Cast & Crew
Prof. Ned Brainard of Medfield College goes to Washington, D. C., to sell to the Defense Department his anti-gravitation invention, flying rubber, or "flubber." He hopes the government will purchase his invention so that he may help Medfield pay off its mortgage owed to loan shark Alonzo Hawk, who is eager to foreclose and use the school property for a business enterprise. Congress refuses to approve the expenditure, and Ned returns to Medfield emptyhanded and unable, for national security reasons, to sell flubber privately. Undaunted, the professor continues to experiment with other inventions, including a weather gun (a machine to promote rainfall) and a flubbergas suit for football players. Domestic strife further complicates Ned's life when his wife, Betsy, becomes jealous of the attentions paid to him by his ex-sweetheart, Desiree de la Roche, and she leaves him. Moreover, Ned's experiments with the weather gun cause all the glass in town to shatter. Alonzo, whose insurance company must pay the claims for the broken glass, traces the damage to Ned and threatens legal action. By this time, though, Ned is busy perfecting a flubbergassed football suit invented by his student Bill Hawk, Alonzo's son. The invention works, helping Medfield win the game, but the victory is clouded by Ned's trial. County agricultural agent A. J. Allen testifies that a beneficial effect of Ned's weather gun, which he calls "dry rain," has resulted in bumper crops. To prove his claim, Allen exhibits mammoth vegetables and an enormous chicken egg. The judge dismisses the case, and Ned, now a hero, is reunited with Betsy.
J. Pat O'malley
Robert O. Cook
Robert A. Mattey
Joseph L. Mceveety
William H. Tuntke
Arthur J. Vitarelli
Son of Flubber
Son of Flubber proved to be an even bigger box-office success for Disney Pictures than The Absent-Minded Professor had been. Its reliance on silly slapstick effects and broad humor for kids set the tone for live-action comedies at Disney for at least the next decade. Director Robert Stevenson was still at the beginning of his second career as an exclusive Disney-only filmmaker. Following such prestigious properties as Joan of Paris (1942) and Jane Eyre (1944), Stevenson directed in television in the mid-1950s, then reinvented himself beginning with Disney's Johnny Tremain (1957). He directed twenty features in almost twenty years for Walt Disney; his films were consistent moneymakers such as Darby O'Gill and the Little People (1959), Mary Poppins (1964), That Darn Cat! (1965), and The Gnome-Mobile (1967), and by the mid-1970s he was acknowledged (sometimes with some level of derision) as "the most successful director of all time."
Son of Flubber is a delight for those interested in spotting familiar character comedians in minor roles. Several actors return from The Absent-Minded Professor, including Edward Andrews as Defense Secretary and Leon Ames as the President. Ed Wynn also returns, this time in a meatier role as a defense witness in the concluding trial. Joining the cast are Charlie Ruggles as the judge at the trial, and Jack Albertson and William Demarest as neighbors of Prof. Brainard. (Two years after this film Demarest would join the cast of MacMurray's long-running TV series My Three Sons). The long special-effects-laden football game sequence in the movie is enlivened by the ripe delivery of the game announcer, played by Paul Lynde in his feature film debut. Finally, the clever and satiric film-within-a-film which touts the many possible commercial applications of Flubber is hosted by the acerbic comic actor Joe Flynn. Flynn would go on to become something of a fixture in live-action Disney features, appearing in The Love Bug (1968), The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes (1969), The Barefoot Executive and The Million Dollar Duck (both 1971), among others. He would also provide a voice for their animated film The Rescuers (1977).
Bosley Crowther in The New York Times called Son of Flubber a "studious repeat, or rebound, of a good entertainment formula...It is crazy, of course, in the spirit of old-fashioned sight-gag slapstick farce, but it is fun and, indeed, a bit of a satire on the weird inventions of the new atomic age. It has all the wholesome ingredients of perennial family comedy, including Mr. Disney's infant grandson in a small but expandable role." Time magazine called the film "insuperably sappy" but had praise for the broad humor, saying it would appeal to "...any moviegoer who needs a good, old-fashioned locomotive laugh. It's a flubbergasser."
Producer: Walt Disney (uncredited)
Director: Robert Stevenson
Screenplay: Don DaGradi, Bill Walsh; Samuel W. Taylor (story "A Situation of Gravity")
Cinematography: Edward Colman
Art Direction: Carroll Clark, William H. Tuntke
Music: George Bruns
Film Editing: Cotton Warburton
Cast: Fred MacMurray (Prof. Ned Brainard), Nancy Olson (Elizabeth 'Betsy' Brainard), Keenan Wynn (Alonzo P. Hawk), Tommy Kirk (Biff Hawk), Ed Wynn (A.J. Allen), Charlie Ruggles (Judge Murdock), Leon Ames (President Rufus Daggett)
by John M. Miller
Son of Flubber
Remember, you're in Washington. Stop worrying about money.- Defense Secretary
Anyone who falls flat on their face is at least moving in the right direction -- forward.- Professor Ned Brainard
Why, if you weren't deductible, I'd disown you.- Alonzo Hawk
Fred McMurray is actually an accomplished saxophone player, so he's really playing the saxophone in the party scene.
A sequel to The Absent-Minded Professor, q. v. Published sources credit Marks with orchestration; the studio continuity names Sheets.
Sequel to "The Absent-Minded Professor" (USA/1961)
This was also the first sequel Disney ever released.
Released in United States 1963
Released in United States 1963