The Absent Minded Professor (1961)

USA, 1961
35mm film, black and white (colourised version also available), 1.75:1
mono, English

An American fantasy film directed by Robert Stevenson. Production began on 2 May 1960 1Variety vol.218 no.13 (25 May 1960) p.22.

Plot Summary

Professor Ned Brainard accidently invents a substance known as “Flubber” which gains energy every time it strikes a hard surface. Brainard coats his shoes with the substance, allowing him to make fantastic leaps and even allows his old Model-T Ford to fly. But Brainard and his invention come to the attention of ruthless businessman Alonzo Hawk who plans to wants to steal “Flubber”.


Director: Robert Stevenson
Walt Disney
Producer: Walt Disney
Script: Bill Walsh
Short Story: A Situation of Gravity by Samuel Taylor
Director of Photography: Edward Colman
Editor: Cotton Warburton
Music: George Bruns
Sound Supervisor: Robert O. Cook
Costume Designers: Chuck Keehne, Gertrude Casey
Make-Up: Pat McNalley
Hair: Ruth Sandifer
Special Effects: Peter Ellenshaw, Eustace Lycett, Robert A. Mattey, Joshua Meador
Special Photographic Effects: Robert A. Mattey, Joshua Meador
Animation Effects: Joshua Meador
Art Director: Carroll Clark

Fred MacMurray (Professor Ned Brainard)
Nancy Olson (Betsy Carlisle)
Keenan Wynn (Alonzo Hawk)
Tommy Kirk (Biff Hawk)
Ed Wynn (Fire Chief)
Leon Ames (Rufus Daggett)
Elliott Reid (Shelley Ashton)
Wally Brown (Coach Elkins)
Edward Andrews (Defence Secretary)
David Lewis (General Singer)
Jack Mullaney (Air Force Captain)
Bell Montrose (Mrs Chatworth)
Gage Clark (Reverend Bosworth)
Forrest Lewis (Officer Kelly)
Alan Carney (1st referee)
James Westerfield (Cop Hanson)
Wendell Holmes (General Poynter)
Alan Hewitt (General Hotchkiss)
Raymond Baily (Admiral Olmstead)
Elliott Reid (Shelby Ashton)

Alternative Titles

Der Fliegende Pauker – German title
Hajamielinen professori – Finnish title
Mont’là-d’ssus – French title
O Professor Distraído – Portugese title
Un professore tra le nuvole – Italian title
Pyörät pilvissä – Finnish title
Roztargniony profesor – Polish title
Un sabio en las nubes – Spanish title
Den Tankspridde professorn – Swedish title
Der Zerstreute Professor – German title

Son of Flubber (1963)

The Absent Minded Professor (1988)
Flubber (1998)

Extracts included in
The Walt Disney Story (1973)



  • Annunciation vol.6 no.7 (July 1961) p.15
  • Cinefantastique vol.29 no.8 (December 1997) pp.10-11 – illustrated article (Flubber by Patrick Legare)
  • The Daily Cinema no.8253 (11 January 1960) p.1 – note (Big Disney line-up: All in Technicolor)
  • The Daily Cinema no.8462 (24 May 1961) p.10
  • The Film Daily vol.118 no.36 (23 February 1961) p.6
  • The Hollywood Reporter vol.164 no.6 (21 February 1961) p.3
  • Kinematograph Weekly no.2799 (25 May 1961) p.9
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.28 no.330 (July 1961) p.90
  • Motion Picture Herald vol.222 no.6 (25 February 1961) p.29
  • Starburst no.65 p.20 – review
  • Variety 22 February 1961
  • Video Watchdog no.44 pp.51-52 – review


  • American Film Institute Catalogue 1961-1970 p.1 – credits
  • The Aurum Film Encyclopaedia: Science Fiction p.206 – credits, review
  • The Disney Studio Story pp.78, 114, 117, 188, 192, 206 – notes
  • Earth vs the Sci-fi Filmmakers: Twenty Interviews by Tom Weaver pp.313-334 – illustrated interview with Elliott Reid
  • Elliot’s Guide to Films on Video (4th edition) p.2 – credits, review
  • The Encyclopedia of Fantastic Film p.2 – credits
  • Encyclopedia of Science Fiction Films from 1897 to the Present by C.J. Henderson p.2 – credits, synopsis
  • Escape Velocity by Bradley Schauer pp.105
  • Feature Films 1960-1969: A Filmography of English-Language and Major Foreign-Language United States Releases by Harris M. Lentz III p.3 – credits, synopsis
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films: A Checklist by Donald C. Willis p.15 – credits
  • Jules Verne on Film by Thomas C. Renzi pp.156-157 – credits, review
  • Keep Watching the Skies: The 21st Century Edition by Bill Warren pp.30-34 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • Reference Guide to Fantastic Films by Walt Lee p.2 – credits
  • The Science Fiction and Fantasy Film Handbook by Alan Frank p.10 – credits, review
  • Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Film Sequels, Series, and Remakes: An Illustrated Filmography, with Plot Synopses and Critical Commentary by Kim R. Holston and Tom Winchester pp.17-19 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • Science Fiction Film Source Book by David Wingrove p.21 – credits, review
  • Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Film and Television Credits Volume II p.732 – credits
  • Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Film and Television Credits Supplement I p.309 – credits
  • Trick Cinematography by R.M. Hayes pp.157-158 – credits, note
  • Video Source Book 13th Edition p.8 – credits
  • The Wonderful World of Disney Television p.7 – credits, review
  • The World of Fantasy Films by Richard Myers p.122