7.0/10
27,238
133 user 52 critic

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
3,181 ( 1,249)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

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

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

At Adams College, a group of bullied outcasts and misfits resolve to fight back for their peace and self-respect.

Director: Jeff Kanew
Stars: Robert Carradine, Anthony Edwards, Timothy Busfield
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A teenager has to deal with his girlfriend dumping him among family crises, homicidal paper boys, and a rival skier.

Director: Savage Steve Holland
Stars: John Cusack, David Ogden Stiers, Kim Darby
Valley Girl (1983)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Julie, a girl from the valley, meets Randy, a punk from the city. They are from different worlds and find love. Somehow they need to stay together in spite of her trendy, shallow friends.

Director: Martha Coolidge
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Deborah Foreman, Elizabeth Daily
Top Secret! (1984)
Comedy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Parody of WWII spy movies in which an American rock and roll singer becomes involved in a Resistance plot to rescue a scientist imprisoned in East Germany.

Directors: Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Val Kilmer, Lucy Gutteridge, Peter Cushing
Edit

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
Edit

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:

MEET CHRIS KNIGHT, THE EINSTEIN OF THE '80'S. He can turn the simple into the simply amazing, and now he turns revenge into high comedy. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

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 »

Edit

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
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The one prank which was totally new, both to solid state physics and filmmaking, was the transformation of a Victorian home into a giant popcorn popper. While even this screwball stunt was scientifically sound, there was an area in which director Martha Coolidge deliberately chose to be inaccurate. That assignment went to visual artist Ron Cobb, who conceived the Hathaway "death beam". Coolidge explained: "We had to be careful to create a laser weapon which wouldn't work the way it was described in the film.There's been a good deal of discussion recently about such weapons, including aspects of the 'Star Wars' defense system. We didn't want to inspire any lethal tinkering". See more »

Goofs

The laser that Knight finally gets to work supposedly works at 600 nanometers. Unfortunately, that would make it an orange laser, not a violet one as shown in the film (which would have a wavelength closer to 400 nanometers). See more »

Quotes

Chris Knight: Moles and trolls, moles and trolls, work, work, work, work, work. We never see the light of day. We plan this thing for weeks and all they want to do is study. I'm disgusted. I'm sorry but it's not like me, I'm depressed. There was what, no one at the mutant hamster races, we only had one entry into the Madame Curie look-alike contest and he was disqualified later. Why do I bother?
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

References The Monkees (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Terrific nostalgia trip down 80s memory lane - loved it!
13 November 2005 | by heisenberg83See all my reviews

Had very fond memories of this film as a kid in the 80s. Still holds up even today. DVD widescreen format shows off how well directed this movie is. Val Kilmer is terrific as the genius slacker hero. The whole cast gel well together, and the dialogue is very sharp and well-written (reminded me of TV show Scrubs in places). Had me laughing out loud in many places - rare for a modern version like American Pie. Lots of tasty 80s musical montages scattered throughout. Something really likable and positive about this movie, leaves you feeling really good at the end. Highly recommended - really hasn't dated at all. An enjoyable trip down 80s memory lane!


33 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 133 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Comedy Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular comedy titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed