7.0/10
6,174
64 user 39 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
Claire Bloom ... Alice
Lilia Skala ... Dr. Straus
Leon Janney ... Dr. 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
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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:

A less than ordinary man is turned into a genius. He awakens to an exquisite love experience, but at an impossible price for CHARLY See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

M | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The introductory speaker at the doctor's conference is director Ralph Nelson. See more »

Goofs

When Charly is talking to Mrs. Kinnian outside the building for his night class, he is wearing a gold vest. When the camera cuts back to him after Mrs. Kinnian enters her car, he is wearing a blue vest. See more »

Quotes

[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]
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Curb Your Enthusiasm: Beep Panic (2020) See more »

User Reviews

A warm yet cautionary tale
28 February 1999 | by ziggy-22See 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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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
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Black and White (fantasy sequence)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

2:39 : 1
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