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

Director:

John Badham
Reviews
Popularity
2,566 ( 236)
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

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
Edit

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:

Something wonderful has happened... Number Five is alive! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Family | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

When the dance sequence was filmed, John Badham danced with Ally Sheedy as they talked through and rehearsed the scene which Johnny 5 dances with Stephanie to "More Than a Woman" by The Bee Gees. The song was featured in Saturday Night Fever (1977), which was also directed by Badham. See more »

Goofs

When Number 5 is driving and listening to the radio, we see the first radio station that he listens to, that is carrying a horse race, is at frequency 94.1. After changing the settings 2 times, he stops at a radio station that is playing music, but the frequency is back to 94.1. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Number 4: Enemy neutralized. Ladies and gentlemen, objective completed.
See more »

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

Referenced in American Dad!: My Morning Straitjacket (2009) 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
See more »

User Reviews

 
Underrated
25 July 2005 | by simonperera2000See all my reviews

I'm sorry, I can't see why this film has been given such a low rating. This film is wonderfully life-affirming through the character of robot Jonny 5 (the scene where he realises what it means to be alive through crushing a grass hopper is beautifully portrayed), Ally Sheedy brings a bucket load of positive energy to the character of the naive but loving Stephanie, and to top it all there is a subtle but powerful comment on American militarism. There is a real emphasis on quality screen writing here which only comes through on a small ratio of films. The characters could easily have become 2 dimensional stereotypes, but instead given some interesting dialogue and motives (science, military etc). Yes it is cheesy, and I think many people label it as a cheap and tacky 80's movie, but having watched it again recently I think history may well judge it a minor classic.


120 of 133 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 120 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

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 »

Edit

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
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed