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Charly

Charly (1968)

tomatometer

No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 2
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 1

audience

63

liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 3,765

My Rating

Movie Info

In 1961, Cliff Robertson starred in The Two Worlds of Charley Gordon, a TV adaptation of Daniel Keyes' story Flowers for Algernon. Determined not to lose out on the film version of this play as he'd done with Days of Wine and Roses, Robertson bought up the movie rights to Keyes' story so that he and he alone would star. This determination paid off in the form of the Best Actor Academy Award for Robertson in 1968. The star plays Charly, a 30-year-old mentally retarded bakery worker. Neurosurgeon

PG,

Drama, Classics, Science Fiction & Fantasy

Stirling Silliphant

Mar 8, 2005

Watch It Now

Cast

Latest News on Charly

September 12, 2011:
Cliff Robertson: 1923-2011
The Academy Award-winning actor, whose varied résumé included roles in "Charly," "Three Days of the...

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All Critics (20) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (12) | Rotten (5) | DVD (8)

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.

May 9, 2005 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

October 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

June 6, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

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.

April 20, 2007 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

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

February 18, 2006 Full Review Source: FulvueDrive-in.com
FulvueDrive-in.com

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

March 12, 2005 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews | Comment (1)
Reel Film Reviews

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

March 11, 2005 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

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.

January 15, 2005 Full Review Source: Sci-Fi Movie Page
Sci-Fi Movie Page

Click to read the article.

December 31, 2004 Full Review Source: StaciWilson.com
StaciWilson.com

A clumsy attempt to marry social drama with in-vogue, trippy sci-fi.

May 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

Audience Reviews for Charly

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 distracting psychedelic sequences that interrupt the story. With bright colors and freeze-frames, the film briefly becomes a music video before returning to the plot.
Ignoring these sequences, the film still suffers because the central question of the story and the source material is whether being smart makes one a better person or happier. The film doesn't seem to care about the ethical dilemmas associated with the doctors' treatment or the effects on Charley. Rather, we get maudlin nonsense and a ham-handed love story that has none of the passion or chemistry that - for example - the love story in My Left Foot features.
Overall, this film may be a victim of its psychedelic times, but that isn't the only thing holding it back from its potential.
May 2, 2014
hunterjt13
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

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 worse, and the actors were bad, and they had some weird psychedelic stuff in there. I wouldn't recommend seeing this movie.
December 11, 2010
ajv2688

Super Reviewer

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 retarded.
April 23, 2007
puffchunk
Curtis Lilly

Super Reviewer

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 message and I enjoyed it.
July 6, 2012
Bradley Wright

Super Reviewer

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