Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo
Release year: 1977
Director: Vincent McEveety
Screenwriter: Arthur Alsberg, Don Nelson, Gordon Buford (characters created by)
Starring: Dean Jones, Don Knotts, Julie Sommers, Jacques Marin, Roy Kinnear, Bernard Fox, Eric Braeden, Xavier Saint-Macary
Looking for a comeback in the racing world, race car driver Jim Douglas (Jones) goes to Monte Carlo with mechanic Wheely (Knotts) and his trusted Beetle Herbie. But what should have been an easy win is troubled by a stolen diamond and Herbie being more interested in impressing rival driver Diane’s (Sommers) car than winning the race.
Plot or characters have never been the focus in this Disney-produced family flicks about the most charming Volkswagen Beetle with a mind of its own. In this, the third outing, no effort to showcase jokes and gags about a self-thinking car has been passed, a fact that will especially please kids and adults who are young at heart. After the second movie, Herbie Rides Again (1974), it is a joy to see Jones (Beethoven, 1992) return as Douglas while Buddy Hackett’s Tennessee has been replaced by Knotts (It’s a Mad Mad Mad World, 1963) who’s expressive face works well in a comedy where two cars falling in love is a part of the plot. A true gem in the movie is Borat-lookalike Detective Fontenoy. With a charming grin and a moustache almost requiring a credit on its own, Saint-Macary (L’animal, 1977) is a gift to the audience, lifting every scene he steals, which is just about every scene he is in. However, as always, as it should be, the star is Herbie. The car that convinces us that it has a warm and beating heart, much like the movie.
The car that Herbie falls in love with is a 1977 Lancia Montecarlo.
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Picture copyrights: Disney