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The Love Bug [1968]

Director:Robert Stevenson
Writer:Bill Walsh
Don DaGradi
Composer:George Bruns
Length:108 minutes
(1 hour 48 minutes)
MPAA Rating:G
Sorting Category:Family
IMDB Rating:6.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating:75%
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Synopsis: A race car driver becomes a champion with a Volkswagen Beetle with a mind of its own.

Reaction: The movie that started it all. The story telling is fairly basic, but there's fun and Herbie is well personified.

Personal Rating: 7/10

Robert Stevenson => Director
Bill Walsh => Writer
Don DaGradi => Writer
George Bruns => Composer
Andy Granatelli => Association President
Barry Kelley => Police Sgt.
Benson Fong => Mr. Wu
Brian Fong => Chinese Carrying Herbie
Buddy Hackett => Tennessee Steinmetz
David Tomlinson => Peter Thorndyke
Dean Jones => Jim Douglas
Gil Lamb => Policeman at Park
Herbie The Love Bug => Itself (as Herbie)
Iris Adrian => Carhop
Joe E. Ross => Detective (in opening credits) (as Joe E.Ross)
Joe Flynn => Havershaw
Michele Lee => Carole Bennett
Ned Glass => Toll Booth Attendant
Nicole Jaffe => Girl In Dune-buggy
Peter Renaday => Policeman on Bridge (as P.L. Renoudet)
Robert Foulk => Bice
Russ Caldwell => Boy Driving Dune-buggy

Random Trivia For This Title:

  • According to the filmmakers in the DVD documentary, Herbie The Love Bug's #53 comes from star baseball pitcher Don Drysdale of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
  • Herbie got his name when the crew of the film was watching one of Buddy Hackett's skits about a ski instructor with a funny accent. Then Hackett said, "If you ain't got a herbie [pronounced hoy-bie], I ain't goin'." The name stuck.
  • The only existing "trick" Herbie from the movie which can do everything that Herbie is known for, like squirting oil and opening his doors by himself, is owned by Dean Jones.
  • Dean Jones who plays Jim Douglas in the movie, also plays the role of the hippy in the drive-in scene.
  • When beginning production of the film, Disney set up a casting call for about a dozen cars, and kept them outside the studios for the crew to examine during their breaks. Among the lineup were Toyotas, Volvos, and of course, the pearl white Volkswagen Beetle. When the crew walked by to inspect the cars, they would kick the tires and grab the steering wheel to see how it handled. However, when they came across the Volkswagen, they began to pet it, and so the Beetle got the job.
  • During the exchange between Jim Douglas and Mr. Wu while hanging from Herbie's rear bumper: "Car very strong." "And very fast." "The strength of forty horses." The stock Volkswagen Beetle engine did have forty horsepower.
  • Herbie The Love Bug's license plate is OFP-857; his number is 53.
  • The yellow "Thorndike Special" was an Apollo GT. Apollos were built in Pasadena, 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.
  • 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.
  • Dean Jones credits the film's success to the fact that it was the last live-action film that Walt Disney had authorized for production.