Short Circuit

May 9th, 1986


Short Circuit

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Still of Ally Sheedy in Short CircuitStill of Steve Guttenberg and Ally Sheedy in Short Circuit

Number 5 of a group of experimental robots in a lab is electrocuted, suddenly becomes intelligent, and escapes.

Release Year: 1986

Rating: 6.3/10 (21,154 voted)

Director: John Badham

Stars: Ally Sheedy, Steve Guttenberg, Fisher Stevens

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.

Writers: S.S. Wilson, Brent Maddock

Ally Sheedy - Stephanie Speck
Steve Guttenberg - Newton Crosby
Fisher Stevens - Ben Jabituya
Austin Pendleton - Howard Marner
G.W. Bailey - Skroeder
Brian McNamara - Frank
Tim Blaney - Number 5 (voice)
Marvin J. McIntyre - Duke
John Garber - Otis
Penny Santon - Mrs. Cepeda
Vernon Weddle - General Washburne
Barbara Tarbuck - Senator Mills
Tom Lawrence - Howard Marner's Aide
Fred Slyter - Norman
Billy Ray Sharkey - Zack

Taglines: Something wonderful has happened... Number Five is alive!

Release Date: 9 May 1986

Filming Locations: Astoria, Oregon, USA

Gross: $40,697,761 (USA)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Number 5's full designation is "SAINT Number 5". The acronym SAINT stands for "Strategic Artificially-Intelligent Nuclear Transport".

Audio/visual unsynchronized: When Crosby manipulates the robot arm to play the keyboard, the keys the robot fingers are pressing do not correspond to the notes that we hear.

Number 5: Many fragments. Some large, some small.

User Review


Rating: 9/10

I'm sorry, I can't see why this film has been given such a low rating. This film is wonderfully life-affirming through the character of robot Jonny 5 (the scene where he realises what it means to be alive through crushing a grass hopper is beautifully portrayed), Ally Sheedy brings a bucket load of positive energy to the character of the naive but loving Stephanie, and to top it all there is a subtle but powerful comment on American militarism. There is a real emphasis on quality screen writing here which only comes through on a small ratio of films. The characters could easily have become 2 dimensional stereotypes, but instead given some interesting dialogue and motives (science, military etc). Yes it is cheesy, and I think many people label it as a cheap and tacky 80's movie, but having watched it again recently I think history may well judge it a minor classic.


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