Walt Disney’s Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo (1977)
Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo has three major plots running through it. First is Jim Douglas (Dean Jones) attempting to resuscitate his racing career with the help of his mechanic Wheely Applegate (Don Knotts) at a race in Europe, hence the ‘Monte Carlo’ of the title. In addition, a pair of thieves (played by Bernard Fox and Roy Kinnear) have stolen a large diamond from a museum, and hide the stolen jewel in Herbie’s gas tank to escape detection. And providing motivation for them and police inspectors to chase Herbie on the prolonged race route. Complicating these two is Herbie himself falling in love with another car, a Lancia that’s owned by a beautiful female race driver (Julie Sommars), whom Jim Douglas begins falling in love with.
Is it the highlight of 20th-century cinema? No. Is it an enjoyable family film? Absolutely! The race scenes are fun, as are the interactions between the cast members, with Don Knotts playing his nervous everyman character to the hilt, Dean Jones is as enjoyable as ever, and Herbie actually shows off his personality. It’s an enjoyable movie, and I hope that you and your family enjoy it. I rate it 3 clowns out of 5.
Editorial Reviews of Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo, starring Dean Jones, Don Knotts – courtesy of Amazon.com
Dean Jones, star of The Love Bug, came back to the fold for this third lap around the block, which finds him racing in Monte Carlo while thieves plant a stolen diamond in Herbie’s gas tank. The plot is forced and conventional, but the cast is the thing: the excitable Don Knotts (The Apple Dumpling Gang) and the tormentable Roy Kinnear (Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory) are good men to have in a potboiler such as this. —Tom Keogh
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