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Merlin Jones, a precocious and intelligent high-school boy, experiments with hypnosis and creates a mind-reading machine. However, his experiments land him in deep trouble with the law. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
Given how horribly Tommy Kirk was treated and some of the horrible films he made after Walt Disney gave him the boot one might be inclined to say The Misadventures Of Merlin Jones is a classic. I'm not one of them, in fact one wonders how this became a hit looking at it today.
Kirk in the title role is a scientific genius with the fashion sense of one. He's conducting all kinds of wild experiments which even put his relationship to fellow student Annette Funicello at risk. Still she puts up with him only God knows why.
The film bisects neatly in two segments, one concerning Kirk being supercharged with mind reading ability which produces a wonderful day in court with Judge Leon Ames. Police chief Stu Erwin thinks he's found a new crime fighting tool and in fact it does work on one interrogation subject. The second part has Kirk conducting experiments on hypnosis with a chimpanzee and Judge Ames with another day in court for Kirk.
No one ever want wrong underestimating the taste of the American public and this rather witless film was a big hit and inspired another, The Monkey's Uncle.
A whole lot of talented people look rather silly here. I can't see how The Misadventures Of Merlin Jones would appeal to anyone over 9.
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