7.0/10
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128 user 49 critic

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 »
Reviews
Popularity
1,863 ( 399)

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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:

MEET CHRIS KNIGHT, THE EINSTEIN OF THE '80'S. He can turn the simple into the simply amazing, and now he turns revenge into high comedy. 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:

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Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The "liquid nitrogen" coins have baffled viewers for many years, and are considered by many to be a goof. However the very first draft of the script shows that it wasn't an error. The thermos contains liquid nitrogen, which in turn contains a column of super-cooled CO2 (dry ice), which is what Chris uses in the vending machine. See more »

Goofs

Following the laser shot the side of Jerry's house should at the very least be scorched if not actively in flames, yet other than the broken window there is no visible damage. See more »

Quotes

Chris Knight: Kent puts his name on his license plate.
Mitch: My mom does the same thing to my underwear.
Chris Knight: Your mom puts license plates in your underwear? How do you sit?
See more »

Connections

Spoofs Sleeper (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

All She Wants to Do Is Dance
Written by Danny Kortchmar
Performed by Don Henley
Courtesy of Geffen Records
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
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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