Herbie Rides Again



Kids will love this gentle, slapstick love bug.
  • Review Date: March 3, 2005
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1974
  • Running Time: 88 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The movie illustrates a simple but important message: Gentle ingenuity can triumph over power and greed.

Violence & scariness

One scary scene on the ledge of a skyscraper.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that although this movie's humor is tame by today's standards, the slapstick silliness will still amuse children 6 and up. Younger kids will be amused by the loveable car, but some of the action may require an explanation. Older kids will enjoy the thrilling chases and the zany humor. And who can resist a spunky car who champions the helpless?

Kids say

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What's the story?

It's Herbie to the rescue when an unscrupulous developer schemes to take a widow's home. In HERBIE RIDES AGAIN, the famous VW bug with a mind of its own teams up with lawyer Willoughby Whitfield (Ken Berry) to stop Willoughby's uncle Alonzo (Keenan Wynn), a greedy real estate developer, from bullying sweet Mrs. Steinmetz (Helen Hayes) into selling her San Francisco home. Willoughby falls for Mrs. Steinmetz's niece Nicole (Stefanie Powers), and Herbie rallies every VW in the city to help stop Alonzo. In a particularly amusing scene, Mrs. Steinmetz blithely rides through San Francisco, never taking her eyes off her knitting, as she and Herbie are pursued by thugs in big, bullying cars.

Is it any good?


Herbie Rides Again nearly rises to the level of its predecessor, The Love Bug. Helen Hayes and Keenan Wynn's well-matched antagonism furthers the romance of a young couple. Lots of sight gags, bluster, and comic revenge will capture the grade school crowd's attention. Though younger viewers may need an explanation of some of the motives and action, this is a fine family feature. Helen Hayes' comedic turn as an unflappably sweet grandmother (which won her a Best Actress nomination in 1975) provides a fun counter to Keenan Wynn's gruff bluster. As in the first Herbie feature, the little car never misses a chance to score off the villain. The driving scenes are mostly funny (under and on top of water, along the cables of the Golden Gate Bridge) and only occasionally scary (along the ledges of a high-rise office building).

The romance between Willoughby and Nicole manages not to slow things down too much, although it's unnecessary to the plot. The blossoming romance between Mrs. Steinmetz and rancher Mr. Judson is a lot more fun to watch. Seven- and 11-year-old sisters were amused and only occasionally restless while viewing. There's nothing to dislike or distrust about this movie, and plenty for the whole gang to enjoy.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how this film shows no visible seatbelt use; kids should be reminded that they weren't universally available or legally required at the time.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:January 1, 1974
DVD release date:April 30, 1996
Cast:Helen Hayes, Ken Berry, Stefanie Powers
Director:Robert Stevenson
Studio:Walt Disney Pictures
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Cars and trucks
Run time:88 minutes
MPAA rating:G
MPAA explanation:family friendliness

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written byLowe's man June 28, 2015

fun and exciting, with a little lesson

There's plenty of action to insure that everyone will be not only interested, but excited. Herbie is one amazing car! This car clearly knows good from evil. It helps the good and hurts the evil. For example, Herbie is nice to Mrs. Steinmetz and her niece Nicole, but, initially, not to Willoughby. As soon as Willoughby falls for Nicole and changes his ways, Herbie is nice to him. And this romance, contrary to being unnecessary, is actually an important part in the plot, as it is then that Willoughby changes and goes against his uncle's evil ways, proving that people can and do change. The most exciting part is when all the other Volkswagens follow Herbie and corner Willoughby's uncle Alonzo. Good triumphs over evil. And greed is evil!


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