Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo

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Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo
Montecarlo.jpeg
Directed by Vincent McEveety
Produced by Ron W. Miller
Jan Williams
Written by Arthur Alsberg(fr)
Don Nelson
based on characters created by Gordon Buford
Starring Dean Jones
Don Knotts
Julie Sommars
Jacques Marin
Roy Kinnear
Bernard Fox
Eric Braeden
Xavier Saint-Macary
Johnny Haymer
Music by Frank De Vol
Cinematography Leonard J. South
Edited by Cotton Warburton
Production
  company
Walt Disney Productions
Distributed by Buena Vista Distribution
Release date(s)
  • June 24, 1977 (1977-06-24)
Running time 104 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $29,000,000[1]

Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo is a 1977 film, the third of a series of films by Walt Disney Productions starring Herbie – the white Volkswagen racing Beetle with a mind of its own.

Plot[edit]

The film stars Dean Jones as returning champion race car driver Jim Douglas, joined by his somewhat cynical and eccentric riding mechanic Wheely Applegate (Don Knotts). Together with Herbie, the "Love Bug", a 1963 Volkswagen Beetle, they are participating in the fictional Trans-France Race, from Paris, France to Monte Carlo, Monaco. According to dialogue, they hope to stage a racing comeback in the event.

Dean Jones and Don Knotts in the film.

For the Trans-France Race itself, Douglas and Herbie have three major opponents:

  • Bruno von Stickle (Eric Braeden): He is a dark-haired, moustached German driver with experience in the "European Racing Circuit". His car was a powerful Porsche 917 clone painted in the colors of the German national flag, and bearing the number 17. In fact, as referred in the movie, the kit car is a Lazer 917 GT coupé with numerous components including the engine and chassis from the Beetle. Von Stickle is deemed to be a formidable contender prior to and during the race.
  • Claude Gilbert (Mike Kulcsar): Claude is a blond-haired -- and, like von Stickle, moustached -- French driver of unknown discipline, although it would seem likely that he was also a regular on the European Racing circuit. Gilbert, known for wearing a full-faced crash helmet, was the driver of an equally power-hungry De Tomaso Pantera. Gilbert's car was black with white stripes and a number 66 on the hood and the sides. His dominance in the race seemed similar to that of von Stickle until he crashed in the later stages.
  • Diane Darcy (Julie Sommars): She is a very beautiful, if somewhat icy, young American woman with strawberry blonde hair, and is the only female driver in the Trans-France Race. She initially hates Jim for his and Herbie's incompetence that ruined her chances of succeeding during the first qualifying rounds. Diane's race car is a powder-blue 1976 Lancia Scorpion with yellow and white stripes, as well as a racing number #7. Hers is a car with whom Herbie falls in love during the film (much as Jim seems to be attracted to Diane herself), therefore for the first time causing Herbie to compromise his full original plan of winning and turning against the same will of his partners, Jim and Wheely. However, she does not appear to believe in any cars that can be alive and have a mind of their own; thinking this was merely an excuse for what she believed as an act of possible misogyny or sexism from Jim. Along with being the lone female driver in the race, Miss Darcy is ostensibly a rookie, although her level of racing experience is never discussed in the movie. Relatively little was seen of her performance in the Trans-France Race itself, although Diane was never passed over by the Herbie team and was in the lead when she had to leave the race (she was not even seen in the film for 18 minutes beforehand).

Diane and her Lancia unfortunately crash into a lake towards the end of the race, but Herbie and Jim manage to save them from drowning. Because of this, she soon changes her attitude toward Jim after he saves her life and she witnesses Herbie towing her Lancia out of the lake. All three watch as Herbie crawls next to the Lancia and the two cars hold doors like holding hands. When Herbie seems to have trouble restarting because of being determined to stay with the Lancia, Miss Darcy is now fully convinced that cars can have minds of their own because she now knows her own car is alive as well. She urges the little car not to relent in the quest for victory in the Trans-France Race (with the added agreement of the Lancia's horn), and bids Jim good luck with a light kiss on one cheek.

With Diane out of the race (followed shortly thereafter by Claude Gilbert in the aforementioned crash), Jim pursues Von Stickle through the streets of Monte Carlo, combatants in a thrilling duel for the win. In the end, though, Bruno von Stickle is overtaken by the little car in the famous tunnel of the Formula One race track, Herbie outracing him by outsmarting him through driving upside down on the tunnel roof. Jim drives Herbie to victory for (also according to dialogue) the 20th time in their careers.

As the film progresses, two thieves, Max (Bernard Fox) and Quincey (Roy Kinnear), steal the famous Étoile de Joie (French for "Star of Joy") diamond and cleverly hide it in Herbie's fuel tank (Herbie was fitted with an external fuel filler cap for this film - a 1963 Beetle's cap actually being inside the front luggage compartment) in order to avoid being captured by a swarm of searching policemen. But little did they know that they picked the wrong car to hide it in, because of one car that was alive and had a mind of its own. That causes them to blow every chance they get in getting back the diamond they hid in him. Because of this, Herbie is placed under the protection of the French police. The little car is therefore five minutes late in starting the Trans-France Race (this despite having won the pole in record time, and sharing the front row with his beloved Lancia).

It is also revealed not too far in that Inspector Bouchet (Jacques Marin), also known as "Double X" especially as a code name to the thieves, is the mastermind behind the museum robbery, though the fact of his scheme is revealed near the end of the movie. It is the eager young detective Fontenoy (Xavier Saint-Macary), of whom the Inspector is the superior officer, who unravels the mystery of L'Étoile de Joie, and has Bouchet clapped in handcuffs.

In the end, Jim and Diane begin to fall in love, as do Wheely and the Monte Carlo trophy girl (Katia Tchenko); even breaking a pact they made in the beginning. Most of all, Herbie and Giselle (Diane's Lancia) fall in love again as well.

Cast[edit]

* Not credited on-screen.

Trans-France Race cars[edit]

A large number of exotic, European sports cars of the period were featured in this film:

1. Volkswagen Beetle (Herbie): white, red and blue stripes on hood, black number 53 in circle.

2. Lancia Scorpion (Giselle): powder blue, yellow and white stripes, dark blue or black number 7

3. Porsche 917 (referred to as a Lazer 917 GT Coupé): red, black and yellow stripes, yellow number 17 on black square background

4. DeTomaso Pantera: black, white stripes, black number 66 on white circle

5. Alpine A310: white, red stripes and lower body, Esso and Aseptogyl decals, black number 2

6. Ferrari 365 GTC/4: silver (sometimes dark green), black number 22

7. Ferrari Daytona: red yellow stripes, black number 44 on yellow circle

8. BMW 3.0 CSI E9: powder blue, white, Elf petroleum decals, black number 8 in oval

9. Chevrolet Corvair: white, dark blue stripes, black number 33

10. Datsun 240Z: white, black arrow on hood, red and yellow trim, black number 35

11. Fiat Dino Coupe: red, black number 5

12. Lancia Fulvia Zagato: red, black number 16 in white circle

13. Porsche 911: dark green, black number 91 on yellow square

14. DeTomaso Pantera: red, black number 30 on white square

15. Porsche 356 Cabriolet: orange, black roll cage, red trim, red number 54

16. DeTomaso Pantera: brown, white number 11

17. Maserati Indy: dark blue, black number 70 on off-white square

18. Lancia Stratos Stradale: black, yellow wheels, Squale Diffuse decals on hood, white number 34

19. Lancia Stratos: red, white trim, gold wheels, white stripes, black number 4 in white circle

20. Porsche 911: white, blue trim, yellow number 190 in blue square

21. BMW 2002ti: white, red trim, black number 120

22. Porsche 911: yellow, black number 99

23. DeTomaso Pantera: green, yellow trim on front fenders, black number 10 in white square

24. Lotus Elan S3: gold, black roof, black number 118

25. Triumph GT6: dark blue or black, "Leyland" and Bell Helmets logos on hood; car number unknown

26. Porsche 911: silver, black number 6 and "DP" on doors

27. Lamborghini Miura P400S: red, black number 60 on hood


Several of these cars, although they appeared in the film, did not necessarily compete in the Trans-France Race itself. They appeared mostly in the practice and qualifying scenes, which were shot at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California in 1976.

Video releases[edit]

Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo was released on VHS in 1982, re-released in 1985, 1995 and September 16, 1997. It was also released on DVD in Region 1 on May 4, 2004 and was re-released as a 2-DVD double feature set along with Herbie Rides Again on April 26, 2009.

On September 2, 2012, Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo was re-released on DVD as part of Herbie 4-Movie Collection along with The Love Bug, Herbie Rides Again and Herbie Goes Bananas.

References[edit]

External links[edit]