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Real Genius (1985)

Teenage geniuses deal with their abilities while developing a high-powered laser for a university project. When their professor intends to turn their work into a military weapon, they decide to ruin his plans.

Director:

Martha Coolidge

Writers:

Neal Israel (screenplay), Neal Israel (story) | 3 more credits »
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Popularity
4,124 ( 429)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Val Kilmer ... Chris Knight
Gabriel Jarret ... Mitch Taylor (as Gabe Jarret)
Michelle Meyrink ... Jordan Cochran
William Atherton ... Prof. Jerry Hathaway
Jon Gries ... Lazlo Hollyfeld (as Jonathan Gries)
Patti D'Arbanville ... Sherry Nugil
Stacy Peralta ... Shuttle Pilot
Daniel Ades Daniel Ades ... Laser Ray Victim
Andres Aybar Andres Aybar ... Bartender
Louis Giambalvo ... Major Carnagle
Ed Lauter ... David Decker
Charles Shull Charles Shull ... Air Force General
Beau Billingslea ... George
Charles Parks Charles Parks ... Larry
Sean Frye ... Boy at Science Fair
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Storyline

Mitch Taylor is one of the youngest students ever accepted to a university known for its programs for geniuses. He partners up with his roommate, science club legend Chris Knight, on a project to develop a high-powered laser. Together with their hyperkinetic friends, they employ their intellects in the pursuit of bigger blasts, practical jokes, and a deeper understanding of what real genius means. When they find out that their professor intends to turn their work over to the military for use as a weapon, they decide to get even. Written by Lordship <lordship@juno.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

You need brains to act this crazy! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 August 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Real Genius See more »

Filming Locations:

Claremont, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$13,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Delphi III Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Mitch rides the cart into the steam tunnels, the viewer briefly sees the quotation, "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" scrawled on the left wall. These are a translation of a quotation from the German poet Friedrich Schiller: "Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens." Relevant to the film, Isaac Asimov wrote a science fiction novel, _The Gods Themselves_, originally published in three parts as "Against Stupidity...", "... The Gods Themselves ...", and "... Contend in Vain?" The 1972 novel was about a conspiracy by aliens who inhabit a parallel universe with different physical laws than ours, and who are trying to turn our Sun into a supernova in order to collect the resulting energy for their use. See more »

Goofs

When Mitch discovers the secret passage to Laslo's hideout, it is after Laslo went into it and disappeared. As Mitch opened the panel to find it, a car is there to take him to it. Problem is, there's only one track and one car. Also, the amount of time it takes the car to travel to it is so long that even if Laslo sent the car back (which would be the only reason the car would be there after he went down there and a highly unlikely thing if he's technically the only one who knows about it or is the only one who goes there) it wouldn't return so fast as to be there for Mitch to see and get into, considering he found the passage only mere minutes after Laslo went that way. See more »

Quotes

Mitch: What are you doing?
Chris Knight: Self-realization. I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"
See more »

Alternate Versions

The UK theatrical and video versions were censored for a 15 certificate:
  • The line, "Can you hammer a six-inch nail through a board with your penis?" was removed.
The 2002 DVD is uncut. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Spaced: Change (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

You Took Advantage of Me
Written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart
Performed by Carmen McRae
Courtesy of MCA Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Jiffy Pop
28 November 2005 | by aimless-46See all my reviews

The imagination and quality of Hollywood movies in the early and mid 80's had regressed back to the pre "Bonnie and Clyde" days (the early and mid-60's being the worst ever period of American movie-making).

Fortunately there were a few gems like "Real Genius" to sustain audiences. Any film that features a memorable moment like Deborah Foreman's articulation of her standards for a male companion, a memorable character like Michelle Meyrink's hyper-kinetic Jordon, and the memorable sight of a house exploding from the force of a giant Jiffy Pop container can never be forgotten.

And who doesn't feel good just watching the neighborhood kids play in a mountain of popcorn to the sound of Tears For Fears' "Everybody Wants To Rule The World".

Although "Real Genius" has not totally escaped the ravages of the past 20 years, it has held up reasonably well. Now it can even be appreciated as a sort of time capsule, demonstrating rather strikingly the complete computerization of the applied sciences that has occurred during the relatively short time period since its 1985 release. Other than Kent's incidental use of an early computer in his dorm room and a mostly decorative monitor in the lab, these now essential machines are absent from this techno film. Amazing!

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.


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