Thursday, 11 August 2011

The Love Bug (1968)

The Love Bug (1968) is the first in a series of comedy films made by Walt Disney Productions that starred an anthropormorphic pearl-white, fabric-sunroofed 1963 Volkswagen racing Beetle named Herrbie. It was based on the 1961 book Car, Boy, Girl by Gordon Buford.

The movie follows the adventures of Herbie, Herbie's driver Jim Douglas (Dean Jones), and Jim's love interest, Carole Bennett (Michele Lee). It also features Buddy Hackett as Jim's enlightened, kind-hearted friend, Tennessee Steinmetz, a character who creates "art" from used car parts. English actor David Tomlinson portrays the villainous Peter Thorndyke, owner of an auto showroom and a SCCA national champion who sells Herbie to Jim and eventually becomes Jim's racing rival.

The Love Bug

Jim Douglas is a down-on-his luck racing driver, reduced to competing in Demolition Derby races against drivers half his age. Jim lives in an old fire hlouse overlooking San Fransisco Bay with his friend and mechanic, Tennessee Steinmetz, a jolly Brooklynite who constantly extols the virtues of spiritual enlightment, having spent time amongst Bhuddist Monks in Tibet, and builds 'art' from car parts. After yet another race ends in a crash (and Tennessee turns his Edsel into a sculpture), Jim finds himself without a car and heads into town in search of some cheap wheels. He is enticed into an upmarket European car showroom after setting eyes on an attractive sales assistant, Carole. Jim witnesses the dealership's British owner, Peter Thorndyke, being unnecessarily abusive towards a white Volkswagen Beetle that rolls into the showroom, and defends the car's honour, much to Thorndyke's displeasure. The following morning Jim is shocked to find that the Beetle is parked outside his house and that Thorndyke is pressing charges for grand theft. A heated argument between Jim and Thorndyke is settled when Carole persuades Thorndyke to drop the charges if Jim buys the car on a system of monthly payments.
Jim soon finds the car is prone to going completely out of his control and believes Thorndyke has conned him. Tennessee, however, believes certain inanimate objects to have hearts and minds of their own and tries to befriend the car, naming it Herbie. Jim's feelings about his new acquisition soon improve when it appears Herbie is intent on bringing him and Carole together. He also discovers Herbie to have an incredible turn of speed for a car of his size and decides to take him racing. After watching Jim and Herbie win their first race together, Thorndyke, himself a major force on the local racing scene, offers to cancel the remaining payments Jim owes on Herbie if Jim can win a race that they will both be competing in at Riverside later that month. Jim accepts, and despite Thorndyke's underhanded tactics, he and Herbie take victory. Over the next few months they go on to become the toast of the Californian racing circuit, while Thorndyke suffers increasingly humiliating defeats. Thorndyke finally snaps, and persuades Carole to take Jim out on a date while he sneaks round to Jim's house. After getting Tennessee drunk on his own Irish coffee recipe, Thorndyke proceeds to tip the remainder of the coffee into Herbie's engine. At the following day's race, an apparently hungover Herbie shudders to a halt while Thorndyke blasts to victory.
File:Deanjones withVW.jpg
That evening, Jim returns home in a brand new Lamborghini, having agreed to sell Herbie to Thorndyke to pay the remaining installments he owes on it. Jim states he needs a 'real car' for the upcoming El Dorado road race, but finds no sympathy from Tennessee, Carole, or Herbie, who jealously proceeds to smash up the Lamborghini, proving to Jim once and for all he has a mind of his own. By the time Thorndyke arrives to collect Herbie, the Volkswagen is nowhere to be found, and Jim sets off into the night hoping to find Herbie and make amends before the car is seized by Thorndyke's goons. After narrowly escaping being torn apart in Thorndyke's workshop, and a destructive spree through China Town, Herbie is about to launch himself off the Golden Gate Bridge when Jim reaches him. In his attempt to stop Herbie from driving off the bridge, Jim himself nearly falls into the water. Herbie pulls Jim back to safety, but then is impounded by the San Fransisco Police Department. There, Mr. Wu, a Chinese businessman whose store was damaged during Herbie's rampage, demands compensation that Jim can no longer afford. Using the Chinese he learnt while in Tibet, Tennessee tries to reason with Wu, and learns that he is a huge racing fan who knows all about Jim and Herbie's exploits. Wu is willing to drop the charges in exchange for becoming Herbie's new owner. Jim agrees to this, as long as Wu allows him to race the car in the El Dorado. If Jim wins, Wu will be able to keep the prize money but has to sell Herbie back for a dollar. Wu replies to this proposal in clear English: 'Now you speak my language!'.

The El Dorado runs through the Sierra Nevada mountains from Yosemite Valley and back. Before the start of the race, Thorndyke persuades Mr. Wu to make a wager with him on its outcome. Thorndyke (with his assistant Havershaw acting as co-driver) pulls every trick in the book to ensure he and his Thorndyke Special are leading at end of the first leg of the race. As a result of Thorndyke's shenanigans, Jim (with Carole and Tennessee as co-drivers) limps home last with Herbie missing two wheels and falling to pieces. Despite Tennessee's best efforts, it looks as if Herbie will be unable to start the return leg of the race the following morning. Thorndyke then arrives and claims that this makes him the new owner of the car. Wu regretfully tells Jim of the wager and that in accordance with its terms this is true. Thorndyke, thinking he is Herbie's new owner, gloats to Jim about what he's going to do to Herbie and kicks Herbies front fender, but Herbie then unexpectedly lurches into life and chases Thorndyke from the scene, showing he is more than willing to race on. Thanks to some ingenious shortcuts, Jim is able to make up for lost time in the second leg and is neck and neck with Thorndyke as the approach the finish line. In the ensuing dogfight, Herbie's hastily welded-together body splits in two. The back half of the car (carrying Tennessee and the engine) crosses the line just ahead of Thorndyke, while the front (carrying Jim and Carole) rolls over the line just behind, meaning Herbie takes both first and third place.

In accordance with the terms of the wager, Mr. Wu takes over Thorndyke's car dealership (hiring Tennessee as his assistant), while Thorndyke and Havershaw are relegated to lowly mechanics. Meanwhile, a fully repaired Herbie chauffeurs the newlywed Jim and Carole away on their honeymoon.

File:Herbie on two.jpg

The Love Bug
The Love Bug - 27 x 40 Movie Poster - Style A
Directed byRobert Stevenson
Produced byBill Walsh
Written byBill Walsh
Don DaGradi
StarringDean Jones
Michele Lee
David Tomlinson
Buddy Hackett
Music byGeorge Burns
CinematographyEdward Coleman
Editing byCotton Warburton
StudioWalt Disney Productions
Distributed byBuena Vista Distributions
Release date(s)December 24, 1968
Running time108 minutes
CountryUnited States

The Carry On Films Calendar (2008)

Carry On Films Calendar 2008, Carry On Calendar
Carry On Calendar - The Official Carry On Films 2008 calendar - Oh what a Calendar Carry On! Sid James and Co. are back for another 12 months of typically bawdy British humour. They don’t make em’ like they used to! The 2008 Carry On Calendar features posters, scenes and pictures from Carry On Movies through the years featuring a whole host of Carry On stars such as Kenneth Williams, Jim Dale, Sidney James, Joan Sims, Kenneth Connor, Liz Fraser, Dilys Laye, Angela Douglas, Charles Hawtrey, Bill Owen and Bernard Cribbens.

Fabulous 208 (January 18th 1969)

This edition of Fabulous 208 dates back to January 18th 1969 and gracing the cover are, Simon Dupree & Jennifer Garcia. Pin ups inside include, Mick Jackson, Paul Aston, Doug McLure, The Gun & The Casuals (Double Page)

The Daleks overshadow The Doctor (1966)

Front cover of the Radio Times for 5-11 November 1966, depicting daleks outside of a space rocket.
Patrick Troughton's debut appearance as the new Doctor Who goes almost unnoticed as the Daleks are the focus for 'Radio Times'. As this was the first time 'Doctor Who' had changed its lead actor, the emphasis for this edition of the magazine is very much business as usual. The half-page feature on page 3 reassures viewers that the serial is directed by the same man who brought the Daleks to the screen in their first adventure and that the metal monsters are, once again, voiced by Peter Hawkins. Patrick Troughton's debut is almost an aside.
Article about the Doctor Who adventure Power of the Daleks.

Radio Times listing for Power of the Daleks.