Herbie, the Volkswagen Beetle with a mind of its own, is racing in the Monte Carlo Rally. Unbeknownst to Herbie's driver, thieves have hidden a cache of stolen diamonds in Herbie's gas tank, and are now trying to get them back.
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Race car driver, Jim Douglas goes to Monte Carlo to enter his car, Herbie, in the Monte Carlo rally. When they get there, Herbie falls for another driver's car and Jim falls for the driver Diane, who thinks he's weird. But what they don't know is that a pair of thieves who stole a very valuable diamond, hid it in Herbie's gas tank. And the thieves try to get it back. Written by
Herbie The Love Bug was a 1963 Volkswagen Beetle deluxe ragtop sedan painted in Volkswagen L87 pearl white. Under normal circumstances, the interior would be a matching white. However, Herbie's interior was painted a special non-reflective grey color so the camera and studio lights would not reflect. See more »
At the first qualifying round when Herbie is pivoting to watch the Lancia pull up to the finish line, his wheels don't roll like they're supposed to, indicating that he's on a turning platform. See more »
[In the final stage of the race, Bruno Von Stickle won't let Herbie pass him]
Dirty road hog! Why doesn't he learn how to drive?
He knows how to drive, that's the trouble!
[They go round a pair of sharp curves, and Von Stickle does a better job of taking them than Herbie]
Yeah, I see what you mean.
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Inoffensive family fare that won't annoy adults and will please most kids
It has been twelve years since Jim Douglas last won a race; in fact, it has been twelve years since he last drove a race but he has selected the prodigious France-Monte Carlo race to make their come back. Being greeted with laughter is a problem they can overcome but when Herbie falls in love with a rival car it means that he is distracted and more interesting in impressing her than giving his all. Mind you, even if they manage to get over that problem Jim and Wheely don't even know about the stolen diamond in their fuel tank or the international thieves chasing them to get it back.
Herbie films have never been about high production standards, character or plot and this entry in the series is no exception. The plot mixes one thread about a jewel robbery and another about romance. The former is the more enjoyable strand but it doesn't do enough to get the most out of it because it focuses more on the romance side of things. In regards Herbie, this at least provides some scenes that kids will find funny with the two cars, however it also brings tiresome bits between Douglas and Diane Darcy that aren't fun at all. It all does what you expect it to in all regards and there isn't anything special here but most of it is amusing and inoffensive enough for adults to watch while also being broad, visual and silly enough to keep children content.
Dean Jones is happy to mug along as usual and he does it well enough to fit the mood of the film; likewise Knotts pulls faces and gurns as much as he possibly can. Sommars is really rather annoying and has as little character as her character's ugly and charisma-lacking car. Herbie is amusing as ever and the film does well to draw a character out of the car without resorting to the cheap effects used by the modern entry.
Overall this is not a great film but it is an enjoyable kids movie and should be viewed as such. It is delivered with consistent good humour even if it has no surprises or laughs to really speak of. Adults might get bored of it easily but are unlikely to be annoyed by it, while children should be amused and distracted by the inoffensive antics.
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