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Real Genius (1985)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Romance, Sci-Fi  |  7 August 1985 (USA)
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Reviews: 124 user | 47 critic

Teenage geniuses deal with their abilities while developing a laser.



(screenplay), (story), 3 more credits »
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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mitch Taylor (as Gabe Jarret)
Lazlo Hollyfeld (as Jonathan Gries)
Sherry Nugil
Shuttle Pilot
Daniel Ades ...
Laser Ray Victim
Andres Aybar ...
Louis Giambalvo ...
Maj. Carnagle
David Decker
Charles Shull ...
Air Force General
Charles Parks ...
Boy at Science Fair


Mitch is one of the youngest students ever accepted to a university known for its programs for geniuses. He's partnered up with his roommate, science club legend Chris Knight, on a project to develop a high-powered laser. Together with their hyper-kinetic friends, they employ their intellects in the pursuit of bigger blasts, practical jokes, and a deeper understanding of what real genius is. When their final, functional laser is stolen by their teacher for a military weapon, they decide to get even. Written by Lordship <lordship@juno.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Who ELSE can turn lasers into light shows, aircraft into armchairs, and high-tech into hijinks? See more »


Comedy | Romance | Sci-Fi


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

7 August 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Academia de genios  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$13,000,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Credited actor Michael Backes is the husband of the director, Martha Coolidge. See more »


At the science fair, on the poster for "Alcoholic Mice," the word "laboratory" is spelled wrongly. See more »


'Ick' Ikagami: It worked!
Mitch: That's neat!
'Ick' Ikagami: Now if we can just keep it from exploding!
Kent: Explo-?
[rushes into his room]
Chris Knight: Hey Ick, you were just kidding about exploding, right?
[starts to notice no one else is there any longer]
Chris Knight: Ick? It's a joke, right?
See more »


Referenced in Gentleman (1997) See more »


Number One
Written by Chaz Jankel, Ian Dury and Norman Watt-Roy
Performed by Chaz Jankel
Courtesy of A&M Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Terrific nostalgia trip down 80s memory lane - loved it!
13 November 2005 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Had very fond memories of this film as a kid in the 80s. Still holds up even today. DVD widescreen format shows off how well directed this movie is. Val Kilmer is terrific as the genius slacker hero. The whole cast gel well together, and the dialogue is very sharp and well-written (reminded me of TV show Scrubs in places). Had me laughing out loud in many places - rare for a modern version like American Pie. Lots of tasty 80s musical montages scattered throughout. Something really likable and positive about this movie, leaves you feeling really good at the end. Highly recommended - really hasn't dated at all. An enjoyable trip down 80s memory lane!

23 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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