Some students at Medfield College – a small, struggling private college – are given a computer by local businessman AJ Arno (Cesar Romero), who is actually a crook running an illegal gambling syndicate.
When below-average student Dexter Reilly (Kurt Russell) goes to change a fuse in the computer he receives a shock which programmes all its knowledge into his head.
Now a walking genius, his fame spreads and the impoverished college is about to win $100,000 in a TV knowledge contest (Knowledge Kollege) when a question triggers off his inside information about the crooked gambling syndicate and the villains decide he must be stopped at all costs.
The rest of the film is devoted to his kidnapping and the rescue attempts by his college buddies which follow.
Released in February 1970, it’s a typical Disney comedy and spawned a Dexter Riley/Medfield College trilogy, being followed by Now You See Him, Now You Don’t (1972) and The Strongest Man in the World (1975).
Disney also employed Kurt Russell in The Barefoot Executive (1971). The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes was remade as a made-for-television film in 1995 with Kirk Cameron as Dexter.
Sigmund Van Dyke
Peter Renaday (as Pete Renoudet)