Friday, February 19, 2016

The Absent-Minded Professor (1961) - A GOOD Scientist

 
Today's post for the Movie Scientist Blogathon is a classic Disney film starring Fred MacMurray: The Absent-Minded Professor (1961).
 
 
If you are a fan of Disney and a fan of Classic Film you have probably seen this movie (and likely more than once). You have also then probably seen the sequal Son of Flubber (1963).
 
 
The Absent-Minded Professor is based on the short story "A Situation of Gravity" by Samuel W. Taylor. The film stars Fred MacMurray as Prof. Ned Brainard of Medfield College. He is a lovable but forgetful guy (he's forgotten to attend his wedding to his secretary Betsy Carlisle, played by Nancy Olsen, three times!) who has invented a gravity-defying formula for flying rubber, which he calls "Flubber."
 
Even his note doesn't help.
 
Fun Fact: Time Magazine published the formula for the mixture they used in the film. The recipe called for  "To one pound of salt water taffy add one heaping tablespoon polyurethane foam, one cake crumbled yeast. Mix till smooth, allow to rise. Then pour into saucepan over one cup cracked rice with one cup water. Add topping of molasses. Boil till lid lifts and says 'Qurlp'."
The Prof. has applied this mixture to his old Model-T, enabling it to fly.
 
 
 
Scheming Alonzo Hawk (Keenyn Wynn) is out to close the school so Prof. Brainard tries to show his invention to the government in order to raise funds. Hawk and his son Biff (Tommy Kirk) do all they can to spoil the deal for him, making him look ridiculous in front of everyone so that no one will believe in his Flubber.
Fun Fact: Three generations of the Wynn family appear in the film: Ed Wynn (Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland) is the bumbling Fire Chief, his son Keenyn Wynn is the bad guy, Alonzo Hawk, and Keenyn's son Ned Wynn. 
 

Tommy Kirk with Keenyn Wynn as Biff and Alonzo Hawk
 
The basketball scene is sure to have you rolling with laughter as the Medfield team soars above the heads of the other team (including the basketball goals!) with the help of a little Flubber on their shoes.
 
 
This film is hilarious and fun for the entire family. If you have never seen it then you are in for a treat.
 
 
This post is part of the Movie Scientist Blogathon hosted by Christina Wehner and Silver ScreeningsClick here for my "Mad Scientist" post on earlier MacMurray film Murder, He Says (1945). Check out the links to the other entries below.
 
 

11 comments:

  1. It has been such a long time since I've seen this delightful film. Thanks for including all that great background info, such as the 3 generations of Wynns, and the fact that Life magazine published the recipe.

    Thanks for joining the blogathon. It would not have been a Movie Scientist party without The Absent Minded Professor!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That background info was new to me too!

      Thanks for hosting!

      Delete
  2. For the longest time, Fred MacMurray WAS the Absent Minded Professor for me...even after I'd seen him in Double Indemnity. Thanks for highlighting this film - I had no idea about the three Wynns, either

    I wonder how that recipe for flubber would come out! One is tempted to try...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know! I would try it if I had some polyurethane foam...

      Thanks for hosting!

      Delete
  3. A lot of my cooking sounds like "Qurlp!" at some point or another. Hey, I'm a scientist!

    You wrote wonderfully about my all-time favourite good movie scientist, Neddy the Nut. Also one of my favourite comedy movie performances from MacMurray.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Believe it or not, I've never seen this movie! Must rectify that - I want to see that basketball game... :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gasp! ;) It's definitely the highlight of the film.

      Delete
  5. I might have liked this movie if I watched it as a kid, not as a 20 year old. But it was adorable, nevertheless. The basketball scene was very funny and it's impossible to not love Fred MacMurray.
    Don't forget to read my contribution to the blogathon! :)
    Kisses!
    Le

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, MacMurray is a great actor. And he had a great career!

      Delete