7.0/10
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138 user 53 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
4,322 ( 99)

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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:

You need brains to act this crazy! 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

Director Martha Coolidge said of this movie: "The audience has a kind of sixth sense, they know when they're being lied to. I was taken by the story from the start; I'm fascinated by science. But I knew that to make the comedy work - and the characters worth caring about - we had to do our homework". See more »

Goofs

Kent smudges the optic lens to sabotage it, but the smudge is different later in the movie. See more »

Quotes

Announcer: The Crossbow Project. There's No Defense Like a Good Offense.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The UK theatrical and video versions were censored for a 15 certificate:
  • The line, "Can you hammer a six-inch nail through a board with your penis?" was removed.
The 2002 DVD is uncut. See more »

Connections

Features Food Fight (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

You're the Only Love
Performed by Paul Hyde and the Payolas
Courtesy of A&M Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Bright examination of youth and intelligence
8 January 1999 | by pooch-8See all my reviews

It is unfortunate that Val Kilmer so quickly "graduated" from the realm of youth oriented roles, as his work in Real Genius is by far the most enjoyable to watch. Kilmer proves adept at excellent comic timing, and he is given a motherlode of razor-sharp one-liners to fire off in every scene (I speculate that writer Pat Proft enjoyed watching The Marx Brothers in his formative years). Chief drawback of this film is the hammy, sneering villain played by Atherton -- as the old saying goes, just give him a mustache to twirl. But if you happened to see the film as a young person, the above-mentioned won't get in the way of your fond memories. I sure know that every time I see that slow-motion romp through the popcorn and hear Tears for Fears' "Everybody Wants to Rule the World," ramp up on the soundtrack, my cynicism just melts away.


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