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Real Genius (1985)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Romance, Sci-Fi  |  7 August 1985 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 22,689 users  
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?


The math professor portrayed in the movie is played by Dr. Martin Gundersen, who is actually a physics professor at the University of Southern California. See more »


Kent smudges the optic lens to sabotage it, but the smudge is different later in the movie. See more »


[Chris Knight is trying to hit on Susan, a beautiful woman he finds in Professor Hathaway's house]
Chris Knight: So, if there's anything I can do for you - or, more to the point, *to* you - just let me know.
Susan: Can you hammer a six-inch spike through a board with your penis?
Chris Knight: Not right now.
Susan: A girl's gotta have her standards.
[She walks out]
See more »


References Sleeper (1973) 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 '80's Film
1 December 2003 | by (Stroudsburg, PA) – See all my reviews

I've noticed that some people who've commented on REAL GENIUS do not appear impressed. This must be either because they lack a sense of humor or simply don't know a good movie when they see one. Val Kilmer is hysterical, the script is filled with clever one-liners. William Atherton is THE ego-meniacle bad guy. And Chris Knight and Mitch Taylor have a guy named Lazlow living in their closet. Come on, this film is terrific. I could watch this film every day. It's that good.

29 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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