Teenage geniuses deal with their abilities while developing a laser.



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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 ...
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


It's yet another in a long series of diversions in an attempt to avoid responsibility. See more »


Comedy | Romance | Sci-Fi


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





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?


The "Popcorn Trick" sequence began with the construction of a full-sized Victorian frame house on a plot in Sand Canyon, California, not far from Los Angeles. Within the house, special effects coordinator Phil Cory and his crew devised an elaborate network of conveyor belts, hydraulic lifts, air blowers and vacuum hoses which would, on cue, turn 190,000 pounds of popcorn into a hot buttered tornado, blowing out the windows, doors and roof of the structure. To film the caramel carnage, director Martha Coolidge positioned five cameras around the building, in classic "anytime you're ready, C.B." tradition, including one on a 300-foot crane. At the Hollywood Center Studios, a two-level set was constructed. On one level was built the interior of the mansion, decorated in the kind of eclectic, expensive kitsch a phony like Jerry Hathaway might fancy. The lower level contained a vast 20' x 20' x 20' storage tank to hold the popcorn until required. With Rube Goldberg ingenuity, the crew built six air-poppers, each ten-feet high, capable of popping 2,400 pounds of corn an hour. Made of sheet metal and heated by propane gas, the poppers "fed" the tank through the pressure of the popping corn itself and a system of air blowers. A conveyor belt and another set of blowers then swirled the popcorn up through the floor to inundate the set in confectionery debris to a height of twenty feet. Producer Brian Grazer explained: "To put it as simply as possible, the entire set was one enormous popcorn popper". That still, however, was not enough. When more popcorn was needed to complete the deluge, the Lapidus Popcorn Company of Los Angeles, California pitched in with an additional 90,000 cubic feet. Grazer added: "We eventually used enough popcorn to feed 720,000 moviegoers, each eating the largest tub sold at theaters. At retail, the cost would have been about $1,800,000. But since we were among the world's largest consumers of popcorn, if only for about five minutes, we received a substantial discount". See more »


When Mitch is leaving his dorm room to go to class and encounters the ice made by ICK he is carrying a text book. He trips and falls, and the book disappears. Mitch makes no effort to retrieve or look for the book so that he can proceed to class. See more »


Chris Knight: Oh, Kent, that is so unfair! And we were going to make you King of the Winter Carnival.
Kent: Really?
See more »


Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Troll 2 (2009) See more »


You Took Advantage of Me
Written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart
Performed by Carmen McRae
Courtesy of MCA Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Bright examination of youth and intelligence
8 January 1999 | by (Fargo, North Dakota) – See all my reviews

It is unfortunate that Val Kilmer so quickly "graduated" from the realm of youth oriented roles, as his work in Real Genius is by far the most enjoyable to watch. Kilmer proves adept at excellent comic timing, and he is given a motherlode of razor-sharp one-liners to fire off in every scene (I speculate that writer Pat Proft enjoyed watching The Marx Brothers in his formative years). Chief drawback of this film is the hammy, sneering villain played by Atherton -- as the old saying goes, just give him a mustache to twirl. But if you happened to see the film as a young person, the above-mentioned won't get in the way of your fond memories. I sure know that every time I see that slow-motion romp through the popcorn and hear Tears for Fears' "Everybody Wants to Rule the World," ramp up on the soundtrack, my cynicism just melts away.

36 of 46 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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