Real Genius (1985)

PG | 105 mins | Comedy | 7 August 1985

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HISTORY

       According to the 11 May 1983 Var, ABC Motion Pictures included Real Genius as one of the twenty-plus projects they had in development. However, the 12 Jul 1984 DV reported that Tri-Star Pictures was producing the $8 million project.
       Filming began on 12 Nov 1984 in Los Angeles, CA, according to the 18 Dec 1984 HR. However, the 21 Nov 1984 Var announced that principal photography began that day.
       The film’s final sequence was filmed in Canyon Country, CA, where filmmakers constructed a house and filled it with 190,000 pounds of popcorn kernels, according to the 5 Feb 1985 HR. Oversized hot air pumps were used to pop the corn, which literally raised the roof off the house.
       The Oct 1985 Box reported the picture grossed $3.5 million after five days in theaters. Despite low box-office earnings, the 9 Aug 1985 LAWeekly film review deemed the picture “precocious and classy with a conscience.”
      End credits include the following acknowledgments: “Thanks to Sir-Tech for “Wizardry”; Thanks to Hewlitt-Packard for personal computers; Thanks to Apple Computers; Special Thanks to Lapidus Popcorn, Inc.; Filmed at Hollywood Center Studios, Hollywood, ... More Less

       According to the 11 May 1983 Var, ABC Motion Pictures included Real Genius as one of the twenty-plus projects they had in development. However, the 12 Jul 1984 DV reported that Tri-Star Pictures was producing the $8 million project.
       Filming began on 12 Nov 1984 in Los Angeles, CA, according to the 18 Dec 1984 HR. However, the 21 Nov 1984 Var announced that principal photography began that day.
       The film’s final sequence was filmed in Canyon Country, CA, where filmmakers constructed a house and filled it with 190,000 pounds of popcorn kernels, according to the 5 Feb 1985 HR. Oversized hot air pumps were used to pop the corn, which literally raised the roof off the house.
       The Oct 1985 Box reported the picture grossed $3.5 million after five days in theaters. Despite low box-office earnings, the 9 Aug 1985 LAWeekly film review deemed the picture “precocious and classy with a conscience.”
      End credits include the following acknowledgments: “Thanks to Sir-Tech for “Wizardry”; Thanks to Hewlitt-Packard for personal computers; Thanks to Apple Computers; Special Thanks to Lapidus Popcorn, Inc.; Filmed at Hollywood Center Studios, Hollywood, California.”
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
Oct 1985.
---
Daily Variety
12 Jul 1984.
---
Daily Variety
10 Jan 1985
p. 15, 56.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Dec 1984.
---
Hollywood Reporter
5 Feb 1985.
---
Hollywood Reporter
5 Aug 1985
p. 3, 13.
LA Weekly
9 Aug 1985.
---
Los Angeles Times
8 Aug 1985
p. 7.
New York Times
7 Aug 1985
p. 13.
Variety
11 May 1983
p. 4, 48.
Variety
21 Nov 1984.
---
Variety
7 Aug 1985
p. 18.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Tri-Star Pictures Presents
A Brian Grazer Production
A Martha Coolidge Film
From Tri-Star-Delphi III Productions
A Tri-Star Release
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
Scr
Story
Story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
2d unit dir of photog
Elec gaffer
Elec best boy
Key grip
2d grip
Still photog
Video coord
Video supv
Elec
Elec
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Illustrator
FILM EDITORS
Addl ed
1st asst film ed
2d asst film ed
Apprentice film ed
Apprentice film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set des
Set des
Prop master
Asst prop master
Asst prop master
Set dresser
Const coord
Computer provided by
Computer anim by the
Green's coord
Const general foreman
Const timekeeper
Labor foreman
Labor foreman
Paint foreman
COSTUMES
Cost supv
Cost supv
Cost supv
MUSIC
Mus supv
Mus supv
Mus ed
Asst mus ed
Mus coord
SOUND
Supv sd ed
Sd des by
Sd ed
Supv ADR ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Addl sd eff
Addl sd eff
Foley by
Foley walker
Foley walker
Foley walker
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Post prod sd by
Sd mixer
Rec consultant
Cableman
Dolby Stereo consultant
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff coord
Spec eff crew
Spec eff crew
Spec eff crew
Spec eff crew
Spec eff crew
Opticals by
Title des
Spec visual eff by, Universal City Studios' Matte
Spec visual eff by, Universal City Studios' Matte
Laser tech des by
Outdoor spec laser eff by
Visual eff supv
Visual eff supv
Visual eff crew
Visual eff crew
Visual eff crew
Visual eff crew
Addl eff by
Lasers provided by
Lasers provided by
Laser capacitors provided by
Spec eff
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Voice casting by
Scr supv
Asst to Brian Grazer
Asst to Martha Coolidge
Asst to Robert Daley
Prod coord
Loc mgr
Prod accountant
Asst prod accountant
Unit pub
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Transportation capt
Dial coach
Extra casting by
Craft service
Military consultant
Laser tech adv
Asst laser tech adv
Independent tech consultant
Tech consultant to Ms. Coolidge
Tech consultant
Hacking consultant
Researcher
AFI intern
Space/Media consultant
Casting assoc
Casting coord
First aid
Const first aid
STAND INS
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunt coord
COLOR PERSONNEL
In
Col
SOURCES
SONGS
“You Took Advantage Of Me,” performed by Carmen McRae, courtesy of MCA Records
“The Tuff Do What?” performed by Tonio K, courtesy of Tonio K and Visual Music Productions
“Summertime Girls,” performed by Y&T, courtesy of A&M Records
+
SONGS
“You Took Advantage Of Me,” performed by Carmen McRae, courtesy of MCA Records
“The Tuff Do What?” performed by Tonio K, courtesy of Tonio K and Visual Music Productions
“Summertime Girls,” performed by Y&T, courtesy of A&M Records
“The Pleasure Seekers,” performed by The System, courtesy of Mirage Records, by arrangement with Warner Special Products
“The Walls Come Down,” performed by The Call, courtesy of Polygram Records, Inc.
“I’m Falling,” performed by The C.S. Angels, courtesy of Jive Records
“All She Wants To Do Is Dance,” performed by Don Henley, courtesy of Geffen Records, by arrangement with Warner Special Products
“One Night Love Affair,” performed by Bryan Adams, courtesy of A&M Records
“Number One,” performed by Chaz Jankel, courtesy of A&M Records
“You’re The Only Love, performed by Paul Hyde and the Payolas, courtesy of A&M Records
“Standing In Line,” performed by The Textones, courtesy of Gold Mountain/A&M Records
“Everybody Wants To Rule The World,” performed by Tears For Fears, courtesy of Phonogram, Limited.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
7 August 1985
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 7 August 1985
New York opening: week of 7 August 1985
Production Date:
began November 1984
Copyright Claimant:
Tri-Star Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
12 May 1986
Copyright Number:
PA297738
Physical Properties:
Sound
Recorded in Dolby Stereo® in selected theaters
Color
Lenses
Lenses and Panaflex® camera by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
105
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
27560
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

A group of men discuss the development of a laser beam weapon capable of shooting targets from outer space, deemed the “crossbow project.” Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agent, Dave Decker, demands the top secret weapon be ready for use within four months, and Major Don Carnagle promises to put pressure on the developing scientist, Dr. Jerry Hathaway, to perfect the laser. An agent named George is concerned that the President of the United States is unaware of the unethical project, and asks to be reassigned. Decker remarks that he will need to be “liberated” from the project. Elsewhere, Dr. Hathaway arrives at a high school science fair to deliver the news to fifteen-year-old Mitch Taylor that he has been accepted at Pacific Tech college. The awkward boy is teamed with senior, Chris Knight, a fellow genius, who will be Mitch’s mentor. Fun-loving Chris skips his classes, and orchestrates an indoor ice-skating rink in the halls of their dormitory. Mitch and Chris work on Dr. Hathaway’s laser beam project, and Mitch is given a leadership role, much to the chagrin of classmate, Kent. Mitch is curious about a mysterious former student, Lazlo Hollyfeld, who disappears into Mitch’s closet several times a day. Upon exploration, he finds a trap door inside the closet, which leads to Lazlo’s secret underground laboratory. Sometime later, Chris is ordered by Dr. Hathaway to produce results faster, but Chris ignores him, and takes Mitch to a swimming party instead of working. At the party, Mitch begins to have feelings for awkward co-ed classmate, Jordan. Kent spies on the boys, and reports their truancy to Dr. ... +


A group of men discuss the development of a laser beam weapon capable of shooting targets from outer space, deemed the “crossbow project.” Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agent, Dave Decker, demands the top secret weapon be ready for use within four months, and Major Don Carnagle promises to put pressure on the developing scientist, Dr. Jerry Hathaway, to perfect the laser. An agent named George is concerned that the President of the United States is unaware of the unethical project, and asks to be reassigned. Decker remarks that he will need to be “liberated” from the project. Elsewhere, Dr. Hathaway arrives at a high school science fair to deliver the news to fifteen-year-old Mitch Taylor that he has been accepted at Pacific Tech college. The awkward boy is teamed with senior, Chris Knight, a fellow genius, who will be Mitch’s mentor. Fun-loving Chris skips his classes, and orchestrates an indoor ice-skating rink in the halls of their dormitory. Mitch and Chris work on Dr. Hathaway’s laser beam project, and Mitch is given a leadership role, much to the chagrin of classmate, Kent. Mitch is curious about a mysterious former student, Lazlo Hollyfeld, who disappears into Mitch’s closet several times a day. Upon exploration, he finds a trap door inside the closet, which leads to Lazlo’s secret underground laboratory. Sometime later, Chris is ordered by Dr. Hathaway to produce results faster, but Chris ignores him, and takes Mitch to a swimming party instead of working. At the party, Mitch begins to have feelings for awkward co-ed classmate, Jordan. Kent spies on the boys, and reports their truancy to Dr. Hathaway, who arrives and scolds Mitch. Embarrassed, Mitch telephones his parents, begging to come home, and Kent records the conversation, later replaying it over loudspeakers in the crowded cafeteria. Chris encourages Mitch to have fun at school, and seek revenge on Kent. With the help of Chris and Jordan, Mitch takes apart Kent’s automobile, and rebuilds it inside of Kent’s dorm room. Sometime later, Chris visits Dr. Hathaway at his home, and sees Agent Decker and Major Don Carnagle leaving. Chris inquires about the men, but Dr. Hathaway ignores him. Under pressure from Decker to perfect the laser, Dr. Hathaway dismisses Chris from the project, and warns that he will not receive a diploma. Mitch encourages Chris to get even, and they continue their own laser experiments. In time, Mitch admits his feelings to Jordan, and kisses her. Kent sabotages Chris’s work; however, the mishap leads Chris to a discovery about the Dr. Hathaway’s laser project. Chris successfully demonstrates his theory, and Dr. Hathaway promises to grant him a diploma. When the peculiar former student, Lazlo Hollyfeld, approaches Chris with his thoughts that Dr. Hathaway’s laser is meant to be used as a weapon, Chris and his friends race to retrieve the machine from the laboratory, but find it missing. They trick Kent into revealing the whereabouts of the laser, and follow Dr. Hathaway to a classified meeting at Marsh Air Force base, using disguises to get on site. The friends work together to recalibrate the coordinates of the machine. The following morning, the Air Force sends the laser into outer space to conduct a test on its beam strength, and creates a target in the desert. However, Chris, Mitch, and friends wait outside Dr. Hathaway’s home, which they have recalibrated as the target. Inside, they have filled his living room with un-popped popcorn kernels. Kent arrives and enters the house, ignoring his rivals’ warnings. When the laser beam is activated, it hits the house, and pops the kernels, blowing out the doors and windows, and lifting the roof. After it launches, the laser self-destructs, due to Chris and Mitch’s sabotage. At the control center, Dr. Hathaway tracks where the laser beam landed, and discovers that his home was the target. He returns to find his house destroyed, and his yard covered in popcorn. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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