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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
4,717 ( 245)
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 | Plot 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:

Real Genius See more »

Filming Locations:

Claremont, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,557,180, 11 August 1985

Gross USA:

$12,952,019

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$12,952,019
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

Credited actor Michael Backes is the husband of the director, Martha Coolidge. See more »

Goofs

In the end credits, the name of the Hewlett-Packard company is misspelled as "Hewlitt-Packard". See more »

Quotes

Chris Knight: As you know, Mitch and I were working on the cyanide system. Well, earlier today it ate itself. But, these little set-backs are just what we need to take a giant step forward. Right, Kent? Needless to say, I was a little despondent about the melt down, but then, in the midst of my preparations for hari kiri, it came to me. It is possible to synthesize excited bromide in an argon matrix. Yes, it's an excimer frozen in its excited state.
Bodie: Th... That's impossible.
Chris Knight: It's a chemical laser but in solid...
See more »

Alternate Versions

An edited version of Real Genius has appeared on American television. Some of the language has been altered, for instance "penis" to "pinkie", "bastard" to "bonehead", and "Jesus" to "God". Also, instead of the children playing in the popcorn as the final credits roll, we see a long-distance high-angle shot of the Professor's house as he comes home and discovers the popcorn. See more »

Connections

References The Great Race (1965) See more »

Soundtracks

Summertime Girls
Performed by Y&T
Courtesy of A&M Records
See more »

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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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