|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2009)|
||It has been suggested that this article be merged into Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. (Discuss) Proposed since January 2014.|
|Chitty Chitty Bang Bang character|
|First appearance||Chitty Chitty Bang Bang|
|Created by||Roald Dahl|
Baron Bomburst is a fictional character and the primary antagonist in the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The character did not appear in Ian Fleming's original novel; it was created by the film's screenwriter, Roald Dahl. Played by Gert Fröbe, Bomburst rules the Barony of Vulgaria together with his wife, Baroness Bomburst. In the stage and film versions, he is a spoiled brat who refuses to grow up. He is also vindictive, pampered, self-centered, and incredibly effeminate. In Broadway versions the character has been played by Jonathan Freeman, Ed Dixon, and Marc Kudish.
In the film
First appearing as a gentleman pirate when the Potts and Truly Scrumptious are picnicking on the beach, he reveals a cruel and greedy streak by attempting to steal the enchanted car, then orders his men to load cannons to attack. He and his men cheer when they see the tide flood around the car and prepares to see the Potts' family drown until when the car floats, he wants it even more. But the car escapes (much to his disappointment) and sends his spies to capture it and bring the car to him. Although this fails the spies and Bomburst mistakenly think the car to have been invented by Grandpa Potts and they kidnap him by carrying his man-cave hut with him inside to be taken to Vuglaria.
Later, when the Potts follow Bomburst's airship to his native Vulgaria, they discover how cruelly the Baron treats his subjects. Bomburst locks Grandpa Potts in the engineering room with other kidnapped scientists and threatens to execute G. Potts unless he uses the Vulgarian royal car to build into a floating car like Chitty in 24 hours. When Chitty the car is spotted flying towards the Vulgarian city Bomburst obviously wants G. Potts to make it both float and fly and when the Vulgarian army successfully steals the car Bomburst orders G. Potts to proceed to show him how the car works but when Grandpa Potts fails he is once again locked in the dungeon set to be executed. Meanwhile the Potts family investigates the country and learn that children are forbidden in the country. Although it's stated that "the Baroness hates children" and it's the Baroness who sends for the Childcatcher, it's also obvious that the Baron himself hates children as well; his greed is evident all the more when it is revealed that all the toys made by Vulgaria's toymaker are for him. The Potts' kids are kidnapped by the Child Catcher, mocked by the Vulgarian staff and imprisoned in solitary confinement.
In reply to this action the Potts family and villagers (when realizing how important their children are to them), put Caractacus Potts as their leader and secretly think of a plan to get into the castle the next day on Bomburst's birthday, throw him out of rule and regain the village for themselves.
Baron Bomburst falls under the obvious trick of his presents (A giant doll on a music box and A clown like doll) being real humans. He is last seen when the huge battle occurs in his castle, following the ambush led by Caractacus Potts, Bomburst's servant The Toymaker, the children of the villagers and Truly Scrumptious. The cowardly Baron and his wife hide from the battle and see lots of children enter the castle. Wondering where the children are coming from, the Bomburst couple summon the Child Catcher, but even he is ultimately defeated by the village children and left hanging in a net in mid-air. Realizing the Child Catcher is defeated, the Baroness suggests escaping down a rubbish chute; the Baron initially resists the idea, but the couple go down anyway. They end up sliding and being trapped in the Child Catcher's cage-car and thus the two are unable to give orders to their cavalry and watch their rule be defunct by the winning villagers; thus they are virtually defeated.
The villagers help battle the cavalry; with the Baron and Baroness locked up, and the staff of the Barony check-mated by the kids; the cavalry has no choice but to retreat from the castle. The Potts' family free their two kids Jeremy and Jemimah and bid farewell to the cheering citizens promising to visit on occasion. By the citizens' victory Vulgaria then becomes a free country ruled by the citizens. Although it is not known what Bomburst's fate is it is definitely true that the citizens of the country will not cut them slack or mercy or go easy on them; thus the best presumption is that the Bombursts, the Child Catcher and the Vulgarian former Barony staff, are presumably arrested or exiled in the story's ending to await punishment for their crimes.
His relationship with his wife appears to be twisted: when Grandfather Potts inadvertently ejects her out of the captured Chitty, Bomburst automatically opts for a shotgun as the best means to get her down—claiming that he has waited twenty years for this moment, and there is a darkly comical sequence shortly afterwards where he alternately sings of his love for her and attempts to kill her.
Cruel though he is, there is a juvenile side to him as well. His envy for the Potts' car is more akin to a spoiled schoolboy than a psychopathic killer; he sulks mightily when the toymaker has apparently made him a doll, and he sobs near the end when he loses his crown in fleeing from the children. His wife then starts pampering him.