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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
4,223 ( 2,751)

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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:

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

In their research for the movie, producer Brian Grazer and director Martha Coolidge were not surprised to discover that the term "genius" applies, as well, to a genius for mischief. Coolidge said: "Some of the most inspired practical jokers on college campuses are in the advanced science programs. They see a situation which seems perfectly normal and ask themselves, 'What's the funniest, most amazing thing I can do to turn this situation upside down?'. It's not just high spirits, but a release, a kind of safety valve, against the tremendous academic pressure they're under. It became the basis for a lot of the story's humor". See more »

Goofs

During the party scene, Chris first puts a blue lei around Mitch's neck and has a red lei in his hand. In the next shot, Mitch is wearing the red lei and Chris is holding the blue lei. Then in the next shot, Mitch is wearing the blue one and Chris is once again holding the red one. See more »

Quotes

Professor Hathaway: I want to see more of you around the lab.
Chris Knight: Fine. I'll gain weight.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In one pan-and-scan version, when Jordan looks through the hole the laser made through a tree, the camera stays on her while another pan-and-scan version cuts aside to Chris for his line and to catch him turning his head when she says, "Look!" See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

The Pleasure Seekers
Written David Frank, Mic Murphy and Paul Pesco
Performed by The System
Courtesy of Mirage Records
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

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User Reviews

 
You are not supposed to like the super smart kids, but these guys are rather cool.
28 April 2009 | by Aaron1375See all my reviews

This is a funny comedy movie from the 80's that just works thanks mainly to the spot on cast. Granted, Val Kilmer kind of steals the show. The movie has a simple enough plot to begin with and through the course of the movie gets bigger and bigger till it "pops". A very intelligent kid is coming on board at a school for very smart guys, can not remember if it is a college or just an advanced high school. He is a bit out of place, however, he is going to get to meet this legend. Unfortunately, this legend is not at all what he expects clowning around and such and being a rather fun guy. Granted he has a very good reason for this later in the movie. The movie has great scenes where the smart kids make it so dry ice is formed in the halls of the dorm and at one point they have a pool party. They are all in the end working on this laser project which is the central plot point in the film and what makes the plot go from just your typical school type movie to something a bit more. It ends on a very funny note and great ending scene too. So all in all a funny movie with likable characters, I prefer this "nerds" to the ones in "Revenge of the Nerds". Also, the first time I heard the very good Tears for Fears song "Everybody wants to rule the World".


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