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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
727 ( 2,454)

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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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to the article "Fun With the Whiz Kids" by Paul Attanasio published in the 7th August 1985 edition of The Washington Post, according to website Wikipedia, "The screenplay was extensively rewritten, first by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel, [and] later by Coolidge and Pj Torokvei". See more »

Goofs

When Kent tattles to Dr. Hathaway about Chris and Mitch being at a party with girls, Kent stands in front of a teleprompter on a television studio set, while Dr. Hathaway is taping an episode of "Everything". Assuming these are through-the-lens teleprompters for television cameras (so that the on-air performer, in this case Dr. Hathaway, can both read the text and look directly into the camera lens and talk to the TV audience), the shot of the monitor showing Hathaway looking around for his script and yelling, "Kent" would not be possible. Kent would be blocking the camera as well, and so all you'd see on that monitor would be black (i.e., Kent's body blocking the camera). Unless, of course, the monitor was showing the output of another camera, but in all likelihood, the in-studio monitor as depicted would be the program monitor, showing the "hot" camera, and Hathaway was trying to look into that very camera and read his teleprompter script. Further, in reality someone not involved in the production would generally not have been allowed on a (presumably) closed set to block a camera/teleprompter in the first place, though as a member of Hathaway's research group, Kent may have had privileged access. See more »

Quotes

Mitch: [as he helps a hallway sledder up from a crash] Are you okay?
Jordan: [Removing helmet and talking rapidly] No, not emotionally, no I'm not. I'm disappointed, not terribly, but still. It should have gone much further much faster. It's okay, though, I know what the problem is. It's obviously the drag coefficient. I'll just have to redesign the blades. I can do that no problem. I can do that here. But after they're designed I got to cut them and that takes tools and time. Do you know how long this stuff is...
[...]
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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 »


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

 
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!


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