A great beetle

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German title A great beetle
Original title The Love Bug
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1968
length 107 minutes
Age rating FSK 6
Director Robert Stevenson
script Bill Walsh ,
Don DaGradi
production Bill Walsh
music George Bruns
camera Edward Colman
cut Cotton Warburton

Successor  →
Herbie is on the move

A great beetle is an American comedy film from 1968 with the miracle beetle Herbie as the main character.


The unsuccessful racing driver Jim Douglas not only meets its owner Thorndyke and his secretary Carole in a car shop, but also a VW Beetle that obviously has a life of its own. When the wondrous vehicle even follows Jim home, he is forced to buy the car. First, Herbie helps Jim and Carole go on a date, as Jim's friend Teddy names the little car.

Jim fixes the Beetle again and wins various races with the car. Jim and Herbie are victorious in this and the next races. On a date with Jim and Carole, the frustrated Thorndyke from Teddy pours Irish coffee into Herbie's tank; As a result, Herbie remains in the next race at Riverside and Thorndyke wins the race.

Carole then quits Thorndyke and joins Jim, Herbie and Teddy. The cocky Jim buys a Lamborghini for the upcoming El Dorado race ; when Jim wants to sell Herbie to Thorndyke, Herbie smashes the Lamborghini and escapes; Thorndyke, who desperately wants Herbie, lets his people look for the VW Beetle. An attempt to take Herbie apart in order to discover his secret fails when Herbie hides in an Asian pageant. Jim can barely stop Herbie from throwing himself off the Golden Gate Bridge . During his escape, Herbie damages a shop, which is why he is threatened with confiscation. However, Jim and Teddy agree with shop owner and entrepreneur Mr. Wu that if Jim wins the El Dorado race, Mr. Wu will get the prize money and Jim Herbie will be allowed to keep.

In order to make the badly battered Herbie fit again for the upcoming race, Teddy is forced to cut the car in half and then weld it again.

Mr. Wu bets Thorndyke about the outcome of the race with Herbie as a bet. When after the first day of racing the prospects for Jim and his friends look bad - also because of various acts of sabotage by Thorndyke - and Thorndyke claims his property from Herbie, Herbie regains his energy. Due to the stresses during the race, however, Herbie's weld seam tears, and so it happens that Herbie takes first and third place: First Herbie's rear section (the VW Beetle has its engine in the rear) crosses the finish line, followed by Thorndyke and then Herbie's front part.

Since Thorndyke loses his bet with Mr. Wu, Mr. Wu takes over Thorndyke's car business. Thorndyke and his assistant, Oat Straw, have to work as mechanics for Mr. Wu; Jim and Carole get married.

German version

The German dubbing was created in 1969. It was released in the Federal Republic of Germany on September 11, 1969.

role actor Voice actor
Jim Douglas Dean Jones Thomas Danneberg
Carole Bennett Michele Lee Marianne Lutz
Peter Thorndyke David Tomlinson Friedrich Schoenfelder
Tennessee "Teddy" stonemason Buddy Hackett Klaus Havenstein
Oat straw Joe Flynn Gerd Duwner
Mr. Wu Benson Fong Herbert Stass
Association President Andy Granatelli Hans W. Hamacher
police officer Barry Kelley Joachim Nottke
Detective Joe E. Ross Erich Fiedler


“A turbulent modern fairy tale from the Walt Disney workshop, enriched with lots of pretty gags. Cheerful and sympathetic conversation, admittedly not without length and with some overly exaggerated sentimentality. "

“The chance to make a quasi profound comedy about the rewarding and topical issue of the relationship between humans and cars was missed. What remains is a pretty poor joke. "

The Wiesbaden film evaluation agency awarded the production the title valuable .


In 1968 Ein toller Käfer was awarded the golden canvas .

In the same year, the film took second place in the Laurel Award in the category of best comedy ; Dean Jones received a nomination for Best Actor in a Comedy .


The film was followed by four sequels and a remake : in 1973, Herbie was made in motion , three years later The Great Beetle was filmed in the Monte Carlo Rally and finally the third sequel was staged with Herbie turns through 1980. In 1997 a television film was made with the title A mad bug returns . In 2005 Herbie: Fully Loaded - A great beetle starts with a remake was produced.

At the end of June 2017 it was announced that a new Herbie television series was being planned.

Between 1971 and 1979 a multi-part cinema series about the VW Beetle Dudu was produced in Germany, based on the series about Herbie.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Thomas Bräutigam : Lexicon of film and television synchronization. More than 2000 films and series with their German voice actors etc .. Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf, Berlin 2001, ISBN 3-89602-289-X , p. 361.
  2. A great beetle in Arne Kaul's synchronous database ; Retrieved September 29, 2008
  3. a b A great beetle. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed March 2, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  4. Evangelischer Presseverband München, Review No. 416/1969
  5. Herbie - Disney is working on a new series about the famous VW Beetle . In: moviepilot.de . June 29, 2017 ( moviepilot.de [accessed June 29, 2017]).