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132 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 »
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Popularity
3,529 ( 1,010)

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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:

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

Gross USA:

$13,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Delphi III Productions See more »
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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

When Mitch rides the cart into the steam tunnels, the viewer briefly sees the quotation, "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" scrawled on the left wall. These are a translation of a quotation from the German poet Friedrich Schiller: "Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens." Relevant to the film, Isaac Asimov wrote a science fiction novel, _The Gods Themselves_, originally published in three parts as "Against Stupidity...", "... The Gods Themselves ...", and "... Contend in Vain?" The 1972 novel was about a conspiracy by aliens who inhabit a parallel universe with different physical laws than ours, and who are trying to turn our Sun into a supernova in order to collect the resulting energy for their use. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Chris is cutting dry ice coins for the vending machine, a fire extinguisher on the wall behind Mitch is seen in some shots but not others. However, a student can been seen removing the extinguisher, but it happens very quickly. See more »

Quotes

'Ick' Ikagami: It worked!
Mitch: That's neat!
'Ick' Ikagami: Now if we can just keep it from exploding!
Kent: Explo-?
[rushes into his room]
Chris Knight: Hey Ick, you were just kidding about exploding, right?
[starts to notice no one else is there any longer]
Chris Knight: Ick? It's a joke, right?
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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

Referenced in Videoclub (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

You Took Advantage of Me
Written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart
Performed by Carmen McRae
Courtesy of MCA Records
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User Reviews

The Real Genius is the writers...
3 September 1998 | by GislefSee all my reviews

This movie is an incredible display of verbal byplay, interplay, and foreplay, and Pat Proft (of Naked Gun and Hot Shots fame) writes some of the funniest dialogue ever. But give credit to Val Kilmer: he hits every line perfectly (see lots and lots of Quotes). Even the minor characters get their moment in the spotlight, and the plot isn't dumbed down for the audience. If this isn't what happens at M.I.T. and similar institutes, you wish it did...and that you could sign up. Only Gabriel Jarrett comes across as a bit weak, but the rest of the cast bolsters him up.


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