Flash of Genius (2008)

PG-13  |   |  Biography, Drama  |  3 October 2008 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 13,867 users   Metascore: 57/100
Reviews: 45 user | 98 critic | 25 from Metacritic.com

Robert Kearns takes on the Detroit automakers who he claims stole his idea for the intermittent windshield wiper.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tim Eddis ...
Maryland Cop #1
Maryland Cop #2
Karl Pruner ...
Landon Norris ...
Shae Norris ...
Steven Woodworth ...
Victoria Learn ...
Ronn Sarosiak ...
Gavin Kuiack ...
Ben Kuiak ...


Based on the true story of college professor and part-time inventor Robert Kearns' long battle with the U.S. automobile industry, Flash of Genius tells the tale of one man whose fight to receive recognition for his ingenuity would come at a heavy price. But this determined engineer refused to be silenced, and he took on the corporate titans in a battle that nobody thought he could win. The Kearns were a typical 1960s Detroit family, trying to live their version of the American Dream. Local university professor Bob married teacher Phyllis and, by their mid-thirties, had six kids who brought them a hectic but satisfying Midwestern existence. When Bob invents a device that would eventually be used by every car in the world, the Kearns think they have struck gold. But their aspirations are dashed after the auto giants who embraced Bob's creation unceremoniously shunned the man who invented it. Ignored, threatened and then buried in years of litigation, Bob is haunted by what was done to ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


They had the power. He had the truth. See more »


Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

3 October 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Un éclair de génie  »

Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$2,251,075 (USA) (3 October 2008)


$4,234,040 (USA) (17 October 2008)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Marc Abraham asked Greg Kinnear to put on about 20lbs as his physique didn't really resemble that of a college professor with 6 kids. See more »


When the invention is to be demonstrated to Ford, Kearns gets under the dash then shows a modern (blade type) fuse and says "It's just a fuse" - but the modern fuses were not in use in the 1960s. See more »


Bob Kearns: Whatever happened to this little thing called justice we talked about?
Gregory Lawson: This is justice, Bob. This is how justice is dispensed in this country - with checkbooks. There are no brass bands, you know, there are no ticker tape parades, the mayor doesn't give you the key to the city and call you a hero. You get a check, and that check makes the lives of you and your family a little easier... a little more pleasant. It's that simple.
See more »

Crazy Credits

There's a typo in the end credits, listing Bill Smitrovich as 'Bill Smitrovitch', although his name is spelled correctly in the main cast credits. See more »


References Frankenstein (1931) See more »


Green Onions
Written by Steve Cropper, Al Jackson Jr., Booker T. Jones & Lewie Steinberg
Performed by Booker T. & the M.G.s (as Booker T. and The MG's)
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
By Arrangement with Warner Music Group Film and TV Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Well acted and executed, but slightly mundane.
31 July 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Saw the very first showing of this tonight at the Traverse City Film Festival. It was a good movie and Greg Kinnear was very good. The film felt too restricted and hyper focused on the primary movie subject, Bob Kearns. It could have been made better by infusing a bit of side-story from the conflicting characters points of view. Bob Kearns low point in the movie also seemed to happen abruptly with no run-in to the plot twist, so much so that I felt like I missed something. Lauren Graham offered a fine performance, as did Dermot Mulroney's limited screen time. Overall I liked the movie but felt more could have been done to fill some gaps.

24 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
I stopped watching the movie after the scene... blam_web
Intermittent wipers are useless aland-16
Karma is a bitch. mtgentry81
100 Things I learned from Flash of Genius paschel-jd
Reminds me of what Edison did to Nikola Tesla.... Roadghost69
Modern car in the background..lawl danat86
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