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Short Circuit (1986)

PG | | Comedy, Family, Sci-Fi | 9 May 1986 (USA)
1:49 | Trailer

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


3,429 ( 137)
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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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
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


Life is not a malfunction. 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
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Did You Know?


Director Cameo: John Badham plays the news cameraman when the reporters arrive at Stephanie's doorstep. See more »


The top head plate of #5's head, when he gets struck by lightning, is going down in one shot, then in the next shot it's up all the way. See more »


Newton Crosby: Are you sure you weren't doing any steering or anything like that?
Stephanie Speck: Yeah, I like to drive off cliffs.
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 Community: Contemporary American Poultry (2010) See more »


Come And Follow Me
(Number 5's Theme from "Short Circuit")
Written by David Shire, Will Jennings and Max Carl
Performed by Max Carl and Marcella Detroit (as Marcy Levy)
Courtesy of MCA Records, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

I still love this one today
25 May 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I practically grew up watching this one. And this film is two years older than I am. Number Five has long been a movie personality I grew to adore, as well as his human co-actors. There has never been a time where I have watched and not smiled at it's quirky verbal humor. I have recommended it to many acquaintances looking for a good, old 80's comedy. The sequel is not quite as up there, but I also keep it mixed in with my favorite DVDs. For any science fiction fan, it can be seen as a classic and prelude to movies such as "I, Robot".

10 out of 10 is my rating because this movie has played a great part in my movie-watching life. I first saw it at the age of 9 (edited Disney broadcast version, with the adult language cut out) and have looked to it ever since if I just want to get a little laugh. And, for me, a little laugh in my otherwise stressful life is a great thing.


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