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Short Circuit (1986) Poster

(1986)

Trivia

As per the original movie's attempt to portray a living robot in the "real world", every part of Johnny and his brethren was built to have a specific, logical purpose behind them; this was originally a source of contention between the director and the prop designer, the latter of whom insisted on giving Johnny "eyes" to give the character a method of visually expressing emotion. As a result, Johnny's iconic "eyelids" were created, with the explanation that they were sun guards/camera coverings.
Many of the little tricks done by Johnny 5 on-screen (like flipping through book pages in a blink of the eye and tossing a washer into the air in a mimic of a scene from an old gangster movie he saw) were done using relatively simple, yet ingenious sleight-of-hand prop effects. For instance, the pages were flipped using an air hose, while the washer was flipped using a piece of string at both ends sideways. Not only did this save money for the producers for the actual robot and the screenplay, but they proved remarkably effective in getting just the right look needed for the scenes.
In this film and Short Circuit 2 (1988), Johnny 5's voice is provided by puppeteer Tim Blaney. This casting decision was made due to the director's belief that real-time interaction with the robot prop would make the interaction seem more natural on-screen than if they edited Johnny's voice in during post-production.
$1.4 million of the film's $15 million budget was spent on the creation of the Number Five robot.
Filmed in the same small Oregon town as the Goonies and Kindergarten Cop.
Major confusion occurred in India among fans when Hollywood movie Short Circuit was released in 1986. Many people who had seen the film thought that Fisher Stevens ( Who played the part of an Indian) was actually Bollywood actor Javed Jaffrey. This was due to Javed being a spitting image of Fisher Stevens, with his beard and round eye glasses. Javed had just had his first release Mere Jung. In the film, he sported round eye glasses and a beard. When Short Circuit released in India, many thought Javed had acted in a Hollywood movie. It was only after Javed confirmed in interviews that another actor starred in that film that people finally knew the truth.
Number Five weighed 250 pounds.
Three interchangeable radio-controlled heads were built for Number Five so facial expressions could be properly articulated according to the scene.
The sound of Number 5's laser firing is the same effect as the Ghostbusters' Proton Packs powering up.
The script called for extensive stop-motion animation to be utilized, but director John Badham opted to use practical effects.
There was a script for a possible third Short Circuit movie written in 1989 and rewritten in 1990, but it was found to be unsatisfactory by the producers, and the project was subsequently scrapped. According to Variety magazine in April of 2008, Dimension Films had bought the rights to make a third Short Circuit movie, in which the plot would involve a boy from a broken family meeting and befriending Number 5. It remains unclear however if this movie will be a sequel to the first two movies, or a remake of this movie.
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.
In 2013, it was announced that a remake of the film was being developed and it was rumored and speculated that Fisher Stevens would return as Ben.
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The coin flip is also aided by the use of reversing the footage. The trip up is the same as the trip down. You can tell if you watch the bushes in the background.
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Director Cameo: John Badham plays the news cameraman when the reporters arrive at Stephanie's doorstep.
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Stephanie and Number 5 dance to a scene from Saturday Night Fever (1977) which was also directed by John Badham.
Clips from several scenes not in the theatrical release can be seen during the closing credits, including an altercation between Number 5 and a toy robot, and Number 5 in an auto scrap yard.
Director John Badham hired FX man Eric Allard on the merits of his work in Let's Go (1985), a short film about a boy and a robot named Pal.
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Any time you see #5's arm/hand doing something without the rest of him in the frame its because the robot puppet is not capable of doing the action. Like rolling up the window, opening storage compartments etc.
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For the scene in which Number Five is flipping a coin, the coin was manipulated on a wire.
When Number Five commandeered Ben and the Nova guard's truck, he hums the U.S. Marines anthem.
The 3 Stooges short that #5 is watching is the end of Woman Haters (1934)
CASTLE THUNDER: Heard as the thunderstorm rolls in at the beginning of the film.
Director John Badham and Ally Sheedy previously collaborated in War Games.
Number 5's full designation is "SAINT Number 5". The acronym SAINT stands for "Strategic Artificially-Intelligent Nuclear Transport".
The gangster movie featuring George Raft that Number 5 is watching, and later imitating (using Raft's famous "coin flipping") is Scarface (1932).
The Soviet T-72 tank destroyed by the robots during the testing ground demonstration at the beginning of the movie is actually a fiberglass mock up built on the chassis of a U.S. M-41 Walker Bulldog tank. As the movie was made during the cold war years actual Soviet equipment was not obtainable in the west.
The robots are designed very similar to the large fighting machines in the future battle scenes in The Terminator (1984).
In a scene that was cut from the film, Number 5 encounters a Omnibot that attempts to give him a beverage. An Omnibot was a toy robot manufactured by Tomy in the mid-1980s. The deleted scene was seen during the end credits.
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'Steve Guttenberg (I)' (Newton Crosby) and G.W. Bailey (Skroeder) both appeared in Police Academy (1984) and Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987).
At the beginning of the movie, you see a close-up of flowers on a green field, and then the tanks roll over them. This resembles James Cameron's style (see also The Terminator (1984)).
From the first movie to the second, Ben's last name changes.
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When the dance sequence was filmed, John Badham danced with Ally Sheedy as they talked through and rehearsed the scene which Johnny 5 dances with Stephanie to "More Than a Woman" by The Bee Gees. The song was featured in the film Saturday Night Fever (1977), which was also directed by John Badham.
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In the scene when Stephanie finds Number 5 inside her truck, you can briefly see her address on her mailbox just beforehand. The mailbox reads "S. Speck, 3101 Misty Pines Ave".
Newton "flips off" Ben (Fisher Stevens) with a mechanical hand. In My Science Project (1985) Vince (Stevens) did a similar gesture to a motorist tailgating him.
When this movie was released to Blu-Ray, it was remastered in 1080i high definition, but Blu-Ray quality is usually thought of as having full 1080p resolution.
Marcella Detroit whom performs the end credit song "Come and Follow Me" with Max Carl would later go on to join the Irish pop rock group Shakespears Sister.
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At the point where Number 5 first hears the El DeBarge song "Who's Johnny" whilst driving the Nova van, the original choice of song for that section was the Dire Straits song "Money For Nothing", but unfortunately getting the rights to use that song was deemed to be too costly.
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The house, used as Stephanie's home, still exists and located at 197 Hume Ave., Astoria, OR. As of August 2017 it is uninhabited and offered for sale.
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One of the subtle ways in which the movie shows Number 5 becoming alive is his gradual transition from referring to himself in the third person to the first person, implying a development of self-awareness. This is particularly evident when he says "I am alive" to Crosby after repeatedly saying "Number five (is) alive" earlier in the movie.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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