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Real Genius (1985)

 -  Comedy | Romance | Sci-Fi  -  7 August 1985 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 20,302 users  
Reviews: 120 user | 44 critic

Teenage geniuses deal with their abilities while developing a laser.

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(screenplay), (story), 3 more credits »
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Comedy | Sci-Fi

A group of young, brilliant students develop a high-powered laser that's stolen by the government.

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Cast

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

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

Plot Keywords:

laser | weapon | genius | professor | student | See more »

Taglines:

When he gets mad, he doesn't get even... he gets creative. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The aircraft featured in the movie was a B-1B "Lancer". Today, a real-life analog exists in the United States Air Force's Airborne Laser (ABL) project, a collaboration with Boeing, involving a modified 747 cargo jet carrying a megawatt Oxygen-Iodine laser, whose purpose is to shoot down enemy ballistic missiles. See more »

Goofs

When the gang are waiting outside Dr. Hathaway's house, the zipper on Jordan's top is at varying levels between shots. See more »

Quotes

Major Carnagle: Where's the laser?
Professor Hathaway: It's coming.
Major Carnagle: It's coming? Ha! It's not even breathing hard.
See more »

Connections

References Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

One Night Love Affair
Performed by Bryan Adams
Courtesy of A&M Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
More than just a guilty pleasure of a movie . . .
18 July 2001 | by (Ukiah, California) – See all my reviews

Siskel and Ebert once ran a special show entitled "Movies I'm Embarrassed to Admit I Liked." I suppose that if I composed such a list of guilty pleasures, this one would be one of them . . . but upon reflection, it's really a lot better than that. Fifteen year-old science prodigy Mitch (Gabe Jarret) is recruited by ambitious college professor Jerry Hathaway (William Atherton, in yet another of his patented roles as a loathsome character) to work on the professor's prize laser project, not knowing that Hathaway is really developing a government weapon. Along the way, Mitch is mentored by Chris (Val Kilmer), another prodigy a few years his senior who teaches Mitch how to loosen up.

This could have degenerated into nothing more than just another teen revenge comedy, but there's so much more: the dialogue is laced with sharp wit; there are some lovely scenes that have nothing to do with the story yet are carefully set up, almost as blackouts (e.g., Mitch goes to a lecture at which a few students have left tape recorders instead of attending; later, at another lecture there are more tape recorders than students; and, in a final scene, one large tape recorder gives the lecture to a room populated by nothing but other small recorders!); and throw-away scenes that make you want to stop and back up the story to watch again (e.g., Chris off-handedly cutting a slice off a bar of dry ice to make a slug for the coffee machine).

It's also one of the few movies to boast the presence of the memorable Michelle Meyrink -- as Jordan, the "girl-nerd" who made being smart and female (and still quite sexy) something to emulate. And there's Tears for Fears' great song, "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" providing the perfect coda as the closing credits begin to roll . . . . Yes: really now, what's there to be embarrassed about?


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