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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 »
Reviews
Popularity
2,690 ( 214)

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From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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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:

It's yet another in a long series of diversions in an attempt to avoid responsibility. 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:

Academia de genios See more »

Filming Locations:

Claremont, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Chris Knight wakes and cuts the CO2 chips for the vending machine, he is wearing "Heckel and Jeckel" slippers. They were 2 magpies that played endless tricks and practical jokes on those that interfered with any of their schemes. 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: You know, um, something strange happened to me this morning...
Chris Knight: Was it a dream where you see yourself standing in sort of sun-god robes on a pyramid with a thousand naked women screaming and throwing little pickles at you?
Mitch: No...
Chris Knight: Why am I the only one who has that dream?
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Connections

Featured in The Goldbergs: Let's Val Kilmer This Car (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Standing in Line
Performed by The Textones
Courtesy of Gold Mountain / A&M Records
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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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