Guilty Pleasures Film Festival 2013

“The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes”

Schuyler (Michael McGreevey) and Dexter Riley (Kurt Russell) participate in a college TV quiz show in "The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes" (Disney, 1969)

Schuyler (Michael McGreevey) and Dexter Riley (Kurt Russell) participate in a college TV quiz show in “The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes” (Disney, 1969)

A live-action Disney favorite from my childhood is “The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes” (Disney, 1969). Set at the fictional Medfield College (home to the Disney classics “The Absent-Minded Professor” and “Son of Flubber”), student Dexter Riley (played by Kurt Russell) and his fellow classmates want the school administration to buy a much needed super computer for the campus. The students persuade A.J. Arno (played by Cesar Romero), a wealthy benefactor of Medfield College, to donate one. While Dexter is working on the computer, he gets zapped by lightning and all of the computer data gets transferred to his brain. The strange event turns Dexter into a walking encylopedia, which spurs the school’s administration to enter him along with some of his classmates in a TV college quiz tournament that could potentially win big money for the school. Unfortunately for Dexter, the computer also included secret information about A.J. Arno’s illegal gambling business. It’s the college students vs. the administration and the crooks in a movie that’s simple, silly fun. Also stars Disney regular Joe Flynn as Dean Higgins, Michael McGreevey as Dexter’s friend Schuyler, and William Schallert as Professor Quigley. And for today’s Dexter Riley trivia, the film spurred two Dexter Riley sequels, both starring Kurt Russell: “Now You See Him, Now You Don’t” (1972) and “The Strongest Man in the World” (1975). Written by Joseph L. McEveety. Directed by Robert Butler. “Don’t worm me, you worm!”

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