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By the time Son of Flubber was released by Walt Disney in 1963, Fred
MacMurray was firmly established in the third phase of his career as
star of G-rated Disney films and television situation comedies.
MacMurray was able to do this because of a unique clause he had written
into his contract with CBS which produced the My Three Sons show that
he starred in for a dozen or so years. All of MacMurray's scenes in all
episodes were filmed at the beginning of the cycle so as to allow him
to do those Disney films as well. It worked out great for him.
Disney took virtually the entire cast of The Absent Minded Professor and added several new faces as well. In the previous film, MacMurray revolutionizes rubber by making a substance that bounces higher with each bounce than lower. That film ends with MacMurray flying to Washington in his Model T (you read it right) to give flubber for the defense of the free world.
But Washington, DC red tape being what it is MacMurray and his new bride Nancy Olson aren't seeing any money any time soon. But not to worry, Fred's found a byproduct of flubber that he calls flubber gas. A lighter than air substance that really makes anything fly.
In the first film, MacMurray used his college's basketball team as a test for flubber. In Son of Flubber, flubber gas is tested during a football game with the same hilarious results. In fact more so because in this film Paul Lynde is the stressed and harried play by play announcer of the college football game. For me he's the highlight of the film.
In Son of Flubber, Disney gives us an entertaining and worthy successor to the Absent Minded Professor that after almost fifty years will still appeal to anyone not made of stone.
There is no disguising that this is an obvious attempt on Disney to
cash in on the success of "The Absent Minded Professor" made 2 years
earlier. No one can fault them for that - however, there seems to be
little originality in this version. You would think they would have
made a greater attempt at new gags and originality. Unfortunately, that
is not the case.
There is the same sports scene set-up. In AMP it was a basketball game. In SOF it is a football game. There is the same romantic rivalry between Brainard (Fred McMurray) and Professor Shelby Ashton (Elliott Reid), over Brainard's wife, Betsy (Nancy Olsen). They do throw in a 4th party in this film for good measure -Desiree de la Roche (Joanna Cook Moore) - as Brainard's old flame who has her sights set on him again. There is another prank on Professor Shelby while he is driving in his car (this time its filling with water from a Brainard created rain cloud inside the car). You still have Alonzo Hawks (Kennan Wynn) trying to destroy Medfield College by calling in their overdue loan. You have the same cops from the prior moving getting their new squad car destroyed again. So as you see, not a lot of originality here.
The worst scene in my opinion is the ending of the court room scene. The giant fruit and the marching band were way over the top. I did like the stunts on the football field, however. Some of the jumping and flying ball players looked very realistic. I also liked the closing shot of the satellites, the flying football, and earth in the background. Pretty good special effects.
It is interesting that McMurray was an accomplished saxophone player, so look for him playing the actual music during the Halloween party. Also, Paul Lynde makes his film debut in this movie. I liked seeing William Demarest (later to be Uncle Charley on "My Three Sons") in a small role that matches him up with McMurray. He doesn't begin "MTS" until 1965 which is 2 years after this film. Also, you may remember Joanna Cook Moore as the actress that played Andy's girlfriend Peg on "The Andy Griffith Show" for 4 episodes in 1962. Perhaps it helped her land this role. She has another claim to fame - she married Ryan O'Neal in 1963 and is the mother of Tatum O'Neal.
Overall, this sequel doesn't play quite as well as the first. It is still entertaining in places and has a host of noteworthy supporting players.
Proving that the Disney Studios didn't become cash-mongers simply in the Michael Eisner era, this sequel to the 1961 Disney hit "The Absent Minded Prodessor" is nothing more than repackaged goods. Lamebrained slapstick comedy has Fred MacMurray returning to role of small town inventor who attempts to save the local high school from ruin. There are a few funny digs at the advertising business but, as with the original, MacMurray's love life problems and his run-ins with the law are utterly dull. Colorful supporting cast (Jack Albertson, Joanna Moore, Paul Lynde, William Demarest) looks like a who's-who of suburban comedies, and the movie is fairly easy to sit through if you don't mind completely innocuous fare, but even the special effects are mechanical. ** from ****
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I love This Movie I don't take it too seriously. I just think it is
great fun! I think it is just as good as absent minded professor in
it's own way. .Flubber becomes a victim of "national security" and our
hero Ned Brainerd (MacMurray) returns home empty handed from our
nation's capital to find creditors threatening to cancel his newspaper
subscription, predators threatening to bulldoze Medfield College, the
IRS threatening to ruin his life, and his wife (Nancy Olsen) looking
like a million bucks in her new mink coat while holding a check for
same for something poor Ned doesn't own anymore and can't sell so that
we can all enjoy the wonders of Flubberoleum and can safely drop our
children on the floor without the fear of being locked up by Social
Services. A very frustrating start to the terrific sequel to Absent
Minded Professor, all adding to the friction of MacMurray, who must now
invent something entirely new so that he can save Medfield, his home,
and his marriage from the slimy advances of Prof. Shelby Ashton (Elliot
Reid) and the return of luscious old flame Desiree DE la Roche (Joanna
All the usual suspects are here from Disney's vast arsenal of character actors to keep us entertained while Ned goes about inventing a weather making glass breaking food growing machine. The Halloween chase scene with Prof. Brainerd terrorizing Shelby Ashton from above with his new rainmaking device is one of the funniest in Disney history. And of course we're treated to another Medfield sports showdown vs. national champs Rutland in a gridiron match up where Flubber becomes the great equalizer. Paul Lynde is absolutely hilarious as the football announcer
this sequel to The Absent Minded Professor is actually a better movie.i found it funnier,more entertaining and it had a better story.the character were expanded a bit more,which makes sense,since it is a sequel.unlike Professor,this one doesn't have any slow or boring moments.it's much better paced.i like the fact that the wife had more to do in this one.the movie is just as silly,but it's meant to be,and if you keep that in mind going in,you'll probably enjoy it more.it's not high art or anything,but it will keep you entertained for 102 minutes or so.and it's fun for the whole family.my vote for The Son of Flubber:6.5/10
This is the sequel to "The Absent Minded Professor" . Slower, and more uneven. The "Absent Minded Professor" was mainly a one-joke affair; Fred MacMurray's fantastic invention "flubber", and by the time "Son of Flubber" came out, it had worn a bit thin. For instance, the SoF copied the AMP with a sports contest. In AMP it was the basketball game half-way through, but in SOF it was a football game as the grand finale [which shows you the tired plot line]. It does have its moments, though...watch for Paul Lynde as the sportscaster, as well as the father/son team of Ed and Keenan Wynn.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Yeah, readers, you'll want to vote 10 after seeing this!!!!!
Disney made a sequel to the "Absent-Minded Professor" movie in 1963 called "Son of Flubber," where our professor is making another experiment! If I remember correctly, it probably had to do with loud sounds; I remember the "Auld Lang Syne Insurance" window breaking, then someone dotted one of the "I"s thereafter even though the glass was broken!!!!!
I've seen this in B&W on an old VHS in 1996, and in a colorized form on the Old Disney Channel in 2000 or so.
Come to think of it, I remember that instead of basketball, football was involved in this movie! Someone kicks the football high out of the stadium ("It looks like it's going into orbit!!!!!") and after the last conversation, we see a satellite, then that football orbiting the earth before we see "The End, A Walt Disney Production" over the Earth.
"Son of Flubber" - now that's nice!!!!!
I first saw 1997's "Flubber", starring Robin Williams, not long after
it was released on video, and never knew it was a remake at the time,
but found that out around the time I watched the movie again many years
later. That was how I later got around to watching the original 1961
film, "The AbsentMinded Professor", starring Fred MacMurray. It's been
nearly a year and a half since I watched that film, but I still
remember thinking it was better than the lacklustre remake. "Son of
Flubber" is the 1963 sequel to the 1961 live action Disney movie, so I
was bound to end up watching it eventually. As with most sequels, I was
expecting this one to be downhill from the original, and I think it is
(just slightly), but it's definitely still better than the 1997 movie.
Professor Ned Brainard has introduced his invention of Flubber to the U.S. military, but when he goes to get paid for his amazing invention, he learns that the Pentagon has decided that the substance must be kept top secret, and they can't give the professor his payment for it yet. This doesn't help the fact that the future of Medfield College is once again in jeopardy due to financial problems, and that Ned and his wife, Betsy are broke and get a huge tax bill. However, the absent-minded physical chemistry professor has a new discovery which he hasn't unleashed upon the world yet. It's called Flubber gas, and it can change the weather! He believes this new gas can end his current troubles, and Biff Hawk plans to use it to help the college football team win a game. However, as Ned experiments with this Flubber gas, he ends up causing trouble which he is unaware of, and he also finds that his marriage is in trouble.
This sequel didn't seem that interesting to me at first when I got around to watching it, but that soon changed. As a comedy, "Son of Flubber" certainly isn't hilarious, but the gags are often funny, even if there are no huge laughs. Memorable ones include the scenes with a certain Medfield College football player's uniform filled with Flubber gas, Ned making it rain inside with his new invisible substance and the way the dog reacts to it, and the professor not realizing that the Flubber gas is making glass shatter all over town, with people not knowing how it's happening! However, there also may be times when it gets a little too silly, and I wouldn't say most of the film is really that funny. Still, at least I can say I laughed at times, definitely more often than I did when I last watched "Flubber", the 1997 film. Aside from the humour, the story isn't exactly great, but it was enough to hold my interest, at least somewhat, though it did seem a tad overlong to me. I also think the cast is mostly good here, including Fred MacMurray.
Since I waited quite a while to watch this sequel after watching "The AbsentMinded Professor" early last year, they're not as easy for me to compare as they would be if I had watched one just after the other. However, I clearly remember that I wasn't amazed by the 1961 Disney film, but still thought it was pretty good family fare, and unsurprisingly a case where the original is superior to the remake. This 1963 sequel isn't as popular as its predecessor, and even though I watched it a while after the original, I guess I can understand that, but it does come close in quality. Neither is an absolute classic (many animated Disney films that Walt Disney was around to produce are superior to these two live action ones made only several years before his death), but they still have their charm decades after they were originally released in the early 60's, even if this one was more of a cash-in and didn't have much new to offer after the original.
Robert Stevenson returned to direct this sequel to "The Absent-Minded Professor" which also sees Fred MacMurray return as Medfield college professor Brainard, who is working on a new invention derived from flubber called flubbergas, which he hopes will make the school a fortune, since the Pentagon put a hold on flubber itself for military use, and he has been sent a big tax bill by the IRS. Keenan Wynn returns as crooked businessman Alonzo Hawk, who also wants flubbergas for his own profit, while Brainard uses it to affect the weather and help the school football team. Equally silly sequel, only more so, and as a result is a slight step-down from the first. For kids mostly.
Son of Flubber
Fred MacMurray returns to his famous role of a wacky, absent-minded professor who invents a strange substance that he calls "flubber." In this sequel (the strangely named "Son of"), he does little but jump through the same hoops.
Entertaining, but not fresh.
- John Ulmer
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