Join us for this week's episode "The Love Bug" (1968). We talk washed up racers, classy car groupies, philosophical fat hippies, car envy, every race trope imaginable and why you never want to take funding from the shadows. Does this movie have us waving the checkered flag or are hoping to finish in a fiery crash? Find out now!
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 ex-girlfriend) Carol Bennett, repair Herbie before the El Dorado. The trio are determined to beat Thorndyke who will stop at nothing in order to gain a victory - and Herbie
Directors: Robert Stevenson
Writers: Bill Walsh, Don DaGradi & Gordon Buford
Stars: Dean Jones, Michele Leigh, David Tomlinson, & Buddy Hackett
Awards: Winner: Golden Screen Award (Germany), Nominee : Golden Laurel for Best Male Comedy Performance (Dean Jones)
Film Budget: Unknown
Box Office: $51,264,022
Packed with instrumental jams here are a few we like.
The Nuts and Bolts of It
Dean Jones personally requested to play the hippy at the drive-in. The director originally turned him down, but after Jones proved that he could convincingly take on the persona, he was immediately given the part.
Herbie was a 1963 Volkswagen Beetle deluxe ragtop sedan painted in Volkswagen L87 pearl white. Herbie's interior was painted a special non-reflective grey so the camera and studio lights would not reflect. Under normal circumstances, the interior would be a matching white.
Thorndyke's luxury car is a 1955 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith.
One cop tells the other that he has been on the Haight-Ashbury beat for too long. This is district in San Francisco near the intersection of Haight and Ashbury streets.At the time this was the center of the hippie movement, with the attendant reputation of hallucinogenic drug use.
The backdrop in the race scenes is of the Riverside International Raceway.
All of the herbie movies including the one that started it all are of course on Disney+
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