The Love Bug
Synopsis of Movie
“Without a real car, I’m only half a man.”
Some cars seem to have minds of their own. Herbie had more than that—he had sass. Try buying that at your local Pep Boys. No disrespect to Dean Jones, Michele Lee, David Tomlinson and/or Buddy Hackett, but the real star of The Love Bug was number 53, the white VW Bug with blue and red stripes down the front.
Herbie begins his life in the care of race driver Peter Thorndyke, a stuffy Brit with a lead foot and a short temper. When Thorndyke’s abuse gets to be too much, Herbie is rescued by kinder, gentler racer Jim Douglas, a perpetual loser on the track. With the Bug’s help, Jim goes on a hot streak, but the driver doesn’t realize the car’s doing most of the work.
Seeing the Bug’s real worth, Thorndyke wants Herbie back. Naturally, Jim refuses, and naturally, Thorndyke doesn’t take “no” for an answer. Underhanded tactics lead to car chasing mayhem, which leads to the slapstick humor everyone’s been waiting for.
It was familiar ground for director Robert Stevenson, whose resume included Disney live-action classics like Darby O’Gill and the Little People, The Absent-Minded Professor and Mary Poppins. The Love Bug continued that success, becoming one of Disney’s most successful live-action films. The wildly popular Herbie continued his antics in three feature sequels over the next eleven years, as well as a short-lived 1982 primetime series.
Movie Release History1969 - The Love Bug
1974 - Herbie Rides Again
1977 - Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo
1980 - Herbie Goes Bananas
Movie Sub Categorieslive-action
CastJim Douglas Dean Jones
Carole Bennett Michele Lee
Peter Thorndyke David Tomlinson
Tennessee Steinmetz Buddy Hackett
Havershaw Joe Flynn
Mr. Wu Benson Fong
Unknown Andy Granatelli
Detective Joe E. Ross
Carhop Iris Adrian
Unknown Ned Glass
Unknown Robert Foulk
Unknown Gil Lamb
Police Sgt.* Barry Kelley
Unknown Nicole Jaffe
Unknown Wally Boag