shapes about the length and width of a policeman’s truncheon, and it’s mostly crust, but very delicious crust. The big slab of French butter tasted much more like farm butter than most of the stuff we get in England, and the strawberry jam was very syrupy, like all French jams, but full of big, fat, whole strawberries. The coffee with milk, which the French call café au lait, was, if you happen to like coffee, better than the wishy-washy stuff you often get in England. So after a bit of rather cautious experimenting, Jeremy and Jemima set to with a will, and in between mouthfuls whispered their thoughts and fears about Joe the Monster’s plans. With the help of the snatches of conversation that Jeremy had heard in the car, they came to the following conclusion, which, since it’s more or less right, I will pass on to you.

This is definitely a Fleming book.

quote:

They guessed that they were going to be used by Joe the Monster and his gang to rob Monsieur Bon-Bon. They were to be the “innocent pair of monkeys” who would be “shoved in just before closing,” while, presumably, the gang waited round the corner with perhaps one of them apparently examining the sweets in the shop window but really watching the twins through it. Jeremy had been given a five-thousand-franc note to buy a four-thousand-franc box of chocolates, and Monsieur Bon-Bon would have to go to the till to change it. (“Keys of the safe in the till.”) As soon as Monsieur Bon-Bon opened the till, the gangsters would dash in and knock him on the head and seize the keys, which were presumably the keys of the safe where he kept his money.

“But,” whispered Jeremy, “I simply can’t understand about this business of ‘Soapy using the jelly.’ What can that mean? There might be jellies in a sweet-shop, I suppose. Do you think they are going to gag Monsieur Bon-Bon with his own jellies so that he can’t shout for help?”

They both giggled at the idea, but it was Jemima who got the right answer.

“You remember yesterday when we blew up Joe the Monster’s stores in that huge cave? Well, Daddy said that some of the cases were full of stuff called gelignite, and he said it was the stuff that gangsters use to blow open safes with. Mightn’t ‘jelly’ be kind of gangster slang for gelignite?”

These kids have a promising career in intelligence!

quote:

“You’ve got it,” whispered Jeremy. “By Jove, you’ve got it! That’s just what they’re going to do. They’ll get the keys out of Monsieur Bon-Bon’s till, and those keys probably open Monsieur Bon-Bon’s safe. Now, for heaven’s sake, what are we going to do about it?”


At the rate this book is going, we're going to get detailed safe-cracking knowledge.

quote:

At this moment they heard a key in the lock, and Soapy Sam came in to take away the tray and lead them off to wash their hands in a smelly old bathroom at the back of the huge, deserted warehouse. Then they were back in their cell again, and the door was locked on them and they squatted together in the farthest corner away from the door and went on with their urgent whispering.

“When we go up to the counter to buy the chocolates,” said Jeremy, “we’ve somehow got to warn Monsieur Bon-Bon that there are gangsters outside. But we don’t know half a dozen words of French between us. How can we possibly tell him?”

“Could we just make faces and point our fingers at him like guns and shout ‘Bang’?” said Jemima helpfully.

“He’d think we were just being cheeky,” said Jeremy. “We’ve got to write him some sort of a note.” “But we haven’t got any pens or pencils or even paper.”

Flashing back to Bond using his own urine as invisible ink.

quote:

“We’ve got the paper,” said Jeremy triumphantly, and he produced the big five-thousand-franc note and spread it out between them. “Now if we could just write in big letters ‘GANGSTERS’ across the note, I am sure it’s a word Monsieur Bon-Bon will understand. But what can we possibly use for ink?” He looked accusingly at Jemima. “It’s a shame you’re not a bit older and then you’d have a lipstick. In adventure stories, girls are always using lipsticks to write notes with.”

I see Jeremy is also an avid reader of 1950s pulp!

quote:

“It’s not my fault,” whispered Jemima fiercely. “Anyway, I hate the stuff. I once tried Mummy’s and I ended up looking as if I’d smeared my face with raspberry jam. Mummy was very angry with me, at least she pretended to be, but I think she was really only trying to stop laughing.”

“Well, come on,” whispered Jeremy urgently, “it must be getting near the time. I’ve got absolutely nothing in my pockets except a handkerchief and some bits of string and my pocket-knife. What’ve you got?”

“Nothing, absolutely nothing except my handkerchief,” said Jemima despairingly. “But isn’t there anything you can do with your knife? It’s full of gadgets and things.”

“By golly,” exclaimed Jeremy, “of course, we can use the sharp tip of the corkscrew and punch holes in the bank-note to spell out the word ‘gangster’ in big letters. Come on, let’s get going quickly. You come and sit between me and the door in case anyone looks through the keyhole.”

And he fished out his pocket-knife, opened the corkscrew, and set to work with the five-thousand-franc note in front of him on the concrete floor. They both examined his handiwork and agreed that anyone who handled the note would feel the holes and look at it very suspiciously, and almost certainly hold it up to the light to see if the note was so badly damaged that it wasn’t worth five thousand francs.

That's...actually pretty clever. These kids should join the Service in 10 years!

quote:

Jeremy had only just stowed the note and his knife away in his pocket when the door opened and Joe the Monster came in, followed by Man-Mountain Fink.

“Come on, duckies, time to go,” he said jovially. “Now, just one little formality before we set off. I’m sure you kiddies”— he looked suspiciously from one to the other —“I’m sure you kiddies haven’t been up to any tricks, but just in case, I’d like to see what’s in your pockets.”

(Jeremy gave a sigh of relief. Thank heavens they hadn’t found a pencil and paper somewhere, or been able to do any of the other tricks they had thought out.)

He innocently emptied his pockets of his pocket-knife and handkerchief and showed the five-thousand-franc note, well folded up. Jemima just showed her handkerchief.

I really wish Fleming had been able to write more stories. For all his fumbles with stuff like the ending of Goldfinger and the entirety of The Man with the Golden Gun, he had a knack for intelligent writing. It was the characters who were canonically dumbasses.

quote:

After they had been made to pull out the linings of their pockets to show that nothing was hidden, Joe the Monster said, “All right, kiddies, let’s go. Remember what you’ve got to do — you just walk into the shop and ask for a box of chocolates for four thousand francs, right?” And they trooped out, with Man-Mountain Fink taking up the rear to prevent any attempt to escape.

They piled into the black tourer and were soon roaring off through the streets to where, in the distance, the Eiffel Tower, which is a gigantic tower made of iron right in the middle of Paris, stood up like a huge needle in the sky.

Jeremy kept an eye on the clocks on churches and outside shops, and he saw that the minutes were hurrying on towards twelve o’clock, when, as Joe the Monster had said, Monsieur Bon-Bon closed his shop for the morning. And sure enough, as they passed a gleaming shop window with the huge words “BON-BON” inscribed above it in gold, and turned down the next side-street and stopped, Jeremy heard some distant clock begin the first chimes of twelve.

Unfortunately, Roald Dahl would not publish Charlie and the Chocolate Factory until 7 months before Fleming's death so we can't get any crossovers.

quote:

The door of the car was thrown open and they were hustled out onto the sidewalk. “Run! Run!” said Joe the Monster furiously. “We’ve got late and he’ll be shutting up his shop. Now, don’t forget: do exactly what I told you and you’ll come to no trouble. If not”— and he lifted a big hairy fist as Jeremy and Jemima sped off round the corner.

Sure enough, the doors of Monsieur Bon-Bon’s brilliantly lit shop were just closing as they dashed up, and they had no chance to examine the row upon row of delicious sweets and chocolates temptingly arrayed in the long window.

Trin Tragula
Apr 22, 2005



Just rewinding for a moment:

quote:

Now Joe the Monster was in fact head of an international gang of robbers and ruffians and he was known in France as Joe le Monstre (I hope this isn’t the first French word you’ve learnt!)

I should bleedin' well hope not, considering that in the chapter before this one, but a few short pages previously, we were told...

quote:

They drew up in front of a nice-looking hotel called the Splendide (which, as you’ve guessed, is French for “splendid”)

What was that we were just saying about Fleming not underestimating his audience?

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



Chapter 12: A Lot of Confabulation

quote:

A great wave of delicious chocolate smell hit them as they edged in past the closing door, and there was a charming little old man, in an old-fashioned suit with an apron round his fat tummy and a long white beard and whiskers, almost like Father Christmas.



He beamed down at the two children and let the door stand open.

Qu’est-ce que vous désirez?” And from the lift of his eyebrows the children guessed he was saying, “What do you desire?”



With the drastic shift in tone, the movie replaces Monsieur Bon-Bon with an unnamed Toymaker on Vulgaria played by famed comedian Benny Hill. The Benny Hill Show was 13 years old at the time of the film's release and Hill was practically at the peak of his fame, but the film does relatively little to play to his strengths and it feels more like a cameo.

quote:

Jeremy, panting from the run, managed to stammer out, “A box of chocolates, please, for four thousand francs.”

Aie!” exclaimed Monsieur Bon-Bon. “Quatre mille francs — zat ees a very beeg box of chocolates,” and he moved over to the counter, on which there was an endless array of beautiful boxes tied with huge coloured ribbons.

"That's an implausibly large box for two small children! Where are your parents?"

quote:

He picked out one. “You like zees one? She is mixed-up chocolates.”

Jeremy and Jemima stifled a desire to giggle at his funny English, but it wasn’t difficult to stifle the giggle, for they knew the danger wasn’t over yet and that the terrifying part of the adventure was still to come.

“Oh, yes, please,” said Jeremy quickly, and at the same time, over Monsieur Bon-Bon’s shoulder, he saw the sly face of Soapy Sam gazing in through the window past all the luscious array of sweets and chocolates.


That is prime avatar material.

quote:

Monsieur Bon-Bon, who was used to the indecision of children and the time they took to make up their minds, looked rather surprised, but he walked behind the counter to wrap up the box and Jeremy followed him and held out, with, I admit, a rather trembling hand, the five-thousand-franc note, while Jemima stood beside him biting her knuckles and almost jumping up and down with excitement.

Monsieur Bon-Bon took the note, and as the children had expected, he at once opened it up and felt the holes in it. He looked at them suspiciously, and seeing the urgency and excitement on their faces and somehow smelling a rat, he lifted the note up to the light and softly spelled out the letters one by one. “Gangsters,” whispered Jeremy urgently, “gangsters outside,” and he jerked his head back towards the door.

Monsieur Bon-Bon was suddenly transformed from a delightful old Father Christmas into a man of action. Without a word he ran, surprisingly quickly for an old man, across the shop to the door, and bolted and barred it, then he pressed down quickly on a big lever beside the door and the steel shutters of the shop rattled down outside, but not before the children caught a last glimpse of Soapy Sam’s face, now contorted into a furious snarl.

Monsieur Bon-Bon is a hardened French Resistance operative. He has killed dozens of Nazis with his bare hands.

quote:

Then Monsieur Bon-Bon darted back behind the counter and picked up the telephone, excitedly shouting a lot of French down it, amongst which Jeremy and Jemima heard the word “police” used several times. Then Monsieur Bon-Bon put the receiver back on the hook and came round and stood looking down at the children for a minute or two. Then he said, “And now, mes enfants, tell me what zees is all about, yes?”

But as Jeremy began to stammer out his story, from outside in the street came the familiar warning blare of CHITTY-CHITTY-BANG-BANG’s tremendous klaxon, “GA-GOO-GA, GA-GOO-GA, GA-GOO-GA,” and then a splintering crash of glass and metal and the sound of shouts and people running.


Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang: The Car That Was Pissed

quote:

Now, what had happened was this.

CHITTY-CHITTY-BANG-BANG had broken all records in her dash from Calais to Paris, and then, almost seeming to take charge of the steering-wheel herself, had finished the trip with a hair-raising sprint through the crowded streets, ignoring traffic lights, police whistles, and the angry shouts of other motorists as if she knew there were only minutes to spare.

Commander Pott clung grimly to the wheel and Mimsie spent most of the time with her hands over her eyes, as if at any moment they would crash.

But then the little radar scanner on the bonnet held steady along one particular stretch of street, and CHITTY-CHITTY-BANG-BANG slowed down all by herself as if she were sniffing about, looking for something. And sure enough, as they passed a big sweet-shop with the word “BON-BON” in gold upon it, a low black car dashed suddenly out of a side-street and Commander Pott and Mimsie just had time to recognize it as the gangster car, when CHITTY-CHITTY-BANG-BANG positively wrenched the wheel out of Commander Pott’s hands and tore straight like a charging bull, across the street — straight at the black tourer.

CHITTY-CHITTY-BANG-BANG hit the black tourer right in its middle with a tremendous crash and tinkling of glass and knocked it right over on its side, spilling Joe the Monster, Soapy Sam and Man-Mountain Fink out on to the road. And just at that moment, as the gangsters scrambled to their feet to make a run for it, with sirens screaming, French motor-cycle patrols appeared from both ends of the street and tore down upon them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuU4pFcEgWo

The film is correspondingly a much larger and more elaborate setpiece. With the children caught by Baron Bomburst, Caractacus Pott and Truly Scrumptious create a plot to free all of the kidnapped children on the island of Vulgaria that involves a rather bizarre sequence in which they pretend to be life-size dolls.

quote:

Commander Pott jumped from the driving seat of the now motionless green car and joined in the chase which now ensued, finally bringing Joe the Monster to the ground with a flying tackle like you see at rugby football.



And then, with the three gangsters lined up and covered with the policemen’s revolvers, the door of the sweet-shop opened and the little man looking rather like Father Christmas came running up, followed by Jeremy and Jemima.

Well, you can imagine the scenes of happiness and excitement that followed as the twins were reunited with their parents. But then there had to be a lot of confabulation with the police after a French Black Maria had driven up and taken the shouting and cursing gangsters away.

"Dad, what's a Black Maria?"

"I told you never to say her name around your mother!"

quote:

But at last everything had been explained in a mixture of English and French, and many compliments were piled on the shy heads of Jeremy and Jemima for the gallant part they had played in bringing about the capture of the gangsters.

Then a police tow truck appeared and hauled the remains of the gangsters’ car away and promised to have CHITTY-CHITTY-BANG-BANG’s broken front bumper and bent-in radiator nose put right as quickly as possible. And Monsieur Bon-Bon and the Pott family watched sympathetically as the great green car was hauled carefully off to a near-by garage, where Commander Pott later visited her to see that she was being properly looked after, and that she hadn’t suffered any internal damage as a result of her brave ramming of the black tourer.

We even get the "Bond/Car spends time after the mission in the hospital/garage to recover and be visited by their friends" scene at the time!

quote:

But she seemed quite happy being attended to by a host of admiring French mechanics, and Commander Pott returned cheerfully to Monsieur Bon-Bon’s house over his shop, where he had insisted that the whole Pott family should first of all have an enormous lunch and be shown some of the sights of Paris, and then spend the night before going off the next day.

Madame Bon-Bon was just as nice as Monsieur Bon-Bon, and there were two rumbustious children about the same age as the twins, called Jacques and Jacqueline, and everyone, talking a mixture of bad French and bad English, got on tremendously well together.

The French police paid several visits during the rest of the day and took everybody’s statements in writing, and announced that the Pott family, for their collective efforts in catching the gangsters, would be rewarded with no less than 100,000 francs, which is about 800 pounds, and Madame Bon-Bon added her own reward, which was to reveal the closely guarded secret of the Bon-Bon family on how to make Bon-Bon “Fooj,” which was the way she pronounced “fudge.” (And on the next page, I have passed on to you the recipe, which you will find very easy to make and absolutely delicious.)


Everyone talks about James Bond's scrambled eggs, but nobody talks about Ian Fleming giving us a fudge recipe! If you plan on replicating this recipe, note that the size of a "small can of condensed milk" in Britain at the time was 6 oz. The corn syrup will also be the standard type, not high-fructose. Making fudge is an arduous task!

quote:

The next morning, after another of those wonderful French breakfasts, Commander Pott went round to the garage, and sure enough, CHITTY-CHITTY-BANG-BANG, although still wearing a slightly battered look, was in splendid order and came booming round to the Bon-Bon shop, where the whole Bon-Bon family insisted on being shown every detail of her. Then Monsieur Bon-Bon beckoned Jeremy and Jemima back into the shop and told them to hold out their arms, and piled box after box of wonderful sweets and chocolates into them until the twins could hardly stand upright. And since the piles of boxes rose higher than their faces, they could hardly see their way to the door and had to be helped as they staggered out to pack their scrumptious presents into the back of CHITTY-CHITTY-BANG-BANG.

Then there were affectionate farewells all round, and both families promised to keep in touch and visit each other whenever they had a chance. (I may say that the families remained firm friends for ever after.)

I got an image in my head of Monsieur Bon-Bon visiting Goldeneye.

quote:

And then CHITTY-CHITTY-BANG-BANG went motoring docilely off down the street with quite a different expression on her face from the furious snarl she had worn in that same street the day before. They got out on to the open road for Calais and for either the car ferry or the “Air Bridge” to England (they hadn’t yet made up their minds which way to go), and Commander Pott said, over his shoulder, to Jeremy and Jemima, “Well, I think that’s quite enough adventure for the time being. It’s high time we all went home to peace and quiet.”

And Mimsie said, very forcibly, “I entirely agree.”

But in the back Jeremy and Jemima both gave a squawk of protest. “Oh no,” they cried, more or less together. “More adventures! More!”

They've tasted blood! They're vicious!

quote:

And at that, believe it or not, there came a whirring of machinery from somewhere deep down inside CHITTY-CHITTY-BANG-BANG. The front and back mudguards swivelled out into wings, the radiator opened up, and the whizzing propeller of the cooling-fan slid out, and with a tremendous “WHOOSH” the great green car soared up into the sky.

“My hat!” shouted Commander Pott (which was the right thing to shout, as his hat had in fact blown off). “I can’t control her — she’s taken off. Where in heavens is she taking us?”



As Chitty Chitty Bang Bang flies its occupants into what is undoubtedly North Korea, it is time for this thread to finally come to an end.

Ian Fleming was many things. A gifted writer, a journalist, and a naval intelligence agent. He had a brilliant mind, complex and conflicted, with an ego that seemed to conceal self-doubt and a desire to prove himself as his own man in spite of his privileged background. He could be kind, and he could be cruel. He expressed views that are both terribly bigoted today and highly progressive for the time. He died miserable, yet at the height of his fame and wealth.

James Bond, likewise, is many things. Many more things than popular culture would seem willing to express. A racist and misogynist, yet one who makes close friends and lovers in other races and never holds women to false purity standards that he himself would never fulfill. A broken man who can see no future for himself except as a killer, who also desperately wants a woman he can care for and constantly flirts with the idea of retirement. He's completely dim-witted when it comes to judgement calls while also having solid investigative skills and shocking capacity for violence. He spends massive amounts of money on luxuries while on a mission, then is content to live at home in a middle-class lifestyle with a few simple pleasures.

The world of James Bond, as Ian Fleming created, was one of contrasts. It was a many-faceted creation reflective of the times, over a decade of political upheaval at the height of the Cold War, with alliances rising and falling in the background. Far from the simplistic action movie fare and wisecracking tuxedo-clad manly man that the brand has become known for, it's more of a rough diamond: cloudy, complex, ugly in some ways but capable of beauty when formed right.

I cannot thank you all enough for joining me on this journey. Having dedicated almost 2 years of my life just to Fleming's work, it's consumed a hefty portion of my spare time and thoughts. I can say without a doubt that I am not the same man that I was when I began.

I can offer one quantum of solace for those who are disappointed in seeing this thread come to an end: there will be another. We're moving elsewhere and going through every Bond book that I can get an electronic copy of, from Kingsley Amis's odd adventure to John Gardner's bizarre caricatures of plots, and even a few movie novelizations. We will see just what Ian Fleming himself brought to the table when his creation is put in the hands of those who try and ape him.

James Bond will return in Colonel Sun.

Pershing
Feb 21, 2010

John "Black Jack" Pershing
Hard Fucking Core



chitoryu12 posted:

James Bond will return in Colonel Sun.

Thanks to this thread I now drink regularly. Thank you so much, chitoryu12.

PS Please put a link to the new thread here so I don't miss it.

Runcible Cat
May 28, 2007

A post? Never!!

Pillbug

chitoryu12 posted:

Monsieur Bon-Bon is a hardened French Resistance operative. He has killed dozens of Nazis with his bare hands horrifyingly delicious confectionery of mass destruction.


chitoryu12 posted:

I cannot thank you all enough for joining me on this journey. Having dedicated almost 2 years of my life just to Fleming's work, it's consumed a hefty portion of my spare time and thoughts. I can say without a doubt that I am not the same man that I was when I began.

Thank you for sharing it with us. This has been one of the all-time-great threads.

Darth Walrus
Feb 13, 2012
:gas;


Definitely a solid addition to the Goodmine when we come round to that.

Rockopolis
Dec 21, 2012

I MAKE FUN OF QUEER STORYGAMES BECAUSE I HAVE NOTHING BETTER TO DO WITH MY LIFE THAN MAKE OTHER PEOPLE CRY

I can't understand these kinds of games, and not getting it bugs me almost as much as me being weird


chitoryu12, it's been a delight.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



https://forums.somethingawful.com/s...hreadid=3918016

New thread is live! We'll be getting started tomorrow. This thread should be open through Friday for you all to say your goodbyes and make any final comments before it gets Goldmined!

Darth Walrus
Feb 13, 2012
:gas;


chitoryu12 posted:

https://forums.somethingawful.com/s...hreadid=3918016

New thread is live! We'll be getting started tomorrow. This thread should be open through Friday for you all to say your goodbyes and make any final comments before it gets Goldmined!

Goodmine, not goldmine, surely? Don't get me wrong, it's a great thread, but the Comedy Goldmine is now exclusively for, well, comedy threads, whereas the Goodmine is now where we put stuff that's interesting, educational, and otherwise worth having around.

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007






Biscuit Hider

This was magnificent, and thank you especially for the commentaries on locations and foods.

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





chitoryu12 posted:

https://forums.somethingawful.com/s...hreadid=3918016

New thread is live! We'll be getting started tomorrow. This thread should be open through Friday for you all to say your goodbyes and make any final comments before it gets Goldmined!

Nice new AV !

A thread for the history books, bravo again.

Trin Tragula
Apr 22, 2005



Farewell Mr Bond, but not goodbye!

Polyakov
Mar 22, 2012



Goodbye, Mr Bond.

Ichabod Sexbeast
Dec 5, 2011

Giving 'em the old razzle-dazzle


In Conclusion, James Bond is a land of contrasts

Thank you for a great thread, I'm looking forwards to the next one!

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BirdieBedtime
Apr 1, 2011


This thread was fantastic. It feels like yesterday when it began. Thank you for all the hard work!

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