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The Absent Minded Professor (1961)

Approved | | Comedy, Family, Sci-Fi | 16 March 1961 (USA)
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1:08 | Clip

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A college professor invents an anti-gravity substance which a corrupt businessman wants for himself.

Director:

Robert Stevenson

Writers:

Bill Walsh (screenplay), Samuel W. Taylor (story)
Reviews
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Fred MacMurray ... Professor Ned Brainard
Nancy Olson ... Betsy Carlisle
Keenan Wynn ... Alonzo P. Hawk
Tommy Kirk ... Biff Hawk
Leon Ames ... President Rufus Daggett
Elliott Reid ... Professor Shelby Ashton
Edward Andrews ... Defense Secretary
David Lewis ... General Singer
Jack Mullaney ... Air Force Captain
Belle Montrose Belle Montrose ... Mrs. Chatsworth
Wally Brown ... Coach Elkins
Wally Boag Wally Boag ... TV Newsman
Don Ross Don Ross ... Lenny
Forrest Lewis Forrest Lewis ... Police Officer Kelley
James Westerfield ... Police Officer Hanson
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Storyline

A bumbling professor accidently 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. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

THAT FABULOUS 'SHAGGY DOG' GUY DISCOVERS 'FLUBBER' The GOO that Flew! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Family | Sci-Fi | Sport

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Disney [United States]

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 March 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Absent Minded Professor See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$25,381,407
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mel Blanc: The legendary voice actor plays one of the firemen. See more »

Goofs

Professor Brainerd and Charlie were not belted in when the Professor took the Model T on its maiden flight. They should have fallen to their deaths when the Model T did an aerial somersault. If you check this particular sequence carefully you'll discover that Brainerd and Charlie WERE belted in when the professor took the Model T on its maiden flight. See more »

Quotes

Biff Hawk: Oh, it's just Neddy the Nut out flying his old Model T.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a colorized version (made in 1986 and later in 1997), on TV, VHS, DVD and Blu-Ray. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Simpsons: Children of a Lesser Clod (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Sweet Betsy from Pike
Unknown composer
Lyrics by John A. Stone
Performed by Fred MacMurray
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Watch This Fun, Screwball Romp - but ONLY If You Are Not Jaded and Have Lost Sight of What Simple Fun Is
5 March 2002 | by Enrique-Sanchez-56See all my reviews

I think it is time this movie is reviewed by its positive qualities and not just centered on how utterly sophisticated the reviewer would like to be remembered by the readers of IMDB.com.

First of all, let me say there is nothing wrong with "hokum" or old American values or screwball comedies or old Disney movies. As with anything, it's always in the eye of the beholder. This movie was fun to watch and funny in enough places to warrant a watch by any self-respecting human being with a warm sense of humor.

Second of all, The Absent-Minded Professor elicited a wonderful collection of chuckles from me. Perhaps I didn't expect them...but they did come and especially in one joyful moment during a basketball game. Believe me, I am not even an NBA fan...but that scene cured a lot of ills. Maybe it was my frame of mind on that particular day. But, the record stands that I did laugh, and with some old-fashioned "glee", I might add.

Third of all, I believe comedies are sometimes taken too seriously: As if we were supposed to come away with some vastly profound elucidation from the experience.

Fourth of all, one has to be rather shallow not to appreciate the the wonderful collection of character actors in this and many Disney movies - before the prohibitive cost of making movies made it impossible to have a diverse collection of actors. I miss this kind of movie where character actors litter the celluloid landscape as if in some garden of earthly theatrical delights "a la Frank Capra or Preston Sturges".

One last thing, it was a travesty that this 1961 movie, though nominated for some Oscars, did not win at least in the Technical categories. Yes, it's goofy to us in these 'Post-2001 A Space Odyssey, Star Wars, ET, Independence Day' times, but all of them owe a bit of thanks to the legacy of the past.

And this movie is part of that legacy of fun effects which advanced us ever so kindly into our present state of "sophistication", and sometimes, Ungrateful Complacency and Ennui.


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