The Absent-Minded Professor

The Absent-Minded Professor

Synopsis of Movie

Disney’s live-action follow-up to 1959’s smash hit The Shaggy Dog was another screwball comedy starring Fred MacMurray, 1961's The Absent-Minded Professor. This time around, the My Three Sons patriarch took on the role of the brilliant but forgetful chemist Professor Ned Brainard.

The likeable Medfield College professor is so engrossed in conducting experiments in his garage/lab, he misses his own wedding… three times. Tiring of his act, Ned's lovely fiancée Betsy starts seeing nerdy Professor Ashton, and to make matters worse, local tycoon Alonzo Hawk threatens to turn beloved Medfield into an estate.

After a botched experiment blows up Brainard’s garage, he discovers he has accidentally invented a flying rubber, which he dubs “flubber.” The gravity-defying substance sets up the film’s best comedic segments: Brainard applies it to the Medfield basketball team’s gym shoes at halftime, sticks it on his own shoes at a school dance, and even converts his old Model T into a flying machine. Naturally, the greedy Hawk wants the goo for himself, forcing Brainard to attempt to fly to Washington, D.C., to plead his case.

The Absent-Minded Professor was a showcase for MacMurray’s easygoing charm, which proved more than up to the task. The film was another family classic, and the professor and his creation returned in 1963 for Son of Flubber. The film itself was remade in 1997 as Flubber, with Robin Williams in the Professor’s role, introducing a new generation of kids to the bouncy, rubbery antics of the Absent-Minded Professor's prized invention.

Movie Release History

1961 - The Absent-Minded Professor
1963 - Son of Flubber

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

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