Herbie Rides Again (1974)

Article 3356 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 9-9-2010
Posting Date: 10-22-2010
Directed by Robert Stevenson
Featuring Helen Hayes, Ken Berry, Stefanie Powers
Country: USA
What it is: Shopping cart movie sequel

Herbie the Love Bug is now in the possession of a kindly old woman who lives in a firehouse. However, the evil Alonzo Hawk wants to tear down the lady’s home so he can build an office building on the spot. Can Herbie save the day?

No, the sequel isn’t up to the level of the original; the story is much less interesting and is less solidly constructed, and many of the gags are obvious. Still, given that the Disney shopping cart movies were really starting to show their strain by this time, it does have its moments. First of all, I like the presence of both Helen Hayes and John McIntire here; as the feisty old woman and her cattleman beau, they add a real low-key charm to the proceedings that offsets the more blatant slapstick. It’s also nice to see Keenan Wynn reprise his role from the flubber movies. And some of the scenes get extremely wild; the scene where Herbie chases Alonzo Hawk around his office full of soap suds is rather freaky, and Alonzo Hawk’s nightmare (which involves fanged monster Herbies and borrows from KING KONG) is the highlight of the movie. Herbie would appear in two more sequels.


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