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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.

Director:

Martha Coolidge

Writers:

Neal Israel (screenplay), Neal Israel (story) | 3 more credits »
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Popularity
2,904 ( 526)

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In 1 theater near Ashburn VA US [change]

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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:

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 »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 August 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Academia de genios 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 »
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 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

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

Chris Knight: You see Mitch, I used to be you. And lately I've been missing me so I asked Dr. Hathaway if I could room with me again and he said sure.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Psych: The Old and the Restless (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

One Night Love Affair
Written by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance
Performed by Bryan Adams
Courtesy of A&M Records
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User Reviews

 
Jiffy Pop
28 November 2005 | by aimless-46See all my reviews

The imagination and quality of Hollywood movies in the early and mid 80's had regressed back to the pre "Bonnie and Clyde" days (the early and mid-60's being the worst ever period of American movie-making).

Fortunately there were a few gems like "Real Genius" to sustain audiences. Any film that features a memorable moment like Deborah Foreman's articulation of her standards for a male companion, a memorable character like Michelle Meyrink's hyper-kinetic Jordon, and the memorable sight of a house exploding from the force of a giant Jiffy Pop container can never be forgotten.

And who doesn't feel good just watching the neighborhood kids play in a mountain of popcorn to the sound of Tears For Fears' "Everybody Wants To Rule The World".

Although "Real Genius" has not totally escaped the ravages of the past 20 years, it has held up reasonably well. Now it can even be appreciated as a sort of time capsule, demonstrating rather strikingly the complete computerization of the applied sciences that has occurred during the relatively short time period since its 1985 release. Other than Kent's incidental use of an early computer in his dorm room and a mostly decorative monitor in the lab, these now essential machines are absent from this techno film. Amazing!

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.


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