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Flash of Genius: The Windshield Wiper Drama You've Been Waiting For!

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Yeah, I checked, and it's not April 1st...

Flash of Genius: The Windshield Wiper Drama You've Been Waiting For


Date posted: 09-08-2008

HOLLYWOOD, California — What could be the best car movie of 2008 doesn't have a single action sequence in it and centers around the invention of intermittent windshield wipers. Swear to God.

Opening October 3 will be Flash of Genius starring Greg Kinnear as Dr. Robert Kearns, the Detroit-area college professor who invented intermittent wipers and received his first patent on the design back in 1967. He spent virtually the rest of his life fighting Ford, Chrysler and other automakers to get them to recognize his patent and honor it. Lauren Graham from TV's Gilmore Girls co-stars with support coming from Dermot Mulroney and Alan Alda. The film's first-time director is Marc Abraham working from a script written by Philip Railsback.

Flash of Genius is coming from NBC Universal, the same studio that has produced all the Fast & the Furious films, but this one is about one obsessed man's solitary struggle against long odds — not hijacking fuel trucks. In short, it's total Oscar bait for Greg Kinnear. And based on the trailer, it looks good. And it's set in Detroit in the '70s. Who doesn't want to relive that time and place?

What this means to you: Not all car movies are action films. This one could be the next Tucker. — John Pearley Huffman, Correspondent

Trailer here, with a dramatic voiceover from the BMW announcer person: http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/News/articleId=131772 :lol:

"Don't do it, dad!"

Edited by empowah
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Was the impetus to give the convenience to motorists? If so, that was accomplished.

Was the impetus to get millions in compensation? If so, that was offered (don't know from the trailer if that was accepted).

Or was the impetus to get an ego-stroke of fame as an inventor?

What's wrong is wrong, but without knowing the specifics and legalities at this point, this comes off as just another 'Big Nasty Evil Corporation Greedily Tromps On One Innocent Man' - a story we've all heard literally about a million times already. It just doesn't play anymore.

I can tell you this: I'd happily accept $30M and go about my life and allow Ford to claim it- after all, everyone who works directly for Ford and invents features does the same for relative pennies.

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You know they must've considered "Intermittent Genius' as a title...

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>>"You can trace many of today's failures back to sources like this man's story."<<

I prefer to "trace many of today's failures" right back to all the parents of the men who started all these car companies at the turn of the 20th Century. If only they had abstained that day/night, instead of givig birth to all the suffering, hardship and gut-wrenching embarassment all the future generations have had to endure ever since. But you're correct; the IntermittentGate IS one of the many twisted roots of The Decline & Fall of the American Auto Industry, and likely the reason the Volt isn't on it's 16th gen version since being introduced in '75.

Edited by balthazar
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I like that Ford in the pic, is it a Ford Galaxie 500, or the cheaper model with less chrome, the Ford Custom 500? Anyone know?

Probably a Galaxie or LTD, since it has the hood ornament.

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Moltie is right- Hood ornament denotes Galaxie 500 / Galaxie 500XL / Galaxie 500 LTD, so does the rear horizontal chrome trim on the decklid. Custom & Custom 500s didn't have this trim.

G500 XL & G500 LTD exterior differences must be extremely minor from the G500 beyond badging; my source doesn't list any (all seem to be interior differences).

Movie car is a '65 Galaxie 500, because there were no 4-dr sedans in the XL or LTD series. 54A 4-dr sedan production: 171,886.

Edited by balthazar
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I found some old pics/drawings of a Ford Custom 500, I like it a little better than the Galaxie 500, I think it's because it has less chrome. I also like the round taillights better, the Galaxie's were more rectangled in shape. I like how they were showing off the seatbelts at that time.




Edited by Pontiac Custom-S
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