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Running Time:
1 hour, 59 minutes

Rating: PG-13 Parents Strongly Cautioned.

Rating Explanation:
for brief strong language.

Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review:
A sentimental but remarkably interesting saga of one little man's victory over a corporate giant.

Additional Info:
DVD Features: Deleted scenes with commentary by director Marc Abraham; Feature commentary with director Marc Abraham.

Robert Kearns ... Greg Kinnear
Phyllis Kearns ... Lauren Graham
Gil Privick ... Dermot Mulroney
Dennis Kearns ... Jake Abel
Frank Sertin ... Daniel Roebuck
Charles Defao ... Tim Kelleher
Judge Franks ... Bill Smitrovich
Gregory Lawson ... Alan Alda

Flash of Genius
The movie is based on the true story of  Robert Kearns  (Greg Kinnear "Little Miss Sunshine"), a middle-class Detroit teacher, basement tinkerer and Catholic father of a large family, and his endless fight to receive recognition for his invention of the intermittent windshield wiper system.

After presenting his invention to the Ford Motor Company and receiving a sufficient commitment to open a factory to move ahead with a prototype, the auto giant cuts him off. His wife Phyllis (Lauren Graham "Evan Almighty") and key business partner Gil (Dermot Mulroney "The Wedding Date") support his sense of outrage for a while, but it leads to many years during which Ford throws every conceivable legal roadblock in his way. The stealing of the invention takes a huge toll on Kearns, his wife and family which leads to a courtroom battle that brings the little guy up against the corporate giant.  

Adding to his troubles is a less that trustworthy attorney played by Alan Alda (The Aviator") and as Kearns slowly dicovers that he is alone in his quest, although he is looking for little except recognition, he ends up representing himself. The trial is unavoidably compelling at times, but the story simply doesn't take on any added weight or meaning that extend beyond the specifics of this particular case. And any lessons to be learned are simply to stick to your guns, stand up for yourself, and fight the big bad corporation. Little attention is paid to the ironic consequences of this stand or the effect on the lives of those involved.

Flash of Genius,
directed by Marc Abraham {"Children of Men") is a sentimental but remarkably interesting little movie, but there is one amusing detail that is so bizarre that it deserves mention. Even after years of fighting the company, as the film ends Kearns is still driving a Ford. What can you make of that little revelation?

Flash of Genius with Greg Kinnear: DVD Cover

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