6.6/10
47,608
97 user 41 critic

Short Circuit (1986)

PG | | Comedy, Family, Sci-Fi | 9 May 1986 (USA)
Number 5 of a group of experimental robots in a lab is electrocuted, suddenly becomes intelligent, and escapes.

Director:

Reviews
Popularity
3,173 ( 118)

Watch Now

From $7.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Number 5 (voice)
Marvin J. McIntyre ...
John Garber ...
Otis
Penny Santon ...
Mrs. Cepeda
Vernon Weddle ...
...
...
Howard Marner's Aide
Fred Slyter ...
Norman
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 | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Life is not a malfunction. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Family | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 May 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cortocircuito  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$40,697,761
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In this film and Short Circuit 2 (1988), Johnny 5's voice is provided by puppeteer Tim Blaney. This casting decision was made due to the director's belief that real-time interaction with the robot prop would make the interaction seem more natural on-screen than if they edited Johnny's voice in during post-production. See more »

Goofs

When the armed men are shooting from the boat dock, the barrel of one of the guns can be seen with something in it. See more »

Quotes

[after Number 5 is seemingly destroyed]
Skroeder: [cheerfully] Now that, my friend, is how you kick ass!
Howard Marner: Years of research are down the tubes, and you're happy as a pig in slops.
Skroeder: [proudly] Just doing my job, sir.
Howard Marner: Maybe from now on you can do it somewhere else.
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 Muppet Babies: ...At the Movies (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Come And Follow Me
(Number 5's Theme from "Short Circuit")
Written by David Shire, Will Jennings and Max Carl
Performed by Max Carl and Marcella Detroit (as Marcy Levy)
Courtesy of MCA Records, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
I Heart Number Five.
19 April 2004 | by See all my reviews

Short Circuit is an off-the-wall comedy about a series of robots made of the military. They sort of resemble Conky from the old Pee Wee's Play House series. One of the robots, 'Number Five', escapes and finds sanctuary in the home of Stephanie Speck (Allly Sheedy), a nice lady with a soft spot for runaways.

Speck becomes good friends with 'Number Five' who begins to take on a lot of human characteristics, transcending the static life of a robot or the hostile life of a military weapon, which is what the robots were designed for.

Speck learns that Number Five's owners are looking for him, but she knows that the military would only destroy Number Five or terminate the emotional drive that he has developed. Number Five's designer, Newton Crosby (Guttenberg) and his silly assistant Ben Jabituya (Stevens), have yet to appreciate what Number Five has achieved, as a shell of wires and controls able to take on human qualities, but, soon, they too will join Speck in the quest to save 'Number Five.'

Some of it is kind of reminscint of other 80s sci-fi movies like 'Batteries Not Included' and 'E.T.'

There's two issues at work in this movie. The first, and obvious one being about the development of human emotion and would it be possible for anything to gain an understanding and appreciation for it? And the second being the ethics of military useage. Plus, it's your standard 80s love and friendship story. Because of the story and the sharp wit comedy and sarcasm, it's makes for good comedy. I haven't seen the sequel in a long time, but I do remember enjoying it almost as much as the first. I think that's because 'Number Five' is such a funny, loveable robot.

If you like the theme of this movie, I recommend seeing the hilarious comedy, 'Making Mr. Right,' which is about a robot designed for space exploration rather than military use. But, the robot begins to take on human emotions while the owner becomes increasingly more like a robot. (It's from Susan Siedleman, the director of 'Desperately Seeking Susan.')


18 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?
Review this title | See all 97 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Best of 2017: Our Favorite Movie and TV Stills

Take a look at our favorite movie and TV stills from the past year. Spot any of your faves?

Browse the Best of 2017