An intellectually disabled man undergoes an experiment that gives him the intelligence of a genius.



(novel), (screenplay)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »
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A mentally-challenged man named Charly undergoes a series of experimental tests to increase his intelligence.



Complete credited cast:
Dr. Anna Strauss
Leon Janney ...
Dr. Richard Nemur
Mrs. Apple
Bert (as Richard Van Patten)
Edward McNally ...
Gimpy (as Skipper McNally)
William Dwyer ...
Dan Morgan ...


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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A love story that begins with an incredible experiment! See more »


Drama | Romance | Sci-Fi


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

23 September 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Charly  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Cliff Robertson saw more than one TV production he'd starred in turned into hit movies with other actors (such as Days of Wine and Roses (1962)), so when he starred in the 1961 The United States Steel Hour (1953) production of "The Two Worlds of Charlie Gordon," based on the novel "Flowers for Algernon" by Daniel Keyes, he bought the rights and later was responsible for turning that story into this film. See more »


When Doctor Nemur, the other doctor, and Mrs. Kinnian are discussing possible complications with Charlie's surgery, there's one shot where Dr. Nemur takes the cigarette out of his mouth, but in the next shot it's back in. See more »


[Charly finds Alice waiting for him in his room]
Alice Kinnian: Saw your cycle outside.
Charly Gordon: It's for sale.
Alice Kinnian: What did you learn?
Charly Gordon: I'm back. What did you learn?
Alice Kinnian: I'm here.
[Alice walks to him in a smile]
See more »


Referenced in Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

A Poignant Film!
3 March 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Cliff Robertson earned an Academy Award for playing the title role based on the novel by Daniel Keyes entitled "Flowers for Algernon." His portrayal is heartbreaking and you can't help but feel for the character who is the butt of so many jokes by his so-called colleagues and friends at his workplace, a bakery. Seinfeld's Barney Martin and Dick Van Patten play his co-workers. The divine Claire Bloom (who should be made a Dame) is the sympathetic attractive teacher. Ruth White plays the landlady in one of the last film roles before her death in 1969 from cancer. The setting is filmed on location in Boston, Massachusetts.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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