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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.

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(screenplay), (story) | 3 more credits »
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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Chris Knight
... Mitch Taylor (as Gabe Jarret)
... Jordan Cochran
... Prof. Jerry Hathaway
... Lazlo Hollyfeld (as Jonathan Gries)
... Sherry Nugil
... Shuttle Pilot
Daniel Ades ... Laser Ray Victim
Andres Aybar ... Bartender
... Major Carnagle
... David Decker
Charles Shull ... Air Force General
... George
Charles Parks ... Larry
... 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:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 August 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Academia de genios  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$13,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Laslo Hollyfeld (Jon Gries) sends in a large number of entries to the Frito-Lay contest, he is mirroring the actions of Caltech students Steve Klein, Dave Novikoff and Barry Megdal, who, in 1974, used a similar strategy to win a McDonald's sweepstakes. Their entries came to roughly 1/5th of the total entries and won them a station wagon, $3,000 cash and $1,500 in food gift certificates. See more »

Goofs

When Mitch finds Lazlo's hidden lab, we see Dunkin Donuts boxes and bags strewn about. The film setting is the fictitious "Pacific Tech" university, which is portrayed as a Southern California school similar to CalTech. Dunkin' Donuts locations did not open in California until 2014. 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?"
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Connections

References The Great Race (1965) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Falling
Performed by The Comsat Angels
Credited as The C.S. Angels
Courtesy of Jive Records
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User Reviews

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