Movie and Film Reviews (MFR) Comedy The Absent-Minded Professor (1961)

The Absent-Minded Professor (1961)

Back in the 1960s, Walt Disney had produced some interesting films of a creative nature. One of these being the 1961 comedy “The Absent-Minded Professor”. Despite being over 50 years old, the film is still good after all these years. However, there are a few things that do not work which need to be discussed. “The Absent-Minded Professor” is a unique family film that brings to mind the originality of the Walt Disney Company.

The story is that Prof. Ned Brainard (Fred MacMurray) has invented a new type of energy that could change the world as we know it. He creates a substance that is he classifies as flying rubber, or flubber as he puts it. This ultimately costs Brainard his fiancee Betsy (Nancy Olsen) to break up with him after he misses their wedding for the third time. Brainard tries to explain flubber to Betsy, as well as the United States government, but they won’t listen. So it’s up to Brainard to demonstrate to the world and to Betsy, the positive effects of what flubber can do.

“The Absent-Minded Professor” is an entertaining movie for the whole family to enjoy. Fred MacMurray does a great job as our main character. Everyone else does a good job as well Even Keenan Wynn who plays the bad guy does a great job. The music fits the college setting fine, and and there’s a lot of energy (no pun intended0 that this movie offers. Having the movie being filmed in black and white shows off some great cinematography; a much better choice than color. Yet out of all things considered, it’s the special effects that are the most remembered. For the time, these effects were and still are pretty amazing. Take the basketball game where acrobatics are heavily used to pull off most of the stunts. Yeah, it may look cheesy by today’s standards, but this was before the age of computers.

With that being said, there are some problems that downgrade the movie. The character of Betsy totally changes character near the end of the film. The reason for this is that throughout the picture, she hates Brainard, yet here she shows compassion towards him. The story is a little hokey, but it’s enjoyable to say the least, and some of the jokes are hit and miss. And finally, the movie does have a slow start, but once it gets going, it’s pretty fun.

“The Absent-Minded Professor” is a unique and original production, despite a few flaws that hinder the movie, yet it is still enjoyable enough from Walt Disney.

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