Herbie Rides Again (1974)

G | 88-89 mins | Comedy | 6 June 1974

Director:

Robert Stevenson

Writer:

Bill Walsh

Producer:

Bill Walsh

Cinematographer:

Frank Phillips

Production Designers:

John Mansbridge, Walter Tyler

Production Company:

Walt Disney Productions
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HISTORY

The film is a sequel to the Walt Disney production The Love Bug (1969, see entry) which was also produced and written by Bill Walsh, directed by Robert Stevenson and based on the story by Gordon Buford. There were three other films produced in the Herbie series, Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo (1977, see entry), Herbie Goes Bananas (1980, see entry) and Herbie: Fully Loaded (2005, see entry). According to studio production notes from AMPAS Library files and a 9 Jul 1974 LAT review, The Love Bug was one of the most successful feature film comedies produced by Disney to date.
       As noted in a 3 Oct 1972 DV news item, the working title of the film was The Love Bug Rides Again . DV stated that filming was scheduled to begin 6 Nov 1972, and the film made its first appearance on HR production charts 17 Nov 1972. Its final HR production chart listing was 9 Mar 1973. On 28 Nov 1972, DV reported that actor Walter Brennan was being replaced by John McIntire in the role of “Mr. Judson” due to illness.
       The film received generally negative reviews, which stated that the sequel did not reach the standards of The Love Bug ... More Less

The film is a sequel to the Walt Disney production The Love Bug (1969, see entry) which was also produced and written by Bill Walsh, directed by Robert Stevenson and based on the story by Gordon Buford. There were three other films produced in the Herbie series, Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo (1977, see entry), Herbie Goes Bananas (1980, see entry) and Herbie: Fully Loaded (2005, see entry). According to studio production notes from AMPAS Library files and a 9 Jul 1974 LAT review, The Love Bug was one of the most successful feature film comedies produced by Disney to date.
       As noted in a 3 Oct 1972 DV news item, the working title of the film was The Love Bug Rides Again . DV stated that filming was scheduled to begin 6 Nov 1972, and the film made its first appearance on HR production charts 17 Nov 1972. Its final HR production chart listing was 9 Mar 1973. On 28 Nov 1972, DV reported that actor Walter Brennan was being replaced by John McIntire in the role of “Mr. Judson” due to illness.
       The film received generally negative reviews, which stated that the sequel did not reach the standards of The Love Bug .
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
3 Jun 1974
p. 4694.
Daily Variety
3 Oct 1972.
---
Daily Variety
28 Nov 1972.
---
Daily Variety
23 Oct 1973.
---
Daily Variety
27 Mar 1974.
---
Hollywood Reporter
17 Nov 1972
p. 24.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Mar 1973
p. 30.
Hollywood Reporter
22 May 1974.
---
LAHExam
10 Jul 1974.
---
Los Angeles Times
9 Jul 1974
p. 1, 12.
New York Times
7 Jun 1974
p. 23.
Time
15 Jul 1974.
---
Variety
27 Mar 1974
p. 14.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Featuring
Featuring
Featuring
Featuring
Featuring
Larry J. Blake
Featuring
Featuring
Featuring
Featuring
Featuring
Featuring
Featuring
Featuring
Featuring
Featuring
Featuring
Featuring
Featuring
Featuring
Featuring
Featuring
Featuring
Featuring
Featuring
Featuring
Featuring
Featuring
Featuring
Featuring
Featuring
Featuring
Featuring
Featuring
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2d unit dir
Unit mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCER
Prod
WRITERS
Based on a story by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
MUSIC
SOUND
Sd supv
Sd mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Hairstylist
DETAILS
Release Date:
6 June 1974
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 6 June 1974
Los Angeles opening: 10 July 1974
Production Date:
mid November 1972--early March 1973
Copyright Claimant:
Walt Disney Productions
Copyright Date:
4 February 1974
Copyright Number:
LP43637
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
88-89
MPAA Rating:
G
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Historical buildings in San Francisco, California, are demolished while shopping center developer Alonzo Hawk watches with joy from his chauffeured Rolls Royce. Later, Hawk unveils his latest project, a 130-foot, H-shaped pair of towers called Hawk Plaza. When the groundbreaking crew calls, Hawk is outraged to learn that one building still stands in the way of construction, and Hawk’s lawyer reports that his team was unable to convince its elderly owner, Mrs. Steinmetz, to sign over her property. As Hawk argues that he needs someone unthreatening and dim-witted to gain Mrs. Steinmetz’s trust, his secretary announces the arrival of his nephew, a recent law school graduate. Willoughby Whitfield presents his uncle with a humanitarian award, presuming that Hawk is trying to improve the community with his developments. Seeing the young man as the perfect instrument to carry out his bidding, Hawk describes Mrs. Steinmetz as a threat to society and Willoughby eagerly accepts his uncle’s orders to evict her. When Willoughby arrives at Mrs. Steinmetz’s home, a converted Victorian firehouse, her Volkswagen Beetle, Herbie, rolls on his foot and Mrs. Steinmetz says the car protects her. She invites Willoughby inside for tea and explains that Herbie, who was once a famous racecar, is able to engage in conversations. Showing her guest around, Mrs. Steinmetz says that the house was the location of her wedding to a heroic fireman and she refuses to take Hawk’s check. When Mrs. Steinmetz’s tenant, Nicole, arrives home from her flight attendant job and learns that Willoughby is a Hawk representative, she punches him in the face. Although Mrs. Steinmetz defends Willoughby, Nicole sends the old lady ... +


Historical buildings in San Francisco, California, are demolished while shopping center developer Alonzo Hawk watches with joy from his chauffeured Rolls Royce. Later, Hawk unveils his latest project, a 130-foot, H-shaped pair of towers called Hawk Plaza. When the groundbreaking crew calls, Hawk is outraged to learn that one building still stands in the way of construction, and Hawk’s lawyer reports that his team was unable to convince its elderly owner, Mrs. Steinmetz, to sign over her property. As Hawk argues that he needs someone unthreatening and dim-witted to gain Mrs. Steinmetz’s trust, his secretary announces the arrival of his nephew, a recent law school graduate. Willoughby Whitfield presents his uncle with a humanitarian award, presuming that Hawk is trying to improve the community with his developments. Seeing the young man as the perfect instrument to carry out his bidding, Hawk describes Mrs. Steinmetz as a threat to society and Willoughby eagerly accepts his uncle’s orders to evict her. When Willoughby arrives at Mrs. Steinmetz’s home, a converted Victorian firehouse, her Volkswagen Beetle, Herbie, rolls on his foot and Mrs. Steinmetz says the car protects her. She invites Willoughby inside for tea and explains that Herbie, who was once a famous racecar, is able to engage in conversations. Showing her guest around, Mrs. Steinmetz says that the house was the location of her wedding to a heroic fireman and she refuses to take Hawk’s check. When Mrs. Steinmetz’s tenant, Nicole, arrives home from her flight attendant job and learns that Willoughby is a Hawk representative, she punches him in the face. Although Mrs. Steinmetz defends Willoughby, Nicole sends the old lady upstairs for a nap and kicks him out. In response to Willoughby’s suggestion that Mrs. Steinmetz has lost her mental faculties because she talks to her car, Nicole takes him for a ride in Herbie. The Beetle drives the couple across the Golden Gate Bridge to a car jousting event and enters himself in the competition. Despite Willoughby’s protests, Herbie speeds toward the champion and wins, leaving Willoughby convinced of his powers. Apologizing to Nicole, Willoughby takes her to lunch and learns of Hawk’s offenses, but when he admits to being the man’s nephew, Nicole pushes him into the bay. That night, Mrs. Steinmetz encourages Nicole to pursue a relationship with Willoughby. In the morning, Willoughby decides to resign from his position with Hawk and returns to Mrs. Steinmetz’s house to say goodbye. The elderly woman is pleased to hear that Willoughby realizes his uncle’s wrongdoings and presses him to see Nicole again before leaving town. Back at Hawk’s office, the developer learns about his nephew’s resignation and makes threats of violence while Willoughby listens from outside. Willoughby calls his uncle from a lobby payphone and tells him to stay away from Mrs. Steinmetz, but Hawk is livid and orders his lawyers to go after the old lady. Claiming to be an expert car thief, Hawk announces that he will steal Mrs. Steinmetz’s car in under fifteen minutes. As he drives Herbie away from Mrs. Steinmetz’s house, Hawk insults the car and it stops in the middle of traffic. A police officer recognizes Hawk and attempts to push Herbie out of the way, but the Beetle provokes a collision between the squad car and the vehicles behind it. When Hawk insults the traffic commissioner, Herbie throttles into reverse, causing two squad cars to collide. Herbie races back to Hawk’s office and as the developer is thrown from the car, he orders his lawyers go after him while a police officer presents him with traffic citations. At an airport pay phone, Nicole learns about Willoughby’s change of heart from Mrs. Steinmetz and expresses regret that she will not see him again, but as she walks away she overhears the young man on the phone with his mother and the couple reunites. Meanwhile, Herbie returns to Mrs. Steinmetz. Leaving for the market, they are spotted by Hawk’s men and Herbie leads them on a chase. As the lawyers report back to Hawk, Herbie cruises through a fancy restaurant and directs the men up the suspension railing of the Golden Gate Bridge. Returning home with her groceries, Mrs. Steinmetz finds Willoughby and Nicole. Attempting to give the couple time to develop their relationship, Mrs. Steinmetz asks them to return to the store, but they are spotted by Hawk’s chauffeur and Herbie hides them at the beach. When Hawk orders the chauffeur to keep the couple away from the firehouse until dark, the man pays a fisherman to block the only road that accesses the beach. As Herbie chases seagulls, Willoughby and Nicole kiss. Upon discovering the fisherman’s motor home in their way, Herbie accelerates off a pier and glides through the water back to San Francisco. Willoughby and Nicole find that Mrs. Steinmetz’s house was stripped of its belongings by a crew from Alonzo Hawk Van & Storage. Herbie smashes through the door of Hawk’s warehouse, but when they uncover Mrs. Steinmetz’s items, they are held at gunpoint by two security guards. Herbie sneaks up a ramp, pushes over boxes and furniture, and traps the guards. As Herbie pushes Mrs. Steinmetz’s belongings home on an antique cable car, a drunken tourist, Mr. Judson, steps onboard and flirts with the old lady. Meanwhile, the guards report the incident to Hawks and he orders a pursuit. Herbie and the cable car reach the top of a hill and Willoughby gets out to secure the vehicles together, but Herbie sees Hawk’s Rolls Royce leading a trail of security cars and sets into reverse to chase them away. Although Hawk’s Rolls Royce is wrecked and Herbie gets away, the cable car plunges down the hill. Willoughby pulls himself through Herbie’s sunroof as the car races to her rescue. As the cable car speeds toward the bay, Herbie pulls alongside it and Willoughby climbs onboard, cranking the hand brake just in time. The next morning, Mrs. Steinmetz insists on going to Hawk’s office. She drives Herbie onto a window washer’s lift and climbs twenty-eight floors to his office while Willoughby hangs from the side, trying to stop her. Mrs. Steinmetz helps him to safety after he agrees to let her talk to Hawk. As they arrive at Hawk’s window, they overhear him ordering Loostgarten, the owner of a wrecking ball company, to destroy her house without a permit, and Mrs. Steinmetz pummels the man with window cleaner. Herbie chases Hawk through his bubble soaked office onto the outer ledge of his building, but Mrs. Steinmetz makes Herbie retreat. Sometime later, Willoughby impersonates his uncle and calls Loostgarten to cancel the demolition. He orders the man to destroy Hawk’s house, instead. The next morning, Hawk calls Mrs. Steinmetz to admit defeat. He claims that the destruction of his home made him regret tearing down historic buildings but as he hangs up, Hawk tells his lawyers the call is a ruse. That evening, Mrs. Steinmetz feigns exhaustion so Willoughby and Nicole can have an intimate dinner together and enjoys a meal with Mr. Judson at home. When the house shakes, Mrs. Steinmetz finds Hawk with a wrecking crew outside her door and Herbie speeds away to collect Willoughby and Nicole. On their way back to Mrs. Steinmetz’s house an army of Volkswagen Beetles join forces with Herbie. Meanwhile, Hawk and his men approach the house, but Mr. Judson dons Mr. Steinmetz’s fireman’s hat and defends the property with a water hose. However, he is unable to fend off the attackers. Just as Hawk orders his final blow to the house, Herbie and his team of Beetles arrive and chase him away. Although Willoughby has not proposed to Nicole, the young lawyer regains control of Herbie by claiming that the car will not be invited to their wedding if he does not behave. By the time Hawk complains to the police about being chased by Beetles, there are no vehicles in sight and, presuming the man is insane, the officers take him away. Sometime later, Willoughby and Nicole are married at Mrs. Steinmetz’s house and Herbie escorts them on their honeymoon. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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