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Real Genius (1985)

Teenage geniuses deal with their abilities while developing a laser.

Director:

Writers:

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

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

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Romance | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 August 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Academia de genios  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$13,000,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

In the scene where Kent goes into Dr. Hathaways house and sees the popcorn wrapped in foil he touches it the foil is rounded and full but when the laser hits it its much flatter then begins to pop and bulges. See more »

Quotes

Professor Hathaway: You are of no further use to me!
Chris Knight: [pause] Interesting way to begin a conversation...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Flat Earth & Other Hot Potatoes: Episode #1.52 (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Summertime Girls
Performed by Y&T
Courtesy of A&M Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Consummate 80's Period film - Exceedingly Witty Dialog
3 September 2005 | by (Atlanta, GA, United States) – See all my reviews

As a child of the 80s, I have a soft spot in my heart for creatively-executed movies from this period. At their worst, 80s movies become dated more quickly than films from nearly any other period in film history. At their best, 80s movies reflect the cultural undertones of an exciting time where humor and optimism were rampant in films despite the specter of cold war, the advent of AIDS and a rocky economy.

Real Genius takes the happy, go-lucky optimism of the 80s and superimposes it on the grim topics of military research, cold war espionage and assassination. The movie is set in a west-coast college (see Caltech, Berkeley, Stanford) and makes full use of the hyper-intelligent, eccentric dialog you might expect in elite California academia. The sound track from Thomas Newman (Less than Zero, American Beauty and many others) is technically complex and involving and fits the movie perfectly. At times, the movie suffers from the usual poor depiction of science (see lame computer applications and some bad blue screen work on aircraft) and unbelievable scenarios (see water slide in lecture hall and ice sledding in dormitory). Despite these forgivable breaches, the Neal Israel's unique dialog is truly brilliant, the situational comedy is eccentric, and the humor is uplifting. Val Kilmer is outstanding in his portrayal of Chris Knight and I lament his departure from this odd and extremely intelligent form of comedy (See Top Secret) - Though Kilmer has been involved with "better" movies since, I don't think he has ever been more genuinely entertaining.

I think this movie is a must-watch for anyone who enjoys science, comedy and the 80s genre, or for anyone who is planning on attending a technology school on the West coast. This movie may not depict reality, but it communicates a hopeful spirit we could all use more of in today's world of harsh reality.


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