Absent-Minded Professor, The (film)

Absent-Minded Professor, The (film) For the third time, Professor Ned Brainard of Medfield College is so engrossed in a scientific experiment he fails to show up for his wedding with pretty Betsy Carlisle. But although he loses his girl to rival Professor Shelby Ashton, his absent-mindedness pays off with the creation of Flubber, a rubbery substance with an antigravity agent. With his new invention he is able to make the puny Medfield basketball team win against Rutland College, prevent a crook, Alonzo Hawk, from stealing Flubber, and win back Betsy, flying on a Flubberized Model T to Washington to give the powerful creation to a grateful government. Released on March 16, 1961. Directed by Robert Stevenson in black and white. 96 min. Stars Fred MacMurray (Ned Brainard), Nancy Olson (Betsy Carlisle), Keenan Wynn (Alonzo Hawk), Ed Wynn (Fire Chief), Tommy Kirk (Biff Hawk), Leon Ames (Rufus Daggett), Edward Andrews (Defense Secretary), and Elliott Reid (Shelby Ashton). The special effects were created by Robert A. Mattey and Eustace Lycett, who were nominated for an Academy Award, and included the sodium screen matte process, as well as miniatures and wire-supported mockups. The film’s “Medfield Fight Song” was written by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, their first song for a Disney feature. The motion picture, made on a small budget, did fine business at the box office, led to a sequel, Son of Flubber, and had theatrical reissues in 1967 and 1974. Released on video in black and white in 1981 and 1993, and in a colorized version in 1986, after an airing on The Disney Channel in March of that year. This was the first Disney film to be colorized, but the process was still in its infancy and the results were less than spectacular. In 1988-89, two television episodes based on the film were produced, starring Harry Anderson. See also: Flubber.