The Absent Minded Professor (1961) – old-fashioned, unsophisticated comedy
The Absent-Minded Professor (1961) produced by Walt Disney Productions, based on the short story A Situation of Gravity, by Samuel W. Taylor was directed by Robert Stevenson. It had Fred Mac Murray, Nancy Olson and Keenan Wynn in the central characters.
The film was nominated for three Oscars (cinematography, art direction, and visual effects), but won none. It was a huge success at the box-office, and two years later became the first Disney film to have a sequel, 1963′s Son of Flubber.
The Absent-Minded Professor has been remade twice, once as a 1988 television version and another was a film titled Flubber with Robin Williams as the central character. The film was a considerable success.
A bumbling professor accidentally invents flying rubber, or “Flubber”, an incredible material that gains energy every time it strikes a hard surface. It allows for the invention of shoes that can allow jumps of amazing heights and enables a modified Model-T to fly. Unfortunately, no one is interested in the material except for Alonzo Hawk, a corrupt businessman who wants to steal the material for himself.
An interesting trivia of this film is that three generations of the Wynn family act in this film: Ed Wynn; his son Keenan Wynn; and Keenan Wynn’s son, Ned Wynn.
The Absent Minded Professor is without doubt one of the funniest movies that ever came out of Walt Disney studios. Fred Mac Murray proved that he was a great comedic actor with this movie. He turns out a splendid performance as a professor who keeps forgetting to show up to his own wedding but manages to create an amazing substance called Flubber. Like rubber with wings, Flubber can make an object bounce high up into the sky. This invention results in many comical situations, including a UFO sighting, flying a car over Washington DC and a basketball game. I personally feel that the best scene in the whole film is the basketball game. That scene alone makes this film a classic comedy.
It is well known that Steven Spielberg is an ardent admirer of Walt Disney. Re-watching this movie we can relate how this movie had influenced Spielberg, traces of which we can find in two of his most famous sci-fi works, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and E.T. The Extra Terrestrial.
I watched this movie when I was younger and it was hilarious then. I was rolling on the floor holding my stomach in laughter. The humor may look a little outdated for the present times, but for some clean, unadulterated laughter this film is worth a watch.
So, if you are looking for a film that will not hurt anybody’s feelings and offer a few chuckles to it, this is the one. You can’t see this film and not enjoy the time of your life. This is a movie that is 100% uproarious entertainment. It is a complete laughter fest filled with tons of good natured gags and laughs.