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Martha Coolidge directed this comedy taking place at Cal Tech, concerning incoming freshman Mitch (Gabe Jarret), a high school student whose Science Fair project made important inroads into laser beam technology. Mitch has been recruited by famed physics professor Hathaway (William Atherton), who asks Mitch to work in his laboratory.
On campus, Mitch becomes roommates with the brilliant Chris Knight (Val Kilmer), legendary as the smartest freshman in the history of the college but now, as a junior, he is less interested in his studies and more interested in having fun.
It turns out that Hathaway is enlisting his students, unbeknownst to them, as a slave labor force to do research in developing a state-of-the-art laser device for the Defense Department (he uses his government grant funds to build a house). But Chris and Mitch begin to suspect that something is amiss with Hathaway's project.