Number 5 of a group of experimental robots in a lab is electrocuted, suddenly becomes intelligent, and escapes.

Director:

John Badham
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Popularity
2,758 ( 200)
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ally Sheedy ... Stephanie Speck
Steve Guttenberg ... Newton Crosby
Fisher Stevens ... Ben Jabituya
Austin Pendleton ... Howard Marner
G.W. Bailey ... Skroeder
Brian McNamara ... Frank
Tim Blaney ... Number 5 (voice)
Marvin J. McIntyre ... Duke
John Garber John Garber ... Otis
Penny Santon ... Mrs. Cepeda
Vernon Weddle ... General Washburne
Barbara Tarbuck ... Senator Mills
Tom Lawrence ... Howard Marner's Aide
Fred Slyter Fred Slyter ... Norman
Billy Ray Sharkey Billy Ray Sharkey ... Zack
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Storyline

Number 5, one of a group of experimental military robots, undergoes a sudden transformation after being struck by lightning. He develops self-awareness, consciousness, and a fear of the reprogramming that awaits him back at the factory. With the help of a young woman, Number 5 tries to evade capture and convince his creator that he has truly become alive. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Life is not a malfunction. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Family | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

$1.4 million of the film's $15 million budget was spent on the creation of Number Five. See more »

Goofs

The grill of the disassembled car is first shown lying across 2 logs, but in later shots, the logs are gone. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Number 4: Enemy neutralized. Ladies and gentlemen, objective completed.
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Crazy Credits

The credits are played out over a montage of scenes from the movie, including a pair of scenes that failed to make the final cut. One involves an encounter between Number 5 and a toy robot, the other involves a scene in a scrap yard where a scrapped car that Number 5 is currently sitting in is crushed. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Cinema Snob: Two of a Kind (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Who's Johnny
("Short Circuit" Theme)
Written by Péter Wolf (as Peter Wolf) and Ina Wolf
Performed by El DeBarge
Courtesy of Motown Records
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User Reviews

 
I Heart Number Five.
19 April 2004 | by vertigo_14See all my reviews

Short Circuit is an off-the-wall comedy about a series of robots made of the military. They sort of resemble Conky from the old Pee Wee's Play House series. One of the robots, 'Number Five', escapes and finds sanctuary in the home of Stephanie Speck (Allly Sheedy), a nice lady with a soft spot for runaways.

Speck becomes good friends with 'Number Five' who begins to take on a lot of human characteristics, transcending the static life of a robot or the hostile life of a military weapon, which is what the robots were designed for.

Speck learns that Number Five's owners are looking for him, but she knows that the military would only destroy Number Five or terminate the emotional drive that he has developed. Number Five's designer, Newton Crosby (Guttenberg) and his silly assistant Ben Jabituya (Stevens), have yet to appreciate what Number Five has achieved, as a shell of wires and controls able to take on human qualities, but, soon, they too will join Speck in the quest to save 'Number Five.'

Some of it is kind of reminscint of other 80s sci-fi movies like 'Batteries Not Included' and 'E.T.'

There's two issues at work in this movie. The first, and obvious one being about the development of human emotion and would it be possible for anything to gain an understanding and appreciation for it? And the second being the ethics of military useage. Plus, it's your standard 80s love and friendship story. Because of the story and the sharp wit comedy and sarcasm, it's makes for good comedy. I haven't seen the sequel in a long time, but I do remember enjoying it almost as much as the first. I think that's because 'Number Five' is such a funny, loveable robot.

If you like the theme of this movie, I recommend seeing the hilarious comedy, 'Making Mr. Right,' which is about a robot designed for space exploration rather than military use. But, the robot begins to take on human emotions while the owner becomes increasingly more like a robot. (It's from Susan Siedleman, the director of 'Desperately Seeking Susan.')


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 May 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Short Circuit See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,346,808, 11 May 1986

Gross USA:

$40,697,761

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$40,697,761
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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