Son of Flubber (1963)

100 mins | Comedy | 18 January 1963

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HISTORY

The 9 Mar 1962 DV noted that the “tentatively titled” Son of Flubber, a sequel to The Absent-Minded Professor (1961, see entry), would begin principal photography in May 1962. On 5 May 1962, NYT reported that pre-production was underway on a football field built on a Walt Disney Studios soundstage in Burbank, CA. For the previous several days, the crew was testing a wire-suspension system, which enabled the players in a staged football game to fly over the field. These shots would be intercut with footage of a 1961 high-school football game. Principal photography began 7 May 1962, as stated in 25 May 1962 DV production charts. The 18 Sep 1962 DV revealed that star Fred MacMurray was paid a flat salary for his services, as the Walt Disney Company did not offer profit sharing.
       The film opened 18 Jan 1963 at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles, CA. Following the 20 Feb 1963 opening at twenty-five additional area theaters, the 26 Feb 1963 DV reported approximate earnings of $300,000 in the first week. Reviews were generally positive, with the 13 Jan 1963 LAT noting similarities to “the antic frenzy of the early slapstick silents and the marital mixups of the middle talkies.”
       A screening to benefit City of Hope’s Parents of Theatrical Youth auxiliary was hosted by co-star Tommy Kirk at the Fairfax Theatre in Los Angeles, according to the 11 Jul 1963 DV.
       The 24 May 1962 DV stated that actors James Westerfield and Forrest Lewis reprised ... More Less

The 9 Mar 1962 DV noted that the “tentatively titled” Son of Flubber, a sequel to The Absent-Minded Professor (1961, see entry), would begin principal photography in May 1962. On 5 May 1962, NYT reported that pre-production was underway on a football field built on a Walt Disney Studios soundstage in Burbank, CA. For the previous several days, the crew was testing a wire-suspension system, which enabled the players in a staged football game to fly over the field. These shots would be intercut with footage of a 1961 high-school football game. Principal photography began 7 May 1962, as stated in 25 May 1962 DV production charts. The 18 Sep 1962 DV revealed that star Fred MacMurray was paid a flat salary for his services, as the Walt Disney Company did not offer profit sharing.
       The film opened 18 Jan 1963 at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles, CA. Following the 20 Feb 1963 opening at twenty-five additional area theaters, the 26 Feb 1963 DV reported approximate earnings of $300,000 in the first week. Reviews were generally positive, with the 13 Jan 1963 LAT noting similarities to “the antic frenzy of the early slapstick silents and the marital mixups of the middle talkies.”
       A screening to benefit City of Hope’s Parents of Theatrical Youth auxiliary was hosted by co-star Tommy Kirk at the Fairfax Theatre in Los Angeles, according to the 11 Jul 1963 DV.
       The 24 May 1962 DV stated that actors James Westerfield and Forrest Lewis reprised their roles as police officers “Kelly” and “Hanson,” the characters they played in The Absent-Minded Professor and The Shaggy Dog (1959, see entry).
       According to the 14 Aug 1962 DV, comedian Jerry Van Dyke agreed to make a cameo appearance, providing his start date for The Courtship of Eddie’s Father (1963, see entry) was postponed until 17 Aug 1962.
       A news item in the 11 Jan 1963 LAT stated that co-star Ed Wynn celebrated his sixtieth year in the entertainment industry while filming was in progress. Joining him in the cast were his son, Keenan Wynn, and grandson, Ned Wynn. The review in the 9 Feb 1963 NYT noted that Wed Miller, grandson of Walt Disney, appeared on screen as “Baby Walter.”
Published sources credit Franklyn Marks with orchestration; the studio continuity names Walter Sheets. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
9 Mar 1962
p. 4.
Daily Variety
24 May 1962
p. 4.
Daily Variety
25 May 1962
p. 8.
Daily Variety
14 Aug 1962
p. 9.
Daily Variety
18 Sep 1962
p. 2.
Daily Variety
9 Jan 1963
p. 3.
Daily Variety
26 Feb 1963
p. 3.
Daily Variety
11 Jul 1963
p. 4.
Los Angeles Times
11 Jan 1963
Section C, p. 9.
Los Angeles Times
13 Jan 1963
Section L, p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
18 Jan 1963
Section D, p. 9.
Los Angeles Times
18 Feb 1963
Section C, p. 10.
New York Times
5 May 1962
p. 18.
New York Times
9 Feb 1963
p. 5.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Walt Disney Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Co-prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost des
SOUND
Sd supv
Sd mix
Music ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairstylist
SOURCES
LITERARY
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.
DETAILS
Release Date:
18 January 1963
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 18 January 1963
Production Date:
began 7 May 1962
Copyright Claimant:
Walt Disney Productions
Copyright Date:
1 December 1962
Copyright Number:
LP23502
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
100
Country:
United States
Language:
English
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 ... +


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. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.