Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

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

Director:

Writers:

, (article)
1 win. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A drama based on the true story of Melvin B. Tolson, a professor at Wiley College Texas. In 1935, he inspired students to form the school's first debate team, which went on to challenge Harvard in the national championship.

Director: Denzel Washington
Stars: Denzel Washington, Forest Whitaker, Kimberly Elise
Adventure | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A NASA astronaut (Thornton), forced to retire years earlier so he could save his family farm, has never given up his dream of space travel and looks to build his own rocket, despite the government's threats to stop him.

Director: Michael Polish
Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Virginia Madsen, Bruce Dern
Conviction II (2010)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A working mother puts herself through law school in an effort to represent her brother, who has been wrongfully convicted of murder and has exhausted his chances to appeal his conviction through public defenders.

Director: Tony Goldwyn
Stars: Hilary Swank, Sam Rockwell, Melissa Leo
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A story set in the 1950s about two people who find a way out of their respective problems through the love they develop for one another.

Director: James Purcell
Stars: Peter Outerbridge, Kate Greenhouse, Victor Ertmanis
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A mockumentary about the rise and fall of Hollywood's life coach to the stars.

Director: Josh Stolberg
Stars: Ian Bagg, Greg Baker, Bernadette Birkett
Late Fragment (2007)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Eyelids smeared with black shadow, a teenage girl stands at the foot of the bed and pulls the trigger... See full synopsis »

Directors: Daryl Cloran, Anita Doron, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Benz Antoine, Jerry Azzopardi, Marc Bendavid
Ghost Town I (2008)
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Bertram Pincus is a man whose people skills leave much to be desired. When Pincus dies unexpectedly, but is miraculously revived after seven minutes, he wakes up to discover that he now has the annoying ability to see ghosts.

Director: David Koepp
Stars: Ricky Gervais, Greg Kinnear, Téa Leoni
The Express (2008)
Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A drama based on the life of college football hero Ernie Davis, the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy.

Director: Gary Fleder
Stars: Rob Brown, Dennis Quaid, Clancy Brown
Breach (2007)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

FBI upstart Eric O'Neill enters into a power game with his boss, Robert Hanssen, an agent who was put on trial for selling secrets to the Soviet Union.

Director: Billy Ray
Stars: Chris Cooper, Ryan Phillippe, Dennis Haysbert
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A young teacher inspires her class of at-risk students to learn tolerance, apply themselves, and pursue education beyond high school.

Director: Richard LaGravenese
Stars: Hilary Swank, Imelda Staunton, Patrick Dempsey
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A reclusive author of spiritual books, is pursued for advice by a single mother and a man fresh out of rehab.

Director: John Hindman
Stars: Jeff Daniels, Lauren Graham, Lou Taylor Pucci
Reign Over Me (2007)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A man who lost his family in the September 11 attack on New York City runs into his old college roommate. Rekindling the friendship is the one thing that appears able to help the man recover from his grief.

Director: Mike Binder
Stars: Adam Sandler, Don Cheadle, Jada Pinkett Smith
Edit

Cast

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 ...
Edit

Storyline

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

Taglines:

Corporations have time, money, and power on their side. All Bob Kearns had was the truth. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

3 October 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Un éclair de génie  »

Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$4,234,040 (USA) (17 October 2008)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Greg Kinnear had the screenplay sitting on his nightstand for several months but didn't think the subject matter warranted a read. See more »

Goofs

The Continental Mark III that was given to Kearns was a 1969, not a 1968 as indicated in this section. The headrests were not there for the 1968 model. All cars had standard headrests for 1969. Ford changed to smaller, triangular ones for 1970 and 1971. See more »

Quotes

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 »

Connections

References Frankenstein (1931) See more »

Soundtracks

Sailor's Hornpipe
Public Domain Arranged by C.E. Wheeler
Courtesy of Gordon Music Company
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Needs more inventiveness . . .
4 October 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Just imagine over 30 years ago inventing something as useful as the intermittent windshield wiper, a device everyone uses when it rains. Now that's immortality for inventor Bob Kearns, professor and engineer.

What is more astonishing is he was almost forgotten after the Ford Motor Company usurped the design and promoted it as its own. The dramatic tension is Kearns' fight for recognition involving years of personal and familial losses. The two moments of inspiration, the "flash of genius," one a personal eye injury and the other driving in the driving rain, are dramatically satisfying if not downright underplayed (appealing to my minimalist sensibilities).

The film is exciting when Kearns is developing the device with those design inspiration moments fleshed out and the partnering with Ford slowly materializing. The film slows down as if in a school zone when at least a third of the Kearns' time is spent struggling with wife Phyllis Kearns (Lauren Graham) over the cost to them in time and trauma to go after Ford. The dutiful wife suffering the ambitious husband has been played in American cinema and theater too much to be fresh, no different here. The scenes with family, especially his wife, evoke my usual response: All right, already, I get the point. Now get on to the good stuff.

Similarly, Kinnear plays Kearns so low key as to be soporific. Although I don't doubt Kearns was an introverted geek, a dramatic rendition would have enlivened the character without compromising his essence.


24 of 33 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
Discuss Flash of Genius (2008) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?