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Short Circuit (1986)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Family, Sci-Fi  |  9 May 1986 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 40,731 users  
Reviews: 86 user | 34 critic

Number 5 of a group of experimental robots in a lab is electrocuted, suddenly becomes intelligent, and escapes.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tim Blaney ...
Number 5 (voice)
Marvin J. McIntyre ...
John Garber ...
Penny Santon ...
Mrs. Cepeda
Vernon Weddle ...
General Washburne
Senator Mills
Tom Lawrence ...
Howard Marner's Aide
Fred Slyter ...
Billy Ray Sharkey ...


Number 5, one of a group of experimental military robots, undergoes a sudden transformation after being struck by lightning. He develops self-awareness, consciousness, and a fear of the reprogramming that awaits him back at the factory. With the help of a young woman, Number 5 tries to evade capture and convince his creator that he has truly become alive. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Something wonderful has happened... Number Five is alive! See more »


Comedy | Family | Sci-Fi


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

9 May 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cortocircuito  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$40,697,761 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Fisher Stevens plays a character called Ben Jabituya, who has an exaggerated Indian accent and mannerisms. However he is not Indian. When asked where he is from, he responds Bakersfield, and that his ancestors are from Pittsburgh. See more »


When Number 5 is first hit by the little trash robot the number on the side of the trash can is 3765. In subsequent shots it is 3250. See more »


Ben Jabituya: I am sporting a tremendous woody.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits are played out over a montage of scenes from the movie, including a pair of scenes that failed to make the final cut. One involves an encounter between Number 5 and a toy robot, the other involves a scene in a scrap yard where a scrapped car that Number 5 is currently sitting in is crushed. See more »


Referenced in Bob's Burgers: Gene It On (2014) See more »


Who's Johnny
("Short Circuit" Theme)
Written by Péter Wolf (as Peter) and Ina Wolf
Performed by El DeBarge
Courtesy of Motown Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Better than Must See TV...
1 March 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

When this first came out in theaters...that by-gone age before DVD's and before VHS tapes were popular...and BETA tapes were still around...I went to see it at the earliest show. Then proceeded to watch every showing that day at that theater, on both screens. I do not think I've ever found such a movie that truly entertained..that was not offensive..that you wouldn't have a problem letting kids see.

The only thing that sort of is upsetting was after this first movie. There was to be a sequel that had all the original cast in it..but it never made it to theaters in time. Where that copy is I have no idea. What was called the sequel...should have been kept under wraps.

I really do wish they would revisit the idea of a sequel for Number 5...this is one robot that deserves another chance at a far better script than what he was given in the 2nd movie.

But going back to the original. Very good job for his supporting cast. Steve and Ally were excellent. I don't think they could have picked better to be in this movie. I still see, and still laugh at the ex boyfriend getting his boot heels shot off...his belt and brim of his hat...the look on his face as he saw his precious car taken apart...not Number 5's fault he had left the Chilton manual in the car...:) :) :) This movie is truly an original tale, very well told, and will stand out as an excellent piece for a long time to come.

15 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Favourite Johnny 5 quote overwatch17
500 things learned from watching short circuit. Nickrj
Johnny 5...or Wall-E!!?? sampurdon
Where was the 5th Robot? mamaduck71
Who cried at the ending of this movie?? c_rese19
Johnny 5 = Jesus? NN-dimethyltryptamine
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