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Real Genius (1985)

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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
3,993 ( 2,385)
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:

Who ELSE can turn lasers into light shows, aircraft into armchairs, and high-tech into hijinks? 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

The make and model of the motorcycle that 'Ick' is seen riding outside of Jerry Hathaway's house is a BMW R100 RT. See more »

Goofs

They say the ice in the hall would sublimate directly to gas. If that would be true, it would be impossible to skate or glide on this kind of ice as the building of water is essential for gliding/skidding on ice. However, Ick never reveals what the substance is, and it's possible his mystery substance can both sublime and provide for skating. See more »

Quotes

Lazlo Hollyfeld: Well, how'd you do?
Chris Knight: How'd I do? I passed! But I failed! Yeah!
Lazlo Hollyfeld: Well, then I'm happy and sad for you.
See more »

Alternate Versions

An edited version of Real Genius has appeared on American television. Some of the language has been altered, for instance "penis" to "pinkie", "bastard" to "bonehead", and "Jesus" to "God". Also, instead of the children playing in the popcorn as the final credits roll, we see a long-distance high-angle shot of the Professor's house as he comes home and discovers the popcorn. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Spaced: Change (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Summertime Girls
Performed by Y&T
Courtesy of A&M Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the all time best 80's college movies
3 November 2001 | by thirdiSee all my reviews

Val Kilmer is hilarious as a college genius on par with Einstein, but is more interested in partying and chasing girls. A new arrival to the campus, Mitch, is a brilliant 15 year-old whom Val takes under his wing and tries to get to loosen up and have a good time.

There are probably some important themes and ideas to analyze within this movie, but for me it's just an old-school personal favorite that I've seen about 100 times. Great 80's music soundtrack and funny performances. William Atherton is perfect as the self-important, snobby professor, and another highlight is Robert Prescott, who plays his butt-kissing, nerdy assistant "Kent".

A movie that asks the question, isn't life experience just as important for education, as classrooms and books? A very funny, fine film that is up there with "Animal House" in my opinion.


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