7.0/10
5,894
63 user 37 critic

Charly (1968)

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

Director:

Ralph Nelson

Writers:

Daniel Keyes (novel), Stirling Silliphant (screenplay)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Cliff Robertson ... Charly Gordon
Claire Bloom ... Alice Kinnian
Lilia Skala ... Dr. Anna Straus
Leon Janney ... Dr. Richard Nemur
Ruth White ... Mrs. Apple
Dick Van Patten ... Bert - Lab Assistant (as Richard Van Patten)
Edward McNally Edward McNally ... Gimpy - Bakery Worker (as Skipper McNally)
Barney Martin ... Hank - Bakery Worker
William Dwyer William Dwyer ... Joey - Bakery Worker
Dan Morgan Dan Morgan ... Paddy - Bartender
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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, and he is the subject of cruel pranks at the bakery where he does minor janitorial work. His teacher, Mrs. Kinnian, enrolls Charly in a clinical study where he is observed by a surgeon and a psychologist who have Charly "race" a mouse named Algernon, solving mazes. Algernon is usually the winner, thanks to an experiment involving brain proteins that greatly raised his intelligence. The experiment proceeds with surgery on Charly, who at first does not seem affected. However, he quickly becomes more logically advanced, soon becoming a pure genius. Emotional and intra-personal consequences are involved as Charly and his teacher become increasingly attached to one another. But when Charly gradually suspects the consequences of the experiment, he struggles with whether or not the procedure was a good idea. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Poignant Incredible Story of A Man Whose Two Worlds Collide! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

M | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 September 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Two Worlds of Charly Gordon See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$15,826,800

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$18,530,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Black and White (fantasy sequence)| Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The reason that Cliff Robertson was not at the Oscars to receive his Best Actor award was because he was in the middle of filming the movie Too Late the Hero (1970) in the Philippines. The director Robert Aldrich would not allow him to attend the ceremony, as a flight from the Philippines to Los Angeles and back would be too time-consuming due to budgetary restraints. Robertson pleaded with Aldrich, even offering to pay out of pocket for any costs associated with his absence, but to no avail. After Robertson won the Oscar, the crew of Too Late the Hero presented him with a mock statuette made out of wood. According to Turner Classic Movies host Robert Osborne, after the Philippine location shooting was over, Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences president Gregory Peck greeted the cast as they disembarked at Los Angeles International Airport. Robertson was holding his fake Oscar when he got off the plane. As he was approached by Peck with the real statuette, Robertson threw the wooden "Oscar" over his shoulder. The fake statuette hit Michael Caine in the forehead, causing him to bleed profusely. See more »

Goofs

When Charly is riding the tour bus past Boston University, the Marsh Chapel on the campus is twice seen through the windows as the bus passes it. See more »

Quotes

[Alice slaps Charly on the face after been hardly kissed by him]
Alice Kinnian: You - you think anyone would ever want you, you stupid moron!
[Charly leaves Alice crying]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The title appears onscreen as if scrawled by a child, with the "R" backwards. See more »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

Sometimes a Deal Too Good to Be True Is.
13 August 2004 | by tfrizzellSee all my reviews

Strange little over-achiever has that 1960s psycho-crazed style that seems a bit over the top and sometimes like a lot of overkill. A mentally challenged man (Oscar-winner Cliff Robertson) tries to improve his intelligence with the help of a beautiful doctor (Claire Bloom) and experimental scientists who have successfully increased the thought capabilities of a lab mouse. Soon Robertson is to be their guinea pig, but could it be possible that the treatment might make the titled character too smart? And is the experiment as perfect as it seems on first glance? Robertson's dynamic role is the true key to this tone-deaf curiosity as he literally plays his part as multiple personalities. Everything else, including the direction and the script, is just window-dressing. The movie wants to question the relationship between God and science but its style makes that potential point go flying out the window. The possible romantic connection between Robertson and Bloom feels forced and detrimental to the overall effectiveness of the picture. 4 stars out of 5.


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