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

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

M | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

23 September 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Charly  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Before Charly gains his intelligence, he writes left handed--when he becomes brilliant, he writes right-handed. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Charly Gordon: That, that is, is. That, that is not, is not. Is that it? It is.
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Connections

Featured in The 70th Annual Academy Awards (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

A warm yet cautionary tale
28 February 1999 | by See all my reviews

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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