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Real Genius (1985)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Romance, Sci-Fi  |  7 August 1985 (USA)
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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


It's yet another in a long series of diversions in an attempt to avoid responsibility. 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
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Did You Know?


When Mitch rides the cart into the steam tunnels, the viewer briefly sees the quotation, "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" scrawled on the left wall. These are the original words of German poet 'Friedrich Schiller (I)'. Relevant to the film, Isaac Asimov named three separate stories "Against Stupidity", "The Gods Themselves" and "Contend in Vain". He later combined them into a 1972 science-fiction novel about a conspiracy by aliens who inhabit a parallel universe with different physical laws than ours, and who are trying to turn our sun into a supernova in order to collect the resulting energy for their use. See more »


When Jordan brings Chris and Mitch the fake IDs to get into the military base she first gives the wrong one to each of them, then switches as Chris Knight (Val Kilmer) is looking at his he flips it over to another picture of him, but the name on the top is that of Mitch Taylor (Gabriel Jarret). Jordan gave them the wrong badges because she accidentally mixed up which picture went on which badge. See more »


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?
See more »


References The Mighty Mouse Playhouse (1955) See more »


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

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User Reviews

The Real Genius is the writers...
3 September 1998 | by (Iowa City, IA) – See all my reviews

This movie is an incredible display of verbal byplay, interplay, and foreplay, and Pat Proft (of Naked Gun and Hot Shots fame) writes some of the funniest dialogue ever. But give credit to Val Kilmer: he hits every line perfectly (see lots and lots of Quotes). Even the minor characters get their moment in the spotlight, and the plot isn't dumbed down for the audience. If this isn't what happens at M.I.T. and similar institutes, you wish it did...and that you could sign up. Only Gabriel Jarrett comes across as a bit weak, but the rest of the cast bolsters him up.

16 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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