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The Love Bug

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The Love Bug
The Love Bug poster.jpeg
Directed By: Robert Stevenson
Produced By: Bill Walsh

Don Da Gradi

Based On: Car, Boy, Girl by Gordon Buford
Starring: Dean Jones
Michele Lee
David Tomlinson
Buddy Hackett
Distributed By: Buena Vista Distribution
Release Date: March 13, 1969
Runtime: 108 minutes
Country: United States
Franchise: Herbie
Sequel: Herbie Rides Again

The Love Bug is a 1969 American sports comedy film directed by Robert Stevenson for Walt Disney Productions.


Race car driver Jim Douglas (Dean Jones) and his philosophical mechanic, Tennessee Steinmetz (Buddy Hackett), find themselves in possession of a white Volkswagen Beetle that seems to have a mind and spirit of its own. Calling the car Herbie, Jim and Tennessee become the talk of the California racing circuit -- much to the displeasure of sports-car dealer Peter Thorndyke (David Tomlinson), who tries to use his assistant (Michele Lee) to come between the friends and their car.

Why It Rocks

  1. Great directing by Robert Stevenson.
  2. Great acting, especially from the late Dean Jones, Michele Lee, the late Buddy Hackett, and David Tomlinson.
  3. A really charming plot.
  4. The special effects are great, even for 1960s standards.
  5. Herbie is so cute.
  6. Likable characters, such as Jim Douglas, Herbie the Love Bug himself, Tennessee Steinmetz, and Carole Bennett.
  7. Thorndyke is a pretty funny villain, despite being quite unlikable at times.
  8. Funny humor, such as the running gag of Herbie squirting oil on people who insult him.
  9. Fantastic orchestral soundtrack by George Burns.
  10. The ending is really nice.
  11. There are a lot of exciting moments such as when Herbie Races, and is about to win.

Bad Qualities

  1. While the special effects are great for the time the movie was made, they haven't aged very well.
  2. The scene where Herbie attempts to commit suicide by launching himself off the Golden Gate Bridge is very dark for a G-rated movie.
  3. As mentioned before Thorndyke can be an unlikable antagonist at times.


The success of the movie spawned 3 sequels, Herbie Rides Again in 1974, Herbie goes to Monte Carlo in 1977 and Herbie goes Bananas in 1980.

In 1997 it got a made-for-TV remake of the same name, and in 2005 another remake which also acts as a sequel to the original film titled Herbie: Fully Loaded was released.

Rides Again and Monte Carlo both received positive reviews while Goes Bananas and Fully Loaded received Mixed reviews.


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