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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
4,472 ( 570)
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:

When he gets mad, he doesn't get even... he gets creative. 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

When Mitch rides the cart into the steam tunnels, the viewer briefly sees the quotation, "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" scrawled on the left wall. These are a translation of a quotation from the German poet Friedrich Schiller: "Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens." Relevant to the film, Isaac Asimov wrote a science fiction novel, _The Gods Themselves_, originally published in three parts as "Against Stupidity...", "... The Gods Themselves ...", and "... Contend in Vain?" The 1972 novel was about a conspiracy by aliens who inhabit a parallel universe with different physical laws than ours, and who are trying to turn our Sun into a supernova in order to collect the resulting energy for their use. See more »

Goofs

The laser that Knight finally gets to work supposedly works at 600 nanometers. Unfortunately, that would make it an orange laser, not a violet one as shown in the film (which would have a wavelength closer to 400 nanometers). See more »

Quotes

Darlington Recruiter: You *are* Chris Knight, aren't you?
Chris Knight: I hope so. I'm wearing his underwear.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In one pan-and-scan version, when Jordan looks through the hole the laser made through a tree, the camera stays on her while another pan-and-scan version cuts aside to Chris for his line and to catch him turning his head when she says, "Look!" See more »

Connections

Referenced in Twister (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

All She Wants to Do Is Dance
Written by Danny Kortchmar
Performed by Don Henley
Courtesy of Geffen Records
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

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User Reviews

The Real Genius is the writers...
3 September 1998 | by GislefSee all my reviews

This movie is an incredible display of verbal byplay, interplay, and foreplay, and Pat Proft (of Naked Gun and Hot Shots fame) writes some of the funniest dialogue ever. But give credit to Val Kilmer: he hits every line perfectly (see lots and lots of Quotes). Even the minor characters get their moment in the spotlight, and the plot isn't dumbed down for the audience. If this isn't what happens at M.I.T. and similar institutes, you wish it did...and that you could sign up. Only Gabriel Jarrett comes across as a bit weak, but the rest of the cast bolsters him up.


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