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The Love Bug (1968)

Approved | | Comedy, Family, Sport | 13 March 1969 (USA)
A race car driver becomes a champion with a Volkswagen Beetle with a mind of its own.

Director:

Robert Stevenson

Writers:

Bill Walsh (screenplay), Don DaGradi (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
707 ( 6,862)

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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dean Jones ... Jim Douglas
Michele Lee ... Carole Bennett
David Tomlinson ... Peter Thorndyke
Buddy Hackett ... Tennessee Steinmetz
Joe Flynn ... Havershaw
Benson Fong ... Tang Wu
Joe E. Ross ... Detective
Barry Kelley ... Police Sgt.
Iris Adrian ... Carhop
Andy Granatelli Andy Granatelli ... Association President
Ned Glass ... Toll Booth Attendant
Robert Foulk ... Bice
Gil Lamb ... Policeman at Park
Nicole Jaffe ... Girl In Dune-buggy
Wally Boag Wally Boag ... Flabbergasted Driver
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Storyline

Meet Jim Douglas, a down-on-his-luck race car driver who lives in an old run-down fire house in San Francisco with his friend Tennessee Steinmetz, a occasional drunk mechanic. One day, Jim goes to a luxury car dealer and sees a strange Volkswagen Beetle with a unusual problem: it tends to drive on its own, as if it were sentient. The little Bug follows Jim home but Jim believes that the owner of the car dealership, Peter Thorndyke, is playing a trick on him. Jim decides to try out the car, and experiences its magical nature, fahrvergnügen, if you will, for himself. Jim repairs the little car and Tennessee names the him "Herbie". Behind the wheel of Herbie, Jim becomes more successful in racing. Thorndyke wants Herbie back, but Jim refuses and Thorndyke decides to race against him. Thorndyke sabotages Herbie before a big race known as the "El Dorado" - an obvious parody of the then-new "Baja 1000" race in Mexico. Jim and Tennessee along with Thorndyke's former assistant (and ... Written by Andy Crews

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

If You Haven't Caught The Bug... It's Going Around Again! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Family | Sport

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Disney's Official Site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Cantonese | Spanish

Release Date:

13 March 1969 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Car-Boy-Girl See more »

Filming Locations:

Cuddy Valley, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$51,264,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$51,264,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The yellow "Thorndike Special" was an Apollo GT. Apollos were built in Oakland, California. The body shells were fabricated in Italy and shipped to the US, where aluminum Buick 215 CID V8 engines were installed. The same company later made another sports car called the Intermeccanica Italia. One of these appears in the Disney movie The Million Dollar Duck (1971). Dean Jones had the lead acting role, in the movie. See more »

Goofs

When Tennessee (in between shots of Herbie's engine failing) having realized what happened with the Irish coffee, he looks at the car when he understands what has occurred; then his head is down upon the rail. After the car fails, he is again looking up, then lowers his head again into the position that it was originally. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jim Douglas: I'd like another shot at that prize money. Okay for next Sunday?
Bice: No, Jim, it ain't okay.
Jim Douglas: Now, look, Bice, I know...
Bice: No, *you* look. All my drivers are eighteen, nineteen... You're too old for these kid sports. You're liable to get hurt in there.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the end credits, the words "The End" turn into an animated bug which drives away from the screen. See more »

Alternate Versions

When originally released theatrically in the UK, the BBFC made cuts to secure a 'U' rating. All cuts were waived in 1986 when the film was re-rated with a 'U' certificate for home video. See more »


Soundtracks

Tik-Tak-Polka
(uncredited)
Written by Johann Strauss
See more »

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User Reviews

Fun and occasionally sad live-action cartoon
3 February 2003 | by vchimpanzeeSee all my reviews

Dean Jones plays a race car driver who meets a pretty young woman (Michelle Lee) he sees working in the window at a fancy car dealership. He pretends to be interested in a car, but the dealer has nothing he can afford. Well, actually, that's not true. There is one little Volkswagen Beetle that was purchased by a woman who also bought a Bentley. She bought it for her maid but brought it back because the car misbehaved. Jones isn't interested in the car, but it follows him home. Cops show up at his place accusing him of stealing the car, which of course he didn't. Jones blames the sleazy car dealer for this, and for the strange behavior the car exhibits when he tries to drive it. The car has a mind of its own, and its special qualities make it good for racing. A romance develops between Jones and Lee when Lee tries to convince Jones the car is normal but soon finds out the truth. Lee can't stand Jones at first, of course.

Eventually Jones decides to keep the car and race it, but the car dealer wants in on the action, offering to buy this special car. Jones won't sell to him, but he eventually sells to a Mr. Wu (some people may be offended by stereotypical portrayals of Chinese people, and Wu starts out as a stereotype but later seems quite sophisticated). The car dealer tries his best to keep Herbie from being a success.

Jones and Lee did well in their parts but they seemed like they were acting. Buddy Hackett was quite good as an artist who creates works out of car parts and later served as Jones' crew. Hackett named the car Herbie because it reminded him of his uncle. And the actor playing the car dealer was delightfully evil. The special effects were amazing for the era in which the movie was made. It really looked like the car could do some amazing things. And of course the car seemed to have a personality, one that made us like it. The racing scenes were quite well done, and it's hard to believe there were not more wrecks. Maybe the cars were filmed at slower speeds than what we saw. While quite funny, the movie also had its tender moments and could even be sad: Herbie tried to jump off the Golden Gate Bridge, for example. I didn't really see anything to concern parents, though maybe it was a little violent for the littlest ones.


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