62 user 35 critic

Charly (1968)

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


Ralph Nelson


Daniel Keyes (novel), Stirling Silliphant (screenplay)

On Disc

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Cliff Robertson ... Charly Gordon
Claire Bloom ... Alice Kinnian
Lilia Skala ... Dr. Anna Strauss
Leon Janney ... Dr. Richard Nemur
Ruth White ... Mrs. Apple
Dick Van Patten ... Bert (as Richard Van Patten)
Edward McNally Edward McNally ... Gimpy (as Skipper McNally)
Barney Martin ... Hank
William Dwyer William Dwyer ... Joey
Dan Morgan Dan Morgan ... Paddy


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


M | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

23 September 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Two Worlds of Charly Gordon See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Anne Heywood was first announced for the Claire Bloom part. See more »


When Charly comes back to his room, disgusted that he had been beaten by a mouse one too many times, he throws his hat onto the dresser where it falls to the floor. Moments later he leaves, and the hat is back on top of the dresser. See more »


[last lines]
Alice Kinnian: Marry me?
[Charly goes silent by refusing]
Alice Kinnian: [sits down] All right, don't marry me.
Charly Gordon: [smiles] Motion carried.
Alice Kinnian: But I'm going to stay right here. Whenever you feel like telling me to go, just let me know - just tell me so. I'll go, I'll leave.
Charly Gordon: Leave.
[Alice goes stunned]
Charly Gordon: Please, leave.
Alice Kinnian: [solemnly] All right...
See more »


Referenced in Awakenings (1990) See more »

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User Reviews

Cliff Robertson is tremendous and the movie can't help but to move you
25 July 2002 | by HelfySee all my reviews

This movie is an absolute must see. Cliff Robertson might have been one of the best actors ever if given a chance. (he was black listed shortly after this movie for being accused of being a communist) He is superb in this film. The only thing that I might see as a problem, that I actually liked, were the musical sequences. Some people think that they are too drawn out, and over done with camera and editting techniques. I think it brings more humanity to a movie already full to the brim with it. Those scenes, along with the rest of the movie, make you almost live it. Is this movie perfect? No, but to make something perfect is to rob it of its one thing that makes it human. Oh yeah I have one more thing to say to people that think this is not a science fiction. Yo stupid people, they used a wonder drug (science) which does not exist (fiction). I put this in the 70's of my own personal top 100.

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