Charly (1968)

This TV adaptation of Daniel Keyes' story Flowers for Algernon) features Charly, a 30-year-old mentally retarded bakery worker. When a neurosurgeon and a psychiatrist ask Charly to participate in an experiment, Charly becomes a genius,… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG
Running Time:
Release Date: September 23, 1968
DVD Release Date: March 8, 2005
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Critic Score: 71% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Vincent Canby
New York Times

I'm told by someone whose opinion I respect that the novel was very moving and very sad. The movie is not. It's science-fiction without gadgets, a horror film without thrills.

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Emanuel Levy

Cliff Robertson was rewarded with an Oscar for repeating his TV role, that of a mentally retarded man, and for paying with his own money for the screen adaptation of the popular novel, directed in a pedestrian mode by Ralph Nelson.

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David Bezanson

another example of a memorable book which ends up diluted by the lesser talents of screenwriters

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

As the story of a personality in crisis, it works.

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Chuck O'Leary

This moving film is the crowning achievement of Cliff Robertson's career.

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James O'Ehley
Sci-Fi Movie Page

Well-acted drama about a retarded man who is turned into a genius in a scientific experiment and then regresses to his original state again.

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Michael Scheinfeld
TV Guide

The film's main problem is that director Ralph Nelson virtually ignores the philosophical elements of the story and emphasizes its most maudlin aspects, while throwing in a little sci-fi, romance, and spurious social commentary.

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David Nusair
Reel Film Reviews

...the fact that the majority of Charly feels utterly superfluous.

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Staci Layne Wilson

Click to read the article.

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More reviews for Charly

Flixster Audience Score: 61% Flixster User Reviews
Jim Hunter
A mentally retarded bakery worker is given a treatment that makes him smart. The most striking problem with this film is the incredibly unnecessary and… More
Bradley Wright
Charly lives because Cliff Robertson is incredible. His performance makes the film just so brilliant in a sense, and I loved him. The films itself has a great… More
Aj V
I enjoyed the book Flowers for Algernon when I read it in grade school, but seeing it on the screen was a disappointing experience. They changed things for the… More
Byron Brubaker
I had to read this book in school and then I think we watched the remake. This original is very good too, though more psychedelic.
Curtis Lilly
REALLY corny, but sweet. And a neat look at what it would be like to go from retarded to a genus, and then have to give it all up and become even more… More
Cameron Johnson
Get ready for a mind-blower kids: I've actually read "Flowers for Algernon", which is mind blowing enough - seeing as how I'm hardly a big… More