Based on the true story of college professor and part-time inventor Robert Kearns' long battle with the U.S. automobile industry, Flash of Genius tells the tale of one man whose fight to receive recognition for his ingenuity would come at a heavy price. But this determined engineer refused to be silenced, and he took on the corporate titans in a battle that nobody thought he could win. The Kearns were a typical 1960s Detroit family, trying to live their version of the American Dream. Local university professor Bob married teacher Phyllis and, by their mid-thirties, had six kids who brought them a hectic but satisfying Midwestern existence. When Bob invents a device that would eventually be used by every car in the world, the Kearns think they have struck gold. But their aspirations are dashed after the auto giants who embraced Bob's creation unceremoniously shunned the man who invented it. Ignored, threatened and then buried in years of litigation, Bob is haunted by what was done to ...Written by
Marc Abraham submitted numerous revisions to the screenplay to Universal Studios chief Stacey Snider who repeatedly told him that the reason the script was a hard sell was because the character of Kearns was not likeable. Abraham stuck to his guns however, insisting that this made it more realistic (and having worked alongside the real Kearns for many years, he knew his subject). When Universal underwent a management change, his project finally received the greenlight. See more »
The 1969 Lincoln Mark III he drives to Ford, with the invention installed, had variable-speed hydraulic wiper motors running off the power steering pump. They were used on Mark IIIs and Thunderbirds because Mercedes used them, and they were very quiet. It wasn't until the 1972 models that they had electric intermittent wipers on them. See more »
Whatever happened to this little thing called justice we talked about?
This is justice, Bob. This is how justice is dispensed in this country - with checkbooks. There are no brass bands, you know, there are no ticker tape parades, the mayor doesn't give you the key to the city and call you a hero. You get a check, and that check makes the lives of you and your family a little easier... a little more pleasant. It's that simple.
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Following his verdict over Ford, Bob received $18.7 million from the Chrysler Corporation. See more »
I cherish this movie; a lot of this is for personal reasons. The film is well done; Greg Kinnear really impressed me with this and little miss sunshine.
I am a sales guy who sells to big companies. I recently gave ford a free education in a service we offer, and it took so much evangalizing, repetition, re-explanation and hitting them over the head. I was astonished that a business this big didn't have smarter people.
Then, when we gave them our price and offer, they said "no thanks were going to build this in house rather than use you".........I felt a visceral connections to Bob Kearns.
Suddenly, Ford is an expert on this. I would talk to anyone who would listen, and I put my blood into helping them improve their business. I have a new opinion of the buying and technology that Ford uses to run its operations. One of the reasons they might be the "least screwed up" of the auto makers" is their soul-less way of getting companies on their knees, and then kicking them down when you cry "uncle" for them.
Sorry for blabbing. It just hurts to know we really wanted to help them , and help us make a buck in the process. And we were treated like dogs.
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