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Real Genius

Director: Martha Coolidge Run Time: 108 min. Format: 35mm Rating: PG Release Year: 1985

Starring: Gabriel Jarret, Michelle Meyrink, Val Kilmer

Never try to outsmart a REAL GENIUS. A 35mm presentation!

When a teenaged prodigy steps onto the prestigious campus of Pacific Tech, he’s partnered up with the school’s living legend: Chris Knight (Val Kilmer), a super-genius whose time at school has turned him into a world class slacker. The college’s resident jerk professor (William Atherton, naturally) plops the two of them onto a secret laser project, kicks back and lets the kids do all the work for him. Little does Chris and his gaggle of geeks know, the laser project is actually an undercover weapons project for the CIA.

Director Martha Coolidge first broke ground as a filmmaker in the New York documentary scene before moving to California to rub elbows with the Coppola clan at Zoetrope. She broke big when she took a sleazy teen exploitation script and flipped it into the fun and heartfelt Valley Girl. Before making Real Genius, Coolidge spent time rubbing elbows with actual eggheads at Caltech, and rewrote the script based off of her experiences. 

Part of Nitehawk’s September SHE MADE IT brunch, midnite, and special event series.