Twelve years before college professor Fred MacMurray accidentally invents Flubber (and helps the basketball team) in THE ABSENT-MINDED PROFESSOR, college professor Ray Milland accidentally invents a nameless formula that's repelled by wood and helps himself become a baseball star.
Milland is a poor professor who wants to get some money together so he can marry a sexy student that's 21-years younger than him. The answer to his problem comes in the form of a baseball through the window of his laboratory. It crashes into his big experiment and Milland discovers that the liquid mess it leaves behind strongly repels wood. Instead of analyzing and patenting this new formula and then selling it for a ton of money, he secretly runs away and joins a major league baseball team! While he's out on the road winning games nonstop, his girlfriend is so worried about him she starts to believe that he's joined a gang of jewelry store thieves!
A strong suspension of disbelief is required to enjoy this film properly. First off, why does he just disappear? If he's intending on marrying this young woman then he should at least be honest with her. Secondly, how the hell does the fact that an unknown 44-year-old man can just walk off the street, join a major league team and then proceed to strike out everybody not garner more attention? Thirdly, why don't the officials get involved. I would think some guy striking out every batter he ever faces would be suspicious. And finally why doesn't he guard his secret formula more safely? He leaves it laying around everywhere. Just out in the open for any moron to mess with.
I liked IHES, but I wish it had either taken itself more seriously or just gone the full slapstick route. As it is it's a mildly interesting watch, but I can't see myself ever wanting to watch it ever again.