7.0/10
27,914
138 user 53 critic

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 »
Reviews
Popularity
4,269 ( 215)

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ON DISC
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 | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's yet another in a long series of diversions in an attempt to avoid responsibility. 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)

Gross USA:

$13,000,000
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

In their research for the movie, producer Brian Grazer and director Martha Coolidge were not surprised to discover that the term "genius" applies, as well, to a genius for mischief. Coolidge said: "Some of the most inspired practical jokers on college campuses are in the advanced science programs. They see a situation which seems perfectly normal and ask themselves, 'What's the funniest, most amazing thing I can do to turn this situation upside down?'. It's not just high spirits, but a release, a kind of safety valve, against the tremendous academic pressure they're under. It became the basis for a lot of the story's humor". See more »

Goofs

Chris' earmuffs appear and disappear in the ice skating scene. See more »

Quotes

Chris Knight: Look at it this way. Considering the type of people you are and the environment you're in, you have to admit the strong possibility this may be the only chance you ever have in your entire lives... to have sex.
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Alternate Versions

The UK theatrical and video versions were censored for a 15 certificate:
  • The line, "Can you hammer a six-inch nail through a board with your penis?" was removed.
The 2002 DVD is uncut. See more »

Connections

References Sleeper (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Standing in Line
Performed by The Textones
Courtesy of Gold Mountain / A&M Records
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User Reviews

 
Terrific nostalgia trip down 80s memory lane - loved it!
13 November 2005 | by heisenberg83See all my reviews

Had very fond memories of this film as a kid in the 80s. Still holds up even today. DVD widescreen format shows off how well directed this movie is. Val Kilmer is terrific as the genius slacker hero. The whole cast gel well together, and the dialogue is very sharp and well-written (reminded me of TV show Scrubs in places). Had me laughing out loud in many places - rare for a modern version like American Pie. Lots of tasty 80s musical montages scattered throughout. Something really likable and positive about this movie, leaves you feeling really good at the end. Highly recommended - really hasn't dated at all. An enjoyable trip down 80s memory lane!


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