Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes

Is this not a fantastic movie poster or what!? In 1969 Kurt Russell stared in the campus comedy THE COMPUTER WORE TENNIS SHOES. Russell plays all-American college kid Dexter Reilly who attends Medfield University (the same fictitious school featured in THE ABSENT-MINDED PROFESSOR.) Medfield gets their very first computer for the students to start learning computer programing. Since this was 1969, the computer was indeed the size of half the class room. Through some not too wacky circumstances that would actually kill a person, Dexter ends up absorbing all the computers knowledge and input capacities and becomes a human computer...who wears tennis shoes, don't forget. Too bad for Dexter, it turns out the computer was once owned by corrupt business man A.J. Arno, played by the wonderful Cesar Romero. Now Dexter unknowingly knows all about Arno's illegal gambling houses. It all boils down to a madcap chase scene involving Dune Buggies (I LOVE Dune Buggies) and several gallons of paint!

This is a somewhat forgotten gem from the Disney library although there are references to the film made in the EPCOT ride Journey Into Your Imagination with Figment. A.J. Arno chased Reilly and his buddies through two more films during the 1970's: NOW YOU SEE HIM, NOW YOU DON'T in which Reilly becomes invisible and THE STRONGEST MAN IN THE WORLD. Guess what happens to him in that one!?

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