Charlie Gordon is mentally handicapped and all he wants in life is to be a genius. When he gets picked for experimental surgery it looks like his dream may finally come true. But the ... See full summary »
After a successful experiment on Algernon, a mouse whose level of intelligence thanks to that procedure dramatically increased, the scientists decided to go further - the next "guinea pig" ... See full summary »
Hélène de Fougerolles,
Charly is an adult male with a cognitive disability struggling to survive in the modern world. His frequent attempts at learning, reading, and writing prove difficult. His teacher, Miss Kinian, takes Charly to the clinic where he is observed by doctors who have Charly "race" a mouse, Algernon. Algernon is usually the winner thanks to an experiment that greatly raised his intelligence. This experiment is given to Charly, who at first does not seem affected. However, he becomes more logically advanced, eventually becoming a pure genius. Emotional and intra-personal consequences are involved when Charly learns the truth of the experiment, and struggles with whether or not the procedure was a good idea. Written by
Satirized as "Churly" in 1969 issue of "Cracked" magazine and republished by Dell as "Half-Cracked" in April 1974. See more »
When Alice Kinnian (who is unmarried) asks Dr. Nemur why he is using an animal test, Dr. Nemur addresses Miss Kinnian as "Mrs. Kinnian." See more »
[upset about getting fired from his job]
Yeah, I was wonder why people that would never dream of laughing at a blind or a crippled man would laugh at a moron.
My friends at the bakery got up a petition and then I got fired.
Is that an automatic law, something like gravity? Increased intelligence equals lost friends?
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A mildly mentally retarded man submits to a scientific experiment to increase his intelligence. Like "Frankenstein", "Charly" is a clever morality play about science that crosses certain boundaries. Unlike "Frankenstein", which took the horror route, "Charly" explores the emotional human tragedy that inevitably occurs when an experiment of this nature goes awry.
Many scientists back then and even today argue that the professional boundaries that were crossed in this story would never happen in real life. Yet with the recent successful gene manipulation and cloning experiments many believe it is only a matter of time, a very short time, before a human submits to such experiments.
The movie, of course, is not this clinical. Based on the classic novel, "Flowers for Algernon", the movie strikes a keen balance of warmth, comedy and tragedy. Cliff Robertson's fascinating portrayal of the main character is unforgettable. His delivery of the powerful speech at the scientific convention is just as stunning and eerily accurate today as it was over thirty years ago.
An emotional, touching drama, "Charley" still rings a cautionary bell. One that should be heard and not ignored as we enter the new millennium.
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