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article imageThe 'V' cast plot to invade home video and a return to prime time Special

By Earl Dittman     Nov 2, 2010 in Entertainment
With shocking plot twists, dazzling special effects and nonstop action, actors Elizabeth Mitchell, Scott Wolf & Morena Baccarin discuss why the First Season of the rebooted 'V' (now on Blu-Ray/DVD) is one alien close encounter you don't want to miss.
In V, the re-imagining of the 1980's miniseries, Earthlings experience their first alien encounter. V: The Complete First Season tells the story of how the Visitors – human-like beings who know our languages and provide other-worldly gifts of technology and healing – arrive on massive motherships hovering over 29 major cities worldwide. But, are these alien Visitors here to save us or hurt us? What are their intentions after arriving on Earth? Some consider them saviors in this post 9/11 world; others feel differently. A fledgling resistance is on the rise, determined to reveal the shocking truth. But what is the horrifying truth behind the visitors – or V's?
Joel Gretsch and Scott Wolf in  V
Joel Gretsch and Scott Wolf in 'V'
Warner Bros
For a time, it looked as those die-hard fans of the rebooted, contemporary version of V might not get to discover the answers to many of the above-asked questions, because the show, sadly enough, was plagued by weak ratings (an unexpected byproduct of the Hollywood strikes that had drove many viewers to cable during prime time) which meant V was in real danger of being cancelled. And, with well-loved series such as Lost and Heroes closing shop, science fiction fans weren't about to let V go without a fight. Followers and fans of such V cast members as Elizabeth Mitchell (Lost), Morris Chestnut (Ladder 49), Joel Gretsch (The 4400), Logan Huffman (America), Lourdes Benedicto (24), Laura Vandervoort (Smallville), Morena Baccarin (Firefly) and Scott Wolf (Party of Five) began writing letters, sending emails and probably promising a liver or two, in an effort to secure V a Second Season. Their efforts worked – V: Season 2 begins airing on ABC on January 4.
Luckily, that gives you time to judge for yourself if the V's have arrived on Earth with seemingly good intentions or if they are ready to consume the planets resources and us! During a sunny, Southern California summer afternoon, Elizabeth Mitchell, Scott Wolf and Morena Baccarin discuss their characters and the show's Executive Producer, Scott Peters, explains his decision to re-adapt V, what were some of the essential changes needed for the new version, how there are similar to the original and his thoughts on the future of V.
Elizabeth Mitchell in  V
Elizabeth Mitchell in 'V'
Warner Bros
You've got two actors from Lost, two from Firefly and one from Smallville – is V becoming The Love Boat of science fiction fantasy TV?
SCOTT PETERS: (Executive Producer) “Exactly! We were trying to get every single, science fiction fan who's ever lived to come and watch our show. (laughs) No, we obviously went for the best action we could possibly find, and as we went through our list, we're like, 'Oh, hey, somebody from The 4400 and Serenity and Lost and...' You know, listen, we love our cast. They're wonderful. They're really not very attractive people, as you know. (laughs) But it's a nice bonus that a lot of folks have appeared in genre shows in the past, but it was not designed that way.”
Most remakes of science fiction shows tend to try to re-imagine them completely, and although this is considerably slicker-looking than the '80s version, for Season One, did you want to stay close to the original story or move as far away from it as you could?
Morena Baccarin in  V
Morena Baccarin in 'V'
Warner Bros
SCOTT PETERS: “There were a couple of things we tried to do. One, is we're certainly – none of us would be here without Ken Johnson, who did the original V miniseries, which was obviously a phenomenal success. So we owe a lot to him. In that vein, we wanted to make sure as we moved forward that we made sure that we honored and respected the characters and the themes that that show envisioned and tried not to step on those and introduced brand new characters and brand new themes that would make sense in a post-9/11 world. So it's really an honor to be able to take the story forward. So we're still hoping to bring a whole new set of fans as well as the folks who watched it originally.”
Elizabeth had you all seen the original V when it was on television?
ELIZABETH MITCHELL: “I did watch the show when I was kid. I think I was about 13. I was allowed to watch an hour of television with my parents. I really liked it. I liked the escape of it, and I liked the entertainment of it. It was a fun night for me. We kind of made a celebration of it, and I hope that other teenagers will do that with their parents. It's something that kids don't do as much anymore. Oh, my God, I sound like I'm 80.” (laughs)
Morena Baccarin in  V
Morena Baccarin in 'V'
Warner Bros
And, before I forget, for all the Lost boys and girls out there who are still debating what Juliet actually did in Lost, did or didn't she kaboom herself with the bomb?
ELIZABETH MITCHELL: “Yes, it does seem that I kaboomed myself with a bomb. I like that word anyway. I'll have to teach that to my five-year-old. 'Kaboomed' is good.” (laughs)
Morena, you get to play such an interesting role as Anna, the spokesperson for the Visitors, because the aliens believe Anna is exactly the kind of person Earthlings want to see. Is it interesting to play her that way – like you are a sweet-faced PR person for a seedy cigarette company or investment firm? As an actress, how did you bring her to life?
MORENA BACCARIN: “I had big shoes to fill as a being, I guess, the face of what people want to see, and there's kind of no way to prepare on how to play an alien. I did some research, but there's not a lot out there. When I play her, I think I just am trying my best to be as trustworthy as I can be and to be what I would like somebody to be like if they were to come down to Earth. I think there's an aspect of politicians in that, because you need to embody what everybody of every nationality and need wants to see and at the same time you have your own agenda.”
Morena Baccarin  Christopher Shyer and Scott Wolf in  V
Morena Baccarin, Christopher Shyer and Scott Wolf in 'V'
Warner Bros
Scott Wolf, you have a great character with Chad Dekker, too, just because, initially, he's an honest journalist. But as the season goes on, you get the feeling that they've toyed with Chad's ego a little bit, because I think he wants to still be famous. So he might compromise himself slightly. How do you see your character?
SCOTT WOLF: “Well, I think he's – I appreciate you seeing the legitimate journalist in him. I see that as well. I think he's a guy who's had success doing what he's doing, but he sees himself a lot further along than he's been able to get thus far, but amongst all the different themes that our producers and writers are dealing with, one of them is integrity versus ambition. And this guy's an incredibly ambitious guy, but there's also a sense of wanting to be a great journalist and be a voice for people so that when spaceships descend over the major cities of the world, they want to watch their TV sets. He wants people to think, 'What is Chad Decker saying about this?' So I think part of the fun of seeing how the character develops will be that relationship between his ambition and his journalistic integrity and which one wins out.”
Scott Wolf in  V
Scott Wolf in 'V'
Warner Bros
The timing in some of the casting of V is a little suspicious. Did the Visitor lizards bring down Oceanic 815 in Lost?
ELIZABETH MITCHELL: “Maybe. I was taught that by years on Lost that they key word is always 'maybe.'" (laughs)
SCOTT PETERS: “That would be an awesome episode.”
Elizabeth, you have a real classic-hero role in Erica, who is a big part of the Resistance – and a mom of teen aged son with hormones working overtime, too. This seems like one of the richest roles you have had. Can you reflect on the role of Erica Evans and Lost, as far as what they've done for your career. Are you surprised by the good things that have happened to you in the last few years? And what do you think of the role of Erica, in general?
Elizabeth Mitchell in  V
Elizabeth Mitchell in 'V'
Warner Bros
ELIZABETH MITCHELL: “I'm always surprised – always surprised, always grateful, and always giggling a little bit. So I hope to continue to feel that way. I loved my role on Lost. I thought it was incredibly rich, and I enjoyed every minute of playing it. And I really thought I was going to take a break in between doing that and doing this and doing the last bit of Lost that I had left. And I have to say that my manager called and said that Morris had read the V script and that he really liked it. So I thought, 'Well, if he liked it, then I should read it.' So I read it, and I really did fall in love with the character. And I called over one of my best friends, and I had her read it, and she also fell in love with the character. So I like playing a traditional hero. I don't think I've ever done it before, and I think it's a huge – it's big shoes to fill because we've had some amazing heroes and amazing – I did a panel with Sigourney Weaver, and she said she always chooses male roles because she felt like they are meatier. But this indeed started out as a woman in this incarnation, and then, in the previous one, I believe it was a man. So it's been incredibly exciting, and I do feel like it's a lot, and I'm hoping to do even better.”
The Cast of  V  Season One
The Cast of 'V' Season One
Warner Bros
Mr. Peters, as you've said in earlier interviews, the new version of V definitely has a new perspective and has a post-9/11 effect to it, which makes it very different, in terms of tone, than the original. The first V was sort of an allegory to totalitarianism going home – sometimes it was a little too literal with its Nazi references. Obviously, watching the first season of the new V, that is all gone. What did you want the underlying theme to be?
SCOTT PETERS: “When we originally conceived the show, I opened up and broadened the theme to be about blind devotion. What happens when you don't ask questions about the things you believe in? And I think that can be applied across the board, whether you are talking about a political issue or a religious issue or a relationship issue, any number of things. And so, to me, that was what was really an interesting place to look into to deal with a theme across many different story-lines.”
The propaganda aspect of that seems to ring true in both cases – propaganda as a tool of domination.
SCOTT PETERS: “The interesting thing to us is propaganda has just become advertising, and everything is branded, and everything is turned into a product. The V's are going to brand themselves. The V's are going to, like, advertise and promote, and we are all going to want to love the V's.”
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Warner Bros
I read that the show had been conceived as one with a four- or five-year story-line life. Is that still the way you are looking at it?
SCOTT PETERS: “Actually, before the show was sold, there was a pretty solid direction to everything. And so (executive producer) Jeff (Bell) came aboard, and we talked more about it. And as things developed, we certainly know where we were going with the first season. And now, we know where we are going with the second season. We have a pretty solid plan all the way through. I did a show previous to this that was very serialized, and it helped a lot to know exactly where you were going so that you weren't making it up as you were going along because that just is too painful, and we spent way to many nights staying up, when we didn't have to. As for how long, if people like what we are doing, we will continue planning as many seasons as viewers want.”
V: The Complete First Season Blu-ray Bonus Features: “ The Actor's Journey from Human to V,” “An Alien in Human Skin: The Makeup FX of V,” “Breaking Story: The World of V” and “The Visual FX of V” featurettes; Commentary with Executive Producers Scott Rosenbaum and Steve Pearlman on Episode 11, “Fuition” and Unaired Scenes. For more on V, check out the Official Site at www.vtvondvd.com
V: Season 2 debuts on ABC beginning January 4, 2011, 9:00EST/8:00CST. (Check local listings for more information).
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HBO
The Pacific
The Pacific is a stunning, sensational and poignant 10-part, Emmy Award-winning miniseries that will leave you both breathless and mesmerized. Brought to you, in part, by the brilliant minds behind Band Of Brothers and John Adams, The Pacific tracks the true, real-life journeys of three U.S. Marines – Robert Leckie (James Badge Dale), Eugene Sledge (Joe Mazzello) and John Basilone (Jon Seda) – across the vast canvas of the Pacific theater during World War II. Executive produced by Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg and Gary Goetzman, the gritty, raw and bloody miniseries follows these men and their fellow Marines from their first battle with the Japanese on Guadalcanal, through the rain forests of Cape Gloucester and the strongholds of Peleliu, across the bloody sands of Iwo Jima, through the horror of Okinawa, and finally to their triumphant but uneasy return home after V-J Day. The Pacific, both on Blu-ray and DVD, are overflowing with exclusive and informative content that will further enrich the your understanding of the War. The Pacific Blu-ray Bonus Features: “Historical Backgrounds” – five-minute prologues that set the stage for each episode and additional historical footage narrated by Tom Hanks; “Making The Pacific” – behind the scenes featurette; “Profiles of The Pacific” – delve into the lives of the real Marines featured in The Pacific. “Anatomy of The Pacific War” – explore the historical influences and cultural perceptions that led to the merciless brutality in the Pacific theater of World War II; “The Pacific Enhanced Viewing” – gain a deeper historical understanding of the battles with Enhanced Viewing, a 10-part, 10-hour, picture-in-picture experience. Exclusive content includes interviews with historians and veterans, archival footage, maps and more; “The Pacific Field Guide” – navigate through the major events featured in The Pacific with this standalone, interactive Field Guide. View exclusive content including animated maps, extensive interviews with historians and veterans, historical footage, photographs and more.
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Warner Bros
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Magnolia
Centurion
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Disney/Pixar
Toy Story 3: Blu-ray Combo Pack
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Discovery
Deadliest Catch: Season 6
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CBS/Paramount
Beverly Hill 90210: The Final Season
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BBC
Doctor Who: Silver Nemesis: The Extended Version + Doctor Who: Revenge Of The Cybermen
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BBC
Bonus Features: Audio Commentary By actors Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred (Ace) and Script Editor Andrew Cartmel; “Industrial Action - Making Of: with Gerard Murphy (Richard), Director Chris Clough, Writer Kevin Clarke, Stunt Arranger Nick Gillard and musician Courtney Pine; Deleted and Extended Scenes; Trailers And Continuity and Isolated Score REVENGE... The Doctor (this time played by Tom Baker) and his companion, Sara Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen), are lost in time. Expecting to be reunited with the TARDIS following a secret mission for the Time Lords, they instead find themselves on a plague-stricken space situation orbiting the remnants of Voga, Planet of Gold. The Doctor, Harry and Sara Jane have stumbled into the last battle of an ancient conflict between humankind and one of its most terrifying foes -- the Cybermen. (Only on DVD) Bonus Features: Audio Commentary By Producer Philip Hincliffe and actors Elisabeth Sladen and David Collings (Vorus); “Checks, Lies And Videotape: New Documentary On Fan Collecting In The Days Before Official Doctors Who Videos and DVDS; “The Tin Man And The Witch Making Of” featurette; Location Report Archive Interview With Tom Baker At Wookey Hole and Photo Gallery.
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CBS/Paramount
The Fugitive: The Fourth and Final Season: Volume 1
The Fugitive returns with the first 15 episodes from its 1966, Fourth and Final season -- filmed entirely in magnificent color (believe it or not, there was a time in the mid-'60s when there were still hit series filmed ub black and white on the prime time schedule). TV icon David Hanssen again portrays prison escapee Richard Kimble, the physician falsely convicted of murder and condemned to a tortured life on the road. As Lt. Gerard (Barry Morse) gets close to capturing his prey, Kimble gets close to cornering Fred Johnson (Bill Raisch), the murderous one-armed man who killed Kimble's wife. Yet there are still twists and turns to the surprising story-line that will shock you – as Johnson tries to have Kimble killed and Kimble is forced to save Gerard's life. But with this being only the first set of Season Four's episodes, digitally remastered on four discs, there's still a lot of action coming up and several shocking secrets left to uncover before The Fugitive can be cleared once and for all. (Only On DVD) Bonus Features: “Composer Dominic Frontiere: Season Of Change” featurette.
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HBO
You Don't Know Jack
Angel of mercy or murderous “Doctor Death?” Decide for yourself when you watch Academy Award-winning director Barry Levinson's true-life story of Dr. Jack Kevorkian in You Don't Know Jack – featuring Academy Award and Emmy winner Al Pacino as Kevorkian, one man obsessed with challenging the rules by which we live and die. Dr. Kevorkian’s passionate belief that people have the right to die made him one of the most polarizing figures in modern American history. You Don’t Know Jack offers a rare look at the man behind the sensational headlines, starting with his initial foray into patient consultations and the media frenzy that ensued. Kevorkian and his allies – sister Margo (Brenda Vaccaro), friend and medical supplier Neal Nicol (John Goodman), Hemlock Society activist Janet Good Susan Sarandon, and defense attorney Geoffrey Fieger (Danny Huston) – dedicated themselves to a cause fraught with legal and ethical hurdles, not to mention the real possibility of long-term imprisonment. (Only on DVD) Bonus Features: “The Real Jack/Inner Circle” behind the scenes featurette and interviews with Kevorkian, Pacino, Sarandon, Goodman, Huston and Vaccaro, along with Geoffrey Fieger and Neal Nicol.
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CBS/Paramount
TV Sets: Christmas Treats
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Image
Tapout: The Complete Series
If there is a fan of mixed martial arts in your household, you can mark their name off your gift list because Tapout is the perfect Christmas present for the burgeoning fighter in your life. Follow the TapouT crew as they travel around the country in search of promising MMA fighters to develop and possibly sponsor. Watch as Mask, Punkass and Skyskrape -- the crew behind the premiere mixed martial arts clothing and gear line TapouT – as they embark on their cross-country travel in search of the next MMA superstar. The trio is on the hunt to discover a fighter who has what it takes to represent the TapouT label, but before these up-and-comers fight their way out of the cage, they have to fight their way in with the TapouT crew. In addition to following the training of one fighter, culminating in a fight at a professional MMA event, each exciting episode includes unbelievable fighters with incredible stories, leading up to a dramatic conclusion as each fighter gets one shot to impress the crew and show off his skills in the cage. Featuring Tapout friends old and new, including MMA superstar Chuck Liddell and UFC President Dana White, Tapout: The Complete Series includes all 20 memorable episodes and is an essential DVD for any mixed martial arts fan. (Only on DVD)
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Universal
Big Crosby: The Collection
One of the most popular entertainers of all time, Bing Crosby was a superstar of movies, music, radio and television during a spectacular career that lasted over well over 50 years. He remains beloved around the world for his easy going charm, mesmerizing voice and on-screen charisma. The Bing Crosby Collection showcases six rare films, including College Humor, We're Not Dressing, Here is my Heart, Mississippi, Sing You Sinners and Welcome Stranger. Featuring Bing in top form, singing some of the most memorable songs, such as "June in January," "Swanee River" and "I've Got a Pocketful of Dreams," this timeless collection will entertain longtime fans and introduce a whole new generation to the legendary style of the most popular singing star of the 20th century. Part of the new Universal Backlot Series line, this highly collectible set features rare gems from one of Hollywood's brightest stars. (Only on DVD)
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Lionsgate
Let's Spend The Night Together Greatest Hits Live
From Bing to Mick and Keith, there's great music out on DVD this week. Few bands continue to top the charts year after year – let alone for nearly half a century. In 1981, 20 years into their career, The Rolling Stones gave Academy Award-winning filmmaker Hal Ashby a backstage pass to make the epic rockumentary Let’s Spend the Night Together. Shot with 20 cameras on their record-breaking arena tour, Let’s Spend the Night Together gives Stones’ fans the excitement and action of the legendary rockers on and off stage over two performances – in Tempe, Arizona and East Rutherford, New Jersey. The film features some the biggest songs from The Rolling Stones’ catalog, including “Under My Thumb,” “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” “Start Me Up” and more. Under Ashby’s direction, the film demonstrates why this band is one of the most enduring and popular rock bands of all-time. With their millions of fans (and growing), the Rolling Stones musical experience is unlike any other – epitomized, of course, by Jagger's erotic choreography and their wall-to-wall, explosive sound – featured all over Let's Spend The Night Together. (Only on DVD) Bonus Features: Image Gallery and Original Theatrical Trailer.
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Fox
I Am
A film often described as the “faith-based Crash,” the John Ward-directed I Am utilizes The Ten Commandments as you’ve never seen them before, providing the framework for this compelling drama set in the City of Angels. A desperate heiress. A beautiful reporter. A vengeful detective. A charismatic district attorney. In modern-day Los Angeles, all of their lives will intersect, leading to profound choices that will test each character’s morality and faith. With guidance from a mysterious stranger, these lost souls search for answers, only to discover that the path to salvation is closer than they ever could have imagined. Conceived as a faith-based feature film designed to welcome movie-lovers from all walks of life, spur conversation and change the way people view faith-based films, last month, Ward donated 2,00 free screenings to churches all across the United States and Canada, helping them to bring in new members and re-inspire disillusioned ones with the groundbreaking film. (Only on DVD) Bonus Feature: The Music Video for “Say Goodbye” by recording artist and actress Katherine McPhee.
NOW ON BLU-RAY
The Sound Of Music
The Sound Of Music
Fox
The Sound Of Music 45th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray
Meticulously Restored and Re-mastered, The Sound Of Music 45th Anniversary Edition is presented with new 7.1 audio and offers BD-LIVE: Live Lookup Powered by IMDb – your favorite things. Starring Oscar-winner Julie Andrews in one of her most memorable roles, the film adaptation of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical follows Maria, a spirited young woman who leaves a convent and becomes a governess to seven unruly children. Her charm and songs soon win the hearts of the children and their father but when Nazi Germany unites with Austria, Maria is forced to attempt a daring escape with her new family. Directed by Robert Wise and co-starring Christopher Plummer, the film garnered five Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director. A heartwarming story full of cherished songs such as “My Favorite Things,” “Sixteen Going On Seventeen,” “Edelweiss” and the title song, the film graces six different Top 100 lists by the American Film Institute including Musicals, Songs and Movies. Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack Bonus Features: BLU-RAY - Your Favorite Things: An Interactive Celebration; Music Machine Sing-Along Audio Commentaries With Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer And Director Robert Wise; Blu-ray Live: Live Lookup with IMDb; “Musical Stages: Creating The Sound Of Music” and “A City Of Songs: Filming Locations” featurettes; Screen Tests; Rare Treasures; Interviews and Photo Galleries. DVD - “The Sound Of Music Tour: The Living Story” featurette. The Sound Of Music is also available in a numbered, Limited Edition Collector’s Set of “Favorite Things” including an exclusive Hand-Painted Music Box, 100-Page Scrapbook, 45th Anniversary Soundtrack and more!
Untitled
Lionsgate
Highlander + Highlander 2 Blu-ray and DVD Combo Pack
Experience the action of an immortal’s journey through time and space like never before with Russell Mulcahy's director's cut of Highlander and Highlander 2 on individual 1080P High Definition Blu-ray Discs. HIGHLANDER is an epic tale of immortality starring Christopher Lambert and Sean Connery. When Scottish clansman Connor MacLeod (Lambert) discovers his true identity as part of a legion of immortals, his journey spans the world and centuries before finally landing him in modern day New York.
Untitled
Lionsgate
MacLeod is unfortunately set to face other immortals in a showdown where only one can survive. Bonus Features: Deleted scenes and Audio commentary with director Russell Mulcahy and producers Peter S. Davis and William N. Panzer. In HIGHLANDER 2, it’s 2024 and MacLeod and Ramirez are back to save planet Earth. Ozone depletion, time travel and corporate greed are at the core of all the thrilling twists and turns in this stylish action sequel. Bonus Features: “The Redemption of Highlander 2,” “The Music of Highlander 2,” “The Fabric of Highlander 2” and “Shadow & Darkness: the Cinematography of Highlander 2” featurettes; Original Cannes Film Festival Promotional Reel; Deleted scenes; Alternate ending and Original theatrical trailer.
Untitled
MGM
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Blu-Ray + DVD Combo Pack
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls – start your engines. You're about to take an incredible ride with one of the most wonderful family films of all time! Now celebrating its 30th anniversary, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang has never looked or sounded better. Dick Van Dyke stars as eccentric inventor Caractacus Potts, who creates an extraordinary car called Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. It not only drives but also flies and floats as it leads him, his two children and his beautiful lady friend, Truly Scrumptious (Sally Ann Howes), into a magical world of pirates, castles and endless adventure. Bonus Features: Sing-Along; Chitty Chitty’s, Bang Bang, Driving Game; “Toot Sweet Toots Musical Maestro” and “Remembering Chitty Chitty Bang Bang with Dick Van Dyke” featurettes; A Fantasmagorical Motorcar featurette; Sherman Brothers' Demos; Vintage Featurettes and Photo Gallery.
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