year: 1972
cast: Kurt Russell, Joe Flynn, Michael McGreevey, Richard Bakalyan, Ceaser Romero, Mike Evans, Jim Backus, William Windom, Joyce Menges
rating: ***

If there were a "Dexter Riley" TV series (based on the characters from "The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes"), centering on the title character and his science class University cohorts, this would be the best episode; the worst being the follow-up "The Strongest Man in the World". Although Kurt Russell looks more like a jock than a geek you forget he's anyone else but the energetic young man who starred in many live-action Disney films of the sixties and seventies (before becoming John Carpenter's Clint Eastwood). He and goofball buddy Schuyler (Disney staple Michael McGreevey, a human cartoon) use a spray Dexter invented that turns things invisible to win a science contest (and to free the school from debt) - but first must be excepted into the running. So they follow their dean Joe Flynn to the golf course, a non-golfer trying to impress a millionaire golf nut who runs the contest. An invisible Dexter helps all Flynn's shots go in the hole - this is the funnest part of the film... after which that string of purposely-frustrating "Disney-letdowns" occur: the things that once worked now fail because of a villain's tampering. The spray is stolen by Ceaser Romero, a crime boss with plans to turn the campus into his own Las Vegas. He and cohort Richard Bakalan (always a Disney thug and the cop who kills Faye Dunaway in "Chinatown") make themselves invisible, rob a bank and turn their car invisible. The last twenty minutes involves a chase between the students, the police, and the invisible car. Here things give up creatively but are still entertaining. Above-average Disney fare.

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