Now You See Him, Now You Don’t (1972)

Directed by Robert Butler
Cinematography Frank V. Phillips

A chemistry student invents a spray that makes its wearer invisible. A crook finds out about it, and plans to steal it for himself.

now you see him

charming family fun

1 December 2015 | by SnoopyStyleSee all my reviews

College dean Higgins (Joe Flynn) is trying to cut the chemistry department budget. He dismisses all the science being done by the students. A lightning strike hits the lab. The next day, Dexter Riley (Kurt Russell) checks the damaged experiments and discovers an invisibility liquid. He shows his friends Richard Schuyler and Debbie Dawson. Crooked investor A.J. Arno (Cesar Romero) has bought up the college’s mortgage. The Dean is clueless but the three friends suspect Arno has nefarious motives.

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This is the second of the Dexter Riley movies from Disney. It is charming family fun. There is an endearing innocence about these movies. Baby-faced Kurt Russell is great. I also love the pre-CGI special effects. As a kid, I was engrossed by them. As an adult, I am enchanted by them. The story is silly but that’s also part of the charm.

Now you can be entertained, if you sit down to watch this classic movie

7/10
Author: Amy Adler from Toledo, Ohio
3 January 2007

Dexter (Kurt Russell) returns from The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes for a new adventure that can stand alone. Dexter, ever the college student prone to misadventure, has an idea for a formula to render things invisible. Dean Higgins (Joe Flynn) is less than impressed and sets his hopes for winning a lucrative science prize with the pupil studying bees. However, the bees sting the student and he turns out to be allergic.

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There goes THAT chance for a prize. But, wait, Dexter does it! He actually concocts a liquid that makes him invisible. Trouble is, a unscrupulous businessman (Cesar Romero) learns about it and decides he can use that formula, thank you, for something illegal. Can he manage to steal the bottle out from under Dexter’s nose? This is a companion movie to the TCWT but one need not have seen the first film to enjoy this one. Russell is a genial leading screw-up who comes through when it really counts. The rest of the cast is also a dream, with Flynn, Romero, Jim Bacchus and others showing why their comic abilities are still held in high regard today. The script is just innocent fun that is charming, with the special effects somewhat simple, by today’s standards, but effective nonetheless. If you want to sit down and relive a bygone era or just want to share a quality, G-rated film with your family, this is a great choice. Although it is over 30 years old, there is a great possibility that even now you will see your loved ones giggle away the blues with a showing of this fine flick.

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Great! I LOVE this Movie

10/10
Author: ludi1us from United States
21 February 2009
*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is Classic Disney at its live action cartoon best! Bumbling college student Dexter Riley (Kurt Russell) develops a mysterious liquid invisibility formula that actually makes objects disappear and helps him to save his cash strapped college. Further experimentation reveals that it works amazingly well on humans too! Riley’s startling discovery takes some hilarious new twists when a gang of crooks headed by the notorious A.J. Arno (Cesar Romero) steal the formula and attempt to use it for their less-than-legal activities. Dazzling special effects and a fast-paced story make this lively film a textbook case of college comedy! I love this movie! This movie has always filled me with a sense of wonder and joy.A pleasant little comedy that the entire family can enjoy. Not much violence or sex and absolutely no swearing, makes this a movie that parents can watch with their children.Merely one in a series of Kurt Russell movies set at Medvale College. A pleasant little series set in a wholesome America before terrorists, when people valued integrity more than cash! I highly recommend this movie!

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More Medfield College shenanigans

6/10
Author: MartianOctocretr5 from Redondo Beach, CA
16 August 2014

Comedic take on the Invisible Man motif, featuring Disney’s Medfield College gang of Dexter Riley, Dean Higgins et al. A good showcase for Kurt Russell’s early work in comedy, before he started doing violent action heroes a few years later.

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This time, Riley (Russell) is one of several college students trying to win a scientific invention contest. Lightning strikes (literally) and he finds himself in possession of a viable invisibility potion. He is ready to wow the world with this scientific breakthrough, but then, some evil hi jinx by crooks intervene, setting up some weird moments, car chases, predictable slapstick, keystone cop style bumbling, and other tomfoolery. The invisibility special effects are cheap, but it doesn’t matter.

There are some slow points and lulls, but the good scenes make up for it. The golf sequences and the “invisibility presentation” bit are the funniest moments. The cast features some great character acting by Joe Flynn, Cesar Romero, Jim Backus, and William Windom.

Brainless fun for when you’re in the mood for 3 Stooges type slapstick.

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Dexter Riley’s Adventures x 3

8/10
Author: reabbott63 from United States
18 November 2009

This is a 1972 Disney movie. For the time, I was eleven years old and I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. Feeling nostalgic, I purchased the three series DVD’s of the Dexter Riley movies and even now, at age 46, I still enjoyed them. It was all about fantasy, magic, and clean fun. And it still is! I wasn’t sure which of the three movies came first then second and last. So now I have the official dates. On December 31, 1969 The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes–On July 12, 1972 Now You See Him Now You Don’t–On February 6, 1975 The Strongest Man In The World. I still think the middle movie was the best. The special effects were amazing back in 1972 to us kids. I definitely recommend it to all ages.

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Props

The Green VW used by Schuyler was two Herbie cars from The Love Bug: one was the vehicle carried by Tang Wu’s Chinese Camp students, (this was a gutted car and a rubber truck tire tube was placed under the passenger door, and when inflated suddenly, it would tip the car over, this car used in the scene where A.J. Arno rams it). The other car was used in the scenes with Schuyler driving it on a flat tire. (The Art Dept. painted the car green, and dusted it to give a look of neglect. When the sunroof is open, the original Herbie Pearl white paint job under the tarp sunroof can be seen where the green was not painted.)

The Medfield College exteriors were on the Disney lot: the main Medfield College building and courtyard used in the title sequence was the old Animation Building at the corner of Mickey Avenue and Dopey Drive. Parts of the chase scenes were done along the main street that goes through the area of the golf courses in Griffith Park.

Es kracht, es zischt - zu seh'n ist nischt aka. Now You See Him, Now You Don't, USA 1972

Reception

The movie received a mixed reception. A negative review came from The New York Times, which accorded, “Now with all due respect to children’s intuition and judgment, may we suggest that they now try the Real McCoy, if they haven’t already. How about the original “The Invisible Man” on television? There’s grand, serious fun, kids. Plus—square or not—something to think about.” A positive review came from Varietys staff, which stated that “Virtually all the key creative elements which early in 1970 made The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes encore superbly in Now You See Him, Now You Don’t.”

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