Flash Of Genius Review

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The 1950s inventor of the intermittent windscreen wiper has it stolen by Ford Motors and takes the matter to the courts.


Big business clambers back onto the courtroom stand in this likable true-life tale of an inventor’s long battle against the Ford Motor Company. Robert Kearns (Greg Kinnear) is an engineering professor and basement tinkerer in ’50s Detroit, whose eureka moment yields the intermittent windscreen wiper. When he attempts to sell the device to Ford, the motor giant steals his patent, sparking a long and destructive lawsuit.

Set against a convincing Motown backdrop, Kinnear — a flurry of absent-minded agitation and savant zeal — is outstanding. Lauren Graham also impresses as his marginalised wife, and there’s a fabulous, spiky Alan Alda cameo.

Superb performances from the leads and charming period detail makes this engaging and watchable.