Synopsis: 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.
Genre: Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi
Director(s): Ralph Nelson
Production: Cinerama
  Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 6 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
103 min

He had an operation.

When it was over, he was smarter.

The doctors are ready

to try that operation on a man.

They're ready to choose someone now.

That's why you had all those tests.

Well, they should have told me.

I would have tried harder.

- Would you like an operation like that?

- Yeah.


I'd like to be smarter...

so that I could understand Gimpy

and the fellas at the bakery.

There's a lot of their words

I don't understand.

Just so I could get a little closer, you know.

I think we can get you

to race Algernon again.

I don't know.

Algernon is a smart little mouse.

Ready now? Start.

Take it easy. You ready? Start.

Well, here are the results.

His Performance IQ is 59...

Verbal 69, Full Scale 70.

Too low, at least for our first subject.

We have other retardates...

who might be more suitable.

I've never met one

who has Charly's motivation.

He came all by himself for two years

to night school...

to try to improve his reading.

That's all very well, Mrs. Kinnian.

But I think...

Isn't it true that the average retardate

is overly sensitive and sometimes hostile?

In Charly's working environment...

he is the butt of all kinds of jokes,

some of them cruel...

yet he always remains

cheerful and pleasant.

The fact remains he's a grown man.

Doctor, is the operation dangerous?

It need not involve

any unusual surgical risk.

It's the postoperative period

we're concerned about.

The younger our subject...

the less complicated

his emotional adjustment is apt to be.

There is one point in Charly's favor.

Mrs. Kinnian.

Whoever we decide on will have to be

put in an accelerated learning program.

He'll need a full-time teacher.

Somebody with Mrs. Kinnian's background,

even more important...

someone he trusts.

Would you be available?

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Stirling Silliphant

Stirling Dale Silliphant (January 16, 1918 – April 26, 1996) was an American screenwriter and producer. He is best known for his screenplay for In the Heat of the Night, for which he won an Academy Award in 1967, and for creating the television series Naked City and Route 66. Other features as screenwriter include the Irwin Allen productions The Towering Inferno and The Poseidon Adventure. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Charly" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 14 May 2021. <>.

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