The Misadventures of Merlin Jones (1964)

Approved   |    |  Family, Comedy, Sci-Fi

The Misadventures of Merlin Jones (1964) Poster

Merlin Jones, a precocious and intelligent high-school boy, experiments with hypnosis and creates a mind-reading machine. However, his experiments land him in deep trouble with the law.


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5 September 2019 | bensonmum2
| Safe (perhaps too safe) Disney fare.
It's difficult to write one of the normal pithy little plot summaries I come up with. I have no firsthand knowledge, but The Misadventures of Merlin Jones smells suspiciously of two different television episodes (perhaps from The Wide World of Disney) cobbled together to create a feature length movie. In the first half, brainiac Merlin Jones accidentally develops the ability to read minds and almost immediately suspects the local judge of being a criminal mastermind. In the second half, Merlin uses hypnosis to force the same judge to actually commit a criminal act. None of it rises much above average as far as entertainment goes. I grew up on live action Disney movies like The Love Bug and The Snowball Express. The Misadventures of Merlin Jones pales in comparison. It's neither written as cleverly as it needs to be nor are Merlin's antics madcap enough to generate laughs. It's all safe (perhaps too safe) Disney fare.

Some of the supporting cast deserves mention. I always enjoy watching Leon Ames. Here, he does the most with what he's given to work with. Ames is easily the best actor in the bunch. I also got a kick out of seeing (and hearing) Dal McKennon. The name might not be overly familiar, but if you grew up watching cartoons in the 70s like I did, you'll definitely recognize the voice.


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