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Herbie Goes Bananas

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Herbie Goes Bananas
Herbie goes bananas poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster. Artwork by Paul Wenzel.[1]
Directed byVincent McEveety
Produced byKevin Corcoran
Ron Miller
Don Tait
Written byDon Tait
Based onCharacters
by Gordon Buford
StarringCloris Leachman
Charles Martin Smith
Stephan W. Burns
John Vernon
Elyssa Davalos
Joaquin Garay III
Harvey Korman
Richard Jaeckel
Alex Rocco
Music byFrank De Vol
CinematographyFrank V. Phillips
Edited byGordon D. Brenner
Distributed byBuena Vista Distribution
Release date
  • June 27, 1980 (1980-06-27)
Running time
98 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$18 million[2]

Herbie Goes Bananas is a 1980 American comedy adventure film and the fourth installment of The Love Bug film series made by Walt Disney Productions starring Herbie – the white Volkswagen racing Beetle with a mind of its own.


Picking up sometime after Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo (1977), protagonist Pete Stancheck has inherited Herbie from his uncle Jim Douglas and travels to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico with his friend Davy "D.J." Johns to retrieve the car. They get directions from Paco, a comically mischievous, orphaned pickpocket to the car lot. Unable to pay the holding fee due to Paco taking their wallets, the pair quickly leave in Herbie to find him, and discover some of Herbie's abilities. Elsewhere, Paco pickpockets one of the members of a trio of three villains who are planning to steal the gold from some forgotten Inca ruins. The trio chase Paco after realizing the film showing the location of the gold is in the stolen wallet, but Pete and DJ catch him first. They decide to let Paco go only to realize their wallets have been taken by Paco again. Paco hides in Herbie's luggage compartment, and is consequently loaded on the Sun Princess cruise ship, bound for Rio de Janeiro, where Pete and DJ plan to enter Herbie in the Brazil Grand Prêmio. En route, they meet an anthropology student named Melissa and her extravagant, eccentric aunt Louise, who is trying to find a husband for her niece. When Herbie wreaks havoc on board, Pete pretends to court Melissa, intending that her Aunt Louise will sponsor their race.

Meanwhile, Paco is discovered by the crew and locked in the hold by Captain Blythe. Herbie (whom Paco calls "Ocho") helps Paco escape, and they ruin the ship's costume party while trying to escape the crew. Captain Blythe has Herbie dropped into the sea, while Pete, DJ, Melissa and Aunt Louise are ordered off at the next port. Paco evades police sent to pick him up, ending up at a inlet, where a rusty Herbie resurfaces from the water. The pair then goes into business with Herbie as a taxi.

The gold thieves soon find Paco, and threaten to use an acetylene torch to cut up Herbie if Paco doesn't give them the film, which Paco put in Pete's wallet by mistake. Paco manages to get Pete's wallet, but as he and Herbie escape the men they are hailed by both Louise and Blythe. Melissa quickly commandeers a dilapidated bus so she, Pete and Davy can go after them, Paco explains the situation to their unhappy passengers. Herbie tries to hide from the men at a bullfight, only for him and two of the men to end up in the ring. After the bull is defeated by Herbie, he and Paco leave without Louise and Blythe, who are soon picked up by Pete, DJ and Louise, where they explain what's happening. Later at a café, Paco is grabbed by the men. After failing to stop their plane taking off, Herbie goes to find Pete and the others, who are stuck in a small village after the bus finally broke down.

As a rainstorm hits, the men retrieve a large gold disc from the ruins, planning to sell it so they can hire equipment to get the rest. They leave Paco to fend for himself, but Herbie finds them and 'eats' the gold, before locating Paco. Herbie and the group travel to the next major town (using bananas as camouflage) where Blythe and Louise go to get help while the others take the disc to the local university, where they are overpowered by the men. Paco is outside selling the bananas to locals when he and Herbie see the men loading the disc into their plane. Herbie throws the bananas at them before chasing the plane and 'biting' its tail off. The villains are captured by the police, and the protagonists reunite on the Sun Princess. Pete and DJ resume their plans to enter Herbie in the Brazil Grand Prêmio with Paco dressed as the driver (Pete concedes that Paco and Herbie have a better connection than Pete would have if he drove Herbie in the race). DJ finally asks Paco why he keeps referring to Herbie as "Ocho", since that is Spanish for eight. Paco looks at Herbie's "53" and remarks that 5+3=8. Aunt Louise once again tries to get Blythe to notice her, but he is more interested in a passing schooner. After that Pete, Davy, Aunt Louise, and Melissa have a toast hoping for Herbie to win the race with Paco giving Herbie a thumbs up.



Herbie Goes Bananas was poorly received and is widely considered to be the weakest film in the Herbie franchise.[3][4] Most film critics remarked that the series felt tired, and had run its course, with Leonard Maltin commenting that there was "one amusing scene where the VW turns matador; otherwise, strictly scrap metal." Maltin (who rated the film 1½ out of 4) added that the plot dealt with its cast "encountering all sorts of 'hilarious' obstacles along the way."[5] Phil Patton, author of the book Bug: The Strange Mutations of the World's Most Famous Automobile, observed that the Herbie franchise was "a game of diminishing returns: Herbie Goes filled with 'south of the border' clichés and stereotypes."[6] The film has a 40% rating on the website Rotten Tomatoes.[7]


The prop Herbie dropped into the ocean was never retrieved. A total of 26 VW Beetles were used, by reason of the quantity of stunts and tricks.


A paperback novelization of the film was written by Joe Claro and published by Scholastic Paperbacks in July 1980 to coincide with the film's release.[8]

Home media

Herbie Goes Bananas was released on VHS in late 1984 and re-released on November 6, 1985 and September 16, 1997. It was first released on DVD in Region 1 on May 4, 2004 and re-released on DVD on September 2, 2012 as part of Herbie: 4-Movie Collection with The Love Bug, Herbie Rides Again and Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo.

On June 30, 2015, Herbie Goes Bananas was released on Blu-ray Disc as a Disney Movie Club exclusive title.

As of 2020 “Herbie Goes Bananas” is available on Disney+


  1. ^ "Paul Wenzel". Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  2. ^ "Herbie Goes Bananas, Box Office Information". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved June 20, 2015.
  3. ^ Maslin, Janet (1980-09-12). "Movie Review - Herbie Goes Bananas - DISNEY RIDES AGAIN -". Retrieved 2013-09-09.
  4. ^ "Herbie Goes Bananas : DVD Talk Review of the DVD Video". Retrieved 2013-09-09.
  5. ^ Maltin, Leonard (2006). Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide. Signet Books. p. 563. ISBN 0-451-21265-7.
  6. ^ Patton, Phil (2002). Bug: The Strange Mutations of the World's Most Famous Automobile. New York: Simon & Schuster. pp. 110–111. ISBN 0-7432-0242-2.
  7. ^ "Herbie Goes Bananas (1980)". Rotten Tomatoes.
  8. ^ "Herbie Goes Bananas" by Joe Claro (Scholastic Paperbacks, 1980), retrieved July 15, 2015.

External links

This page was last edited on 30 April 2021, at 03:08
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