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Short Circuit

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)

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


Brian McNamara


Tim Blaney

Number 5


Marvin J. McIntyre


John Garber


Penny Santon

Mrs. Cepeda

Vernon Weddle

General Washburne

Barbara Tarbuck

Senator Mills

Tom Lawrence

Howard Marner's Aide

Fred Slyter


Billy Ray Sharkey


Something wonderful has happened… Number Five is alive!

Release Date: 9 May 1986

Filming Locations: Astoria, Oregon, USA

Gross: $40,697,761

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.