Short Circuit – Read Along Story book (1986) – Number 5 stars with Ally Sheedy, Steve Guttenberg and Fisher Stevens in Short Circuit, in this book and tape version of the movie other actors play the famous roles. Plot: 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.
Cast of the full movie version included…
Ally Sheedy as Stephanie Speck, who befriends Johnny Five
Steve Guttenberg as Newton Crosby, Ph.D., the designer of the prototypes
Fisher Stevens as Ben Jabituya, Newton’s assistant (in Short Circuit 2 his name is Benjamin Jahrvi)
Austin Pendleton as Dr. Howard Marner, President of Nova Robotics
G. W. Bailey as Captain Skroeder
Tim Blaney as Number 5 / Johnny Five / Number Johnny 5 (voice)
Brian McNamara as Frank, Stephanie’s abusive ex-boyfriend
Marvin J. McIntyre as Duke, one of Nova’s security officers
John Garber as Otis
Penny Santon as Mrs. Cepeda, Stephanie’s housekeeper
Vernon Weddle as General Washburne
Barbara Tarbuck as Senator Mills
John Badham as Cameraman (uncredited)
The film received mixed to positive reviews from critics. It currently holds a 57% rating on Rotten Tomatoes with the consensus: “Amiable and good-natured but also shallow and predictable, Short Circuit is hardly as deep or emotionally resonant as E.T. — though Johnny Five makes for a charming robot protagonist.” Trade paper Variety wrote, “Short Circuit is a hip, sexless sci-fi sendup” and praised the writers “for some terrific dialog that would have been a lot less disarming if not for the winsome robot and Sheedy’s affection for it. Guttenberg plays his best goofy self.” In The New York Times, Vincent Canby wrote, “The movie, which has the clean, well-scrubbed look of an old Disney comedy, is nicely acted”. The Sun-Sentinel gave a good review, saying, “Number Five is the real star of this energetic film. Sheedy, Guttenberg and company are just supporting players.” Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times rated it 1.5 out of 4 four stars and called it “too cute for its own good”.
Short Circuit debuted at No. 1 in the US box office. It grossed a total of $40,697,761, ranking it 21st for 1986 in the United States; it performed slightly better than other 1986 hits like Pretty in Pink, The Fly, Three Amigos, Little Shop Of Horrors and About Last Night.
► Director: John Badham
► Writers: S.S. Wilson, Brent Maddock
★ Major confusion occurred in India among fans when Hollywood movie Short Circuit was released in 1986. Many people who had seen the film thought that Fisher Stevens ( Who played the part of an Indian) was actually Bollywood actor Javed Jaffrey. This was due to Javed being a spitting image of Fisher Stevens, with his beard and round eye glasses. Javed had just had his first release Mere Jung. In the film, he sported round eye glasses and a beard. When Short Circuit released in India, many thought Javed had acted in a Hollywood movie. It was only after Javed confirmed in interviews that another actor starred in that film that people finally knew the truth.
★ There was a script for a possible third Short Circuit movie written in 1989 and rewritten in 1990, but it was found to be unsatisfactory by the producers, and the project was subsequently scrapped. According to Variety magazine in April of 2008, Dimension Films had bought the rights to make a third Short Circuit movie, in which the plot would involve a boy from a broken family meeting and befriending Number 5. It remains unclear however if this movie will be a sequel to the first two movies, or a remake of this movie.
★ Director Cameo: John Badham plays the news cameraman when the reporters arrive at Stephanie’s doorstep.
★ In this film and Short Circuit 2 (1988), Johnny 5’s voice is provided by puppeteer Tim Blaney. This casting decision was made due to the director’s belief that real-time interaction with the robot prop would make the interaction seem more natural on-screen than if they edited Johnny’s voice in during post-production.
#ShortCircuit #number5 #nova