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Real Genius (1985)

Teenage geniuses deal with their abilities while developing a high-powered laser for a university project. When their professor intends to turn their work into a military weapon, they decide to ruin his plans.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (story) | 3 more credits »
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Popularity
1,741 ( 1,259)

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ON DISC
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

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

Mitch Taylor is one of the youngest students ever accepted to a university known for its programs for geniuses. He partners up with his roommate, science club legend Chris Knight, on a project to develop a high-powered laser. Together with their hyperkinetic friends, they employ their intellects in the pursuit of bigger blasts, practical jokes, and a deeper understanding of what real genius means. When they find out that their professor intends to turn their work over to the military for use as a weapon, they decide to get even. Written by Lordship <lordship@juno.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

You need brains to act this crazy! 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:

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Box Office

Gross:

$13,000,000 (USA)
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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

On one of the studio sound-stages, the Pacific Tech dorm was prepared in preparation for the "Smart People on Ice" sequence. To create the bobsled run and skating rink, thousands of feet of tubing, connected to a powerful refrigeration unit, were buried beneath the floor of a forty-foot corridor. The hallway was then covered with crushed ice and "watered" several times daily. Director Martha Coolidge said: "It looked great but with all that ice, we worked for two weeks in the equivalent of a meat locker. It isn't too often you find film crews, in the Fall in Hollywood, reporting to work in parkas and thermal underwear". Among the accessories for the winter carnival were "custom" ice skates made by the special effects department from implements including baking pans, auto parts and surfer sneakers. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Chris Knight: Hey how's it going, Jerry?
Professor Hathaway: What do you want, Knight?
Chris Knight: World peace, but I don't think this is the time to discuss it.
Professor Hathaway: Get out!
Chris Knight: There's something that might interest you, Jerry.
Professor Hathaway: I'm not interested in anything you have to say.
Susan: [Coming downstairs in just a rumpled man's shirt] Dr. Hathaway...
Chris Knight: [Surprised to see her] Susan!
Chris Knight: [Turns back toward Dr. Hathaway who looks guilty] I solved the power problem, Jerry.
Susan: Jerry?
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Gentleman (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

The Tuff Do What?
Performed by Tonio K. (as Tonio K)
Courtesy of Tonio K and Visual Music Productions
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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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