Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo

Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo
Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo
Directed by Vincent McEveety
Produced by Ron W. Miller
Jan Williams
Written by Arthur Alsberg
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
Editing by Cotton Warburton
Studio 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 (USA)

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.



The film stars Dean Jones as returning champion race car driver Jim Douglas, joined by his 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, in which they hope to stage a racing comeback.

Dean Jones and Don Knotts in the film.

In 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 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. That 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 pretty, if somewhat icy, young woman with strawberry blonde hair and hazel eyes who initially hates Jim for his and Herbie's incompetence that ruined her chances during the qualifying rounds. Diane's car is a powder-blue 1976 Lancia Scorpion with yellow and white stripes, as well as a racing number #7. Diane's Lancia is a car with whom Herbie falls in love during the film. However, Diane does not appear to believe in cars with minds of their own; thinking this was merely an excuse for what she believed as an act of possible misogyny or sexism from Jim. The only female driver in the race, Ms. Darcy is ostensibly a rookie driver, 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.

Diane and the Lancia crash into a lake towards the end of the race, but Herbie, Jim, and Wheely save them from drowning. She soon changes her attitude toward him 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 re-starting, Diane urges the little car not to relent in their 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 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 Etoile de Joie and cleverly hide the diamond in Herbie's gas tank. It is also revealed that Inspector Bouchet (Jacques Marin), also known as "Double X / XX", 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'Etoile de Joie, and has Bouchet clapped in handcuffs.

At the end of the movie, Jim and Diane begin to fall in love, as do Wheely and the Monte Carlo trophy girl (Katia Tchenko). Most of all, Herbie and Giselle (Diane's Lancia, only referred to by name towards the end of the film as she come to believe in cars with minds of their own) fall in love again as well.


  • Jean-Marie Proslier .... Doorman
  • Tom McCorry .... Showroom M.C.
  • Lloyd Nelson .... Mechanic
  • Jean-Jacques Moreau .... Truck driver
  • Yveline Brière .... Girl friend
  • Sébastien Floche .... French tourist
  • Madeleine Damien .... Old woman
  • Alain Janey .... Man at café
  • Raoul Defosse .... Police Captain
  • Ed Marcus .... Exhibit M.C.
  • Richard Warlock, Gerald Brutsche, Kevin Johnston, Bob Harris, Carey Loftin, Jesse Wayne, Bill Erickson .... The drivers
  • Katia Tchenko* .... Monte Carlo trophy girl
  • André Penvern* .... French policeman

* Not credited on-screen.


  • Several different year Volkswagen Beetles were used for Herbie in Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo. 1959, 1962, 1963, and 1977 (modified to resemble the 1963 model) models were utilized.
  • The following acknowledgement appears in the opening credits: "Our thanks to the City of Paris and the Principality of Monaco for their co-operation in the making of this film".
  • This Trans-France Race was clearly modeled on the world-renowned Monte Carlo Rally, and was apparently run in either 1976 or 1977, although no exact date is expressly stated in the film. Herbie was one of the 18 cars that started the race. While the precise number of competing cars in the race is open to debate, it is possible that twice as many race cars appeared in the movie.
  • Jim explains that it has been twelve years since he and Herbie's last race, in actuality, its only been nine since Herbie's last race in the original movie, The Love Bug, which was in 1968.
  • Herbie later echoes his move on Von Stickle in the Monte Carlo tunnel in Herbie: Fully Loaded, where he wins by driving on the catch fencing at the California Speedway.
  • Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo was adapted into a paperback book, written by Vic Crume (based on the story and screenplay) and published by Scholastic. Oddly, his license plate on the front cover reads UKD 484 instead of the usual OFP 857. The book also featured three characters unseen in the film: sportscaster Jackie Sanford, Race Commissioner and computer map designer Sir Reginald Harkness, and his assistant, Brewster. The name of a fourth character, driver Michael Hastings, was also mentioned.
  • The qualifying scenes were shot at Laguna Seca Raceway.
  • L'Etoile de Joie (the name of the diamond) is French for "The Star of Joy".
  • The Porsche 917 in the movie (#17, driven by Bruno von Stickle) is not a real 917. It is based on a Volkswagen Beetle kit car called the Laser 917.
  • At the end of The Love Bug, Jim Douglas and Carol Bennett were married; however, in this film, Douglas is apparently single once again, given his romantic interest in Diane Darcy, although this is not addressed in the film.
  • The Lancia Scorpion, "Giselle" had headlight covers, but all Lancia Scorpions do not have headlight covers, so those were just added for the film. They were meant to simulate eyelids or eyelashes.
  • Amendment - the Lancia Scorpion is the US-market version of the Italian-built Lancia Montecarlo and all Scorpions had 'headlight covers' (actually pop-up headlights) to meet US ride-height regulations. European cars (i.e. Montecarlos) did not have this style of headlight, but the covers were not added just for the film, they were a standard fitment on all Scorpions.
  • This is the first film to have Herbie fall in love, something he also does in Herbie: Fully Loaded.
  • According to BoxOfficeMojo.com, the $29 million dollar box office gross of Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo came from the film's original 1977 release, combined with an additional $1 million from a limited re-issue in 1981.

Trans-France Race cars

A large number of exotic, European sports cars of the period 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. DeTomaso Pantera: black, white stripes, black number 66 in white circle

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

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

6. Ferrari Daytona: 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 Cabrio: 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

Video releases

Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo was released on VHS in 1982, re-released in 1985, 1995 and on 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.

External links

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