Son of Flubber


1h 40m 1963
Son of Flubber

Brief Synopsis

An absent-minded professor gets into legal trouble because of his experiments with a gravity defying substance.

Photos & Videos

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
Comedy
Fantasy
Adaptation
Sequel
Release Date
Jan 1963
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 16 Jan 1963
Production Company
Walt Disney Productions
Distribution Company
Buena Vista Distribution Co., Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the short story "A Situation of Gravity" by Samuel W. Taylor in Liberty (22 May 1943) and the Danny Dunn stories by Jay Williams and Raymond Abrashkin.

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 40m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Black and White

Synopsis

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.

Photo Collections

Son of Flubber - Pressbook
Here is the original campaign book (pressbook) for Disney's Son of Flubber (1963), starring Fred MacMurray. Pressbooks were sent to exhibitors and theater owners to aid them in publicizing the film's run in their theater.
Son of Flubber - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for Disney's Son of Flubber (1963), starring Fred MacMurray. One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
Comedy
Fantasy
Adaptation
Sequel
Release Date
Jan 1963
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 16 Jan 1963
Production Company
Walt Disney Productions
Distribution Company
Buena Vista Distribution Co., Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the short story "A Situation of Gravity" by Samuel W. Taylor in Liberty (22 May 1943) and the Danny Dunn stories by Jay Williams and Raymond Abrashkin.

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 40m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Black and White

Articles

Son of Flubber


Son of Flubber (1963) is a direct sequel to The Absent-Minded Professor (1961), the very successful gimmick comedy from Walt Disney Productions. The movie picks up precisely where The Absent-Minded Professor leaves off, as Prof. Ned Brainard (Fred MacMurray) again flies his flubberized flivver over Washington, D.C. He and passenger Biff Hawk (Tommy Kirk) avoid ducks as they fly to the Pentagon and meet with military brass about the promised compensation for the government's exclusive rights to Flubber (i.e. flying rubber, the weird bouncing substance that fueled the comedy of the first film). Unfortunately, red tape, bureaucracy, and a golf date means that Brainard has to return to cash-strapped Medfield College empty-handed. The Brainard household is also in dire financial straits – new wife Betsy (Nancy Olson) can't scrape fifty cents together to pay the paperboy. A team of corporate speculators has descended on the house with a check for a million dollars and an endless number of commercial uses for Flubber, but Brainard has to break it to them that the U.S. government is sitting on the rights. The good professor is not very worried, however; he has hit upon a new invention – flubbergas – with which he hopes to control the weather itself! When he takes aim at a cloud with a long-range flubbergas gun, however, he only succeeds in breaking everything made of glass within firing range. Local tycoon Alonzo P. Hawk (Keenan Wynn) still threatens to bulldoze Medfield College, but he makes a modest financial proposal to Brainard when he discovers the professor's latest invention. Hawk's son Biff, meanwhile, is more interested in using flubbergas to help the hapless Medfield football team win an upcoming game.

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)
BW-100m.

by John M. Miller

Son Of Flubber

Son of Flubber

Son of Flubber (1963) is a direct sequel to The Absent-Minded Professor (1961), the very successful gimmick comedy from Walt Disney Productions. The movie picks up precisely where The Absent-Minded Professor leaves off, as Prof. Ned Brainard (Fred MacMurray) again flies his flubberized flivver over Washington, D.C. He and passenger Biff Hawk (Tommy Kirk) avoid ducks as they fly to the Pentagon and meet with military brass about the promised compensation for the government's exclusive rights to Flubber (i.e. flying rubber, the weird bouncing substance that fueled the comedy of the first film). Unfortunately, red tape, bureaucracy, and a golf date means that Brainard has to return to cash-strapped Medfield College empty-handed. The Brainard household is also in dire financial straits – new wife Betsy (Nancy Olson) can't scrape fifty cents together to pay the paperboy. A team of corporate speculators has descended on the house with a check for a million dollars and an endless number of commercial uses for Flubber, but Brainard has to break it to them that the U.S. government is sitting on the rights. The good professor is not very worried, however; he has hit upon a new invention – flubbergas – with which he hopes to control the weather itself! When he takes aim at a cloud with a long-range flubbergas gun, however, he only succeeds in breaking everything made of glass within firing range. Local tycoon Alonzo P. Hawk (Keenan Wynn) still threatens to bulldoze Medfield College, but he makes a modest financial proposal to Brainard when he discovers the professor's latest invention. Hawk's son Biff, meanwhile, is more interested in using flubbergas to help the hapless Medfield football team win an upcoming game. 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) BW-100m. by John M. Miller

Quotes

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

Trivia

Fred McMurray is actually an accomplished saxophone player, so he's really playing the saxophone in the party scene.

Notes

A sequel to The Absent-Minded Professor, q. v. Published sources credit Marks with orchestration; the studio continuity names Sheets.

Miscellaneous Notes

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