Flash of Genius

Flash of Genius

Sloan Foundation Film

Release Date



  • Marc Abraham


  • Greg Kinnear
  • Lauren Graham
  • Alan Alda


  • Hamptons International Film Festival, 2008

Robert Kearns takes on the Detroit automakers who he claims stole his idea for the intermittent windshield wiper.

Based on a true story, Flash of Genius centers around college professor and part-time inventor Robert Kearns (Greg Kinnear), who battled with the powerful US automobile industry for decades to prove they had stolen his idea for intermittent windshield wipers, still used in cars around the world. The fight to receive recognition for his ingenuity would come at a heavy price. But this determined engineer refused to be silenced.

Possible Topics

  • The personal roots of invention and the difficulties that can arise when turning the individual "flash" of discovery into a widespread technological innovation
  • Unknown geniuses behind some of the world’s most useful inventions