Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Love Bug (1968)

Director: Robert Stevenson

Writers: Bill Walsh, Don DaGradi, Gordon Buford

Composer: George Bruns

Starring: Dean Jones, Michele Lee, David Tomlinson, Buddy Hackett, Joe FLynn, Benson Fong, Joe E. Ross, Gary Owens, Bill Hickman, Jock Mahoney

More info: IMDb

Tagline:  Herbie Will Honk His Way Into Your Heart.

Plot:  A race car driver becomes a champion with a Volkswagen Beetle with a mind of its own.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again?  Yeah, in another thirty years.

I haven't seen this since the 70s and even then I'd seen it a few times either at the theater in a re-release or on TV.  There's a good deal of nostalgia with this one but even still, it's a fun kids movie.  The car is great.  The scene where Herbie is bashing the crap out of the Jaguar is hilarious.  The cast is great all across the board.  Dean Jones is so charismatic it's criminal.  Michelle Lee, Buddy Hackett - fun.  Tomlinson and Flynn are great bad guys.  The music from Disney staple George Bruns is fun.  The Disney DVD special edition has a great looking anamorphic widescreen print.  It's a 2-disc set.  The extras on the first disc are a commentary track and a cartoon short SUSIE THE LITTLE BLUE COUPE.  Disc two has a 7 minute featurette on the differences in Herbie between the four original films, galleries, a vintage 5-minute featurette on the film narrated by Dean Jones, Love Bug Day at Disneyland (12 minutes),

a 9 minute piece about the sound design (this is great, fascinating and fun!), 2 deleted scenes reconstructed from stills, script and storyboards, the theatrical trailer (fullscreen), 3 radio spots, galleries,  a featurette called That Lovable Bug with interviews with the surviving cast among others (43 minutes, great fun seeing the three leads reminisce), The Many Lives of Herbie featurette (13 minutes, covers the three sequels, shows, etc. and Don Knotts is interviewed) and finally, Herbie Mania (6 minutes all about the fans).  It's nice that Disney went the extra mile to make this release worthy of the film.

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