Baroness Bomburst (Anna Quayle) is the secondary antagonist, and along with her husband the Baron, they are the evil rulers over the land of Vulgaria in the 1968 film, "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang".
The Baroness is extremely afraid of children in the film, and therefore, she has outlawed them in all the land. Her most loyal servant is the hideous Child Catcher (Robert Helpmann). The Child Catcher has a large nose and lutes his victims out with lollipops. When they fall for his trick, he puts them in cages to be carted off to a large prison. The Baron also hates children, but at the same time, is childlike himself. He has made it a law that all the toys made in Vulgaria are to be taken to him so he can play with them.
Baroness is known for her lavish and often eccentric way of dressing in the movie. Each scene she displays a different set of big, frilly dresses with diamonds, pearls and petticoats. She spends most of her days trying on outfits.
Throughout the film, there is running gag with her husband, the Baron (Gert Frohbe), who does his darnedest to eliminate her. She is either totally oblivious to this, or else she is in denial. By contrast, the Baroness is totally devoted to him.
The first we get wind of this is when she comes running out of the castle to join her husband on the car. The Baron makes a comment, that whenever he is about to have fun, she always shows up and ruins it. After she gets in the back seat of the car, an unknown button is pushed by Grandfather Potts, and the Baroness is ejected high into the air. The Baron shouts out that he will save her, but to do so he pulls out his large gun and shoots at her as she is floating down to earth. She is floating due to the large dress that has trapped the air like a parachute. On his second shot, he makes her dress invert itself, with her petticoats showing and dress over her head. She builds up speed and falls into the lake below. The Baron and all his men go to the side of the castle and to his dismay, she is still alive.
Shortly thereafter, we see a very sexy scene in which She is dressed in lingerie in her bedroom and the Baron walks in on her. They begin singing a number called "Chu-Chi Face", in which the Baron makes several additional attempts on her life.
The Baroness wears high heels and black stockings attached to a white garter belt. The garter belt is attached to a white with pin stripe corset. The black lingerie or teddy has a frilly black lace skirt. She wears diamond earrings and several diamond necklaces. The Baroness has a black silk hat on covering her golden blonde hair that is set in extremely long pigtails that hang down to her knee.
He first attempts to strangle her with her long braids, and you see her struggle to get a breathe in and duck out of the strangle hold.
Next we see him attempt to time it to where a knight in shining armor splits her in two. She moves out of the way at the last second, and the axe falls in between the two.
Then she dances over to him and plants herself on her back on a big dining table. She stretches one of her legs erotically upward, and then rolls to the side, just in time. Just then, a metal spike drops from the chandelier and impales the table where she had previously been lying. She looks up with her big surprised look before continuing on with the song and dance routine.
Lastly, the Baron entices her with a fur coat to a specific part of the room. She comes over and slips into the coat, and he pulls a lever above the bed, which makes her drop out of sight through a trapped door. At this, he feels he has succeeded, and begins laughing uncontrollable. However, she momentarily reappears in the doorway and continues on with the song. It is a very erotic number to be sure, and is comical as well. It is very much a sadomasochistic scene with the Baron trying to kill his wife, and at the same time professing his love while she is prancing around in sexy lingerie. It's not difficult to see why many boys watching this movie as a child had a crush on the evil but sexy Baroness. It probably formed the basis for many fetishes to fester in their childhood.
At the Baron's birthday party, both the Baron and her are being entertained by some lifelike dolls. The Baron is strung up by a rope high above the table, and then the children gatecrash the party. This is the biggest horror to the Baroness, as she is absolutely terrified of them. The rest of the townspeople ambush the castle as well, having been encouraged to rebel against the evil rulers. The Baroness gets up on top of the table to avoid the kids, and they get up there with her and continue harassing her. The next scene we see is where the Baron and the Baroness have crawled on their hands and escaped to a small door that leads to a slide. However, the slide takes them to the same cage the Child Catcher used to gather up the children. The two are locked up in the portable jail as they cry. Bulgaria is at last liberated from their reign of terror, and children are once again allowed to live in the kingdom. Although we don't know of their fate, one can assume that they were probably locked away in the dungeon, forced to work in the underground mines, or even paraded through the streets and beheaded later that afternoon with the delights of the townspeople and children.
One curious thing is why the Baron and the Baroness are not called a King and Queen. However, if you think about it, they had no children, and so they were "barren". This could be a very interesting play on words by the writer. We know that the Baroness has banished the kids from the town, and we also know that she is aging. Therefore, the aging baroness is probably under extreme pressure to produce an heir for her husband. If she allowed the Baron to come into daily contact with children, she would risk upsetting him and at the same time, her own existence should he get the idea of disposing of her. While he makes attempts at her life, she continues to lavish care and attention on him, and treats him like her own child.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Anna Quayle appeared as Frau Hoffner in the 1967 comedy spy spoof "Casino Royale".
Gallery[edit | edit source]