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Real Genius (1985)

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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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2,616 ( 1,149)
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:

Who ELSE can turn lasers into light shows, aircraft into armchairs, and high-tech into hijinks? 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

Producer Brian Grazer said that this movie was about the "mystery" of genius which led him to conceive the project: "To me a genius is someone who can do something magical, like solve a complex problem in his head while I'm still trying to figure out the question. I don't pretend to understand it, but the results are everywhere around us. We work, travel, amuse ourselves and enhance the quality of life through technology, all of which traces back to what was once an abstract idea in the mind of some genius." See more »

Goofs

Kent picks up popcorn off the floor and eats a piece, exclaiming, "Popcorn!" In addition to it very obviously appearing to be popcorn, people with braces (as Kent has) are not allowed to eat popcorn as it can damage the wiring. Kent, being an obvious stickler for rules, would know this. 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

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

Spoofed in Pixels (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

The Tuff Do What?
Written by Tonio K.
Performed by Tonio K.
Courtesy of Tonio K. and Visual Music Productions
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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