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

Goethe saw that it was Faust's

relentless search for objectives...

In the end, Faust was saved

because he ceaselessly strove...

for the goal he had never obtained.

That's very good, Mrs. Gardner.

"Go to night school." It's very good.

There's only one thing wrong.

It's the word "night."

I know it sounds like N-l-T-E.

But we spell it...


Night. Okay?

I can never get that one word, that "school."

- That's wrong, isn't it?

- Yeah.

It's S-C-H-O-O-L, Charly, not S-K.


Okay, everybody.

Next Wednesday, we study through Page 20.

Good night.

I should like you to work very hard.

Whenever you can...

You must come next Wednesday.

- Every week, okay?

- Thank you very much.

Good night, Miss Kinnian.

Charly, we missed you.

At the clinic.

The doctors wanted to do some tests.

Yeah. Well, I forgot.

I went to the library.

I've never seen so many books in my life.

Don't forget the clinic tomorrow night.

No. I'm gonna write it down

on my blackboard twice, I promise.

- Good night.

- Good night, Miss Kinnian.

Hello, darling. Thanks for waiting for me.

Good night.

For instance, apples and pears.

They're both alike

because they're both fruit.

- Do you understand?

- Yeah.

Okay, we'll begin. Shoes and gloves.

Charly, shoes and gloves.

- My rabbit's foot.

- That's good, Charly.


Shoes, gloves.

Shoes and gloves.

- You wear them.

- That's right.

Airplane, automobile.



You ride in them.

Morning, afternoon.

Charly, you don't have to worry

about passing or failing. Not these tests.

That's a very funny face, Charly.

Charly, I'm going to

show you some pictures.

Look at me.

What happened in this picture?

What do you see?

- Is there something missing?

- No.

I want you to make up a story

about these people.

I can't make up a story...

- About people I don't know, Miss Kinnian.

- Yes, you can.

You can make-believe.

Make up a story.

Is that a family?

That's a family.

Who is this?

- That's a father.

- Right.

If that is the father, then who is this?

That's a mother.

If that is the mother...

Do you remember your mother?

Yeah, sometimes I remember her.

I think I remember her.

Sitting on the edge of a bed...

putting her hand on my head and saying,

"He's burning up."

But, then, maybe...

that was a woman at the institute,

I don't know.

Probably a woman at the institute.


It's 5:
00, Charly.

Forgot what you have to do?

Finish the floor.

Come on, Charly, think.

You were gonna take something home.


For a minute there, Charly,

you had me worried.

You're always thinking such deep thoughts.

How you gonna remember a little thing

like your landlady's birthday?

Yeah, Mrs. Apple is gonna be real happy.

And thanks for making me remember, Gimp.

What are pals for, Charly?

Give me the broom.

Me and the boys will help you clean up.

- Right, fellas?

- Right!

Come on, Charly.

Gimp, what gives?

We filled his pail with raw dough

this morning, full of yeast.

It growed. It got big.

It growed. It got big.

Yeah, Charly again.

He has a marvelous opportunity.

Is that a him or a her?

- We call him Algernon.

- Algernon.

- Please, set up Number Four.

- All right. You can take it away now.

Now, you come, Charly,

and I'll show you something.

Okay, dear. See you at 9:00. Bye.

Doctor, why are you using the mouse test?

We're simply using a laboratory animal,

Mrs. Kinnian...

to spur the subject on to his best effort.

Now you and Algernon

are going to run a race.

Well, I can beat him

'cause I'm bigger than he is.

It's not that kind of race.

- Charly, what does this look like?

- It's a puzzle.

Very good, that's right. Now watch.

We put Algernon in here to start.

Then we put some food in here,

at the finish.

And Algernon knows

he must find his way through the puzzle...

if he wants to get the food.

- And if he don't?

- Then he doesn't get to eat it.

He don't?

Don't worry, Charly. He won't go hungry.

Now, Charly...

this is a diagram.

Diagram? It's exactly the same

as Algernon's puzzle.

You'll take this pencil and draw...

from the start to the finish...

without going through any of the lines.

You'll start at the same time

Algernon does...

and we'll see who gets through first.

Do you understand, Charly?



Very good.

He beat me.

He beat me. I didn't know mice are so smart.

Come on, Charly, cheer up.

How would you feel

if you was dumber than a mouse?

Good night, Miss Kinnian.

Charly, aren't you gonna ask me up?

I've never once seen your apartment.

I'd like to see it.

- Well, it's just a room.

- It doesn't matter.

It's upstairs.

Can you imagine, Monty?

Charly Gordon with a girl.

He better have her out by 10:00.

There will be no hokey-pokey in my house.

- It's just a room, Miss Kinnian.

- It's very nice.

Who are they?

That's Gimpy and the guys at the bakery.

They are my best friends.

Charly, may I have a glass of water, please?

Yeah. Would you...

- Would you like a soda pop?

- Yeah. That will be fine.

- How about you?

- No, that's okay.

- Would you like to sit down?

- Yeah, I would.

Grab a chair.

Thank you.

I'll sit in this chair.

It's little, but it's good.

I had a radio but it got busted.

- Charly?

- Yeah?

Can you keep a secret?

Yeah. I'm a good secret keeper.

That mouse you raced today.

Yeah, that Algernon.

He was very special.

Rate this script:0.0 / 0 votes

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…

All Stirling Silliphant scripts | Stirling Silliphant Scripts

1 fan

Submitted on August 05, 2018

Discuss this script with the community:



    Translate and read this script in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this screenplay to your bibliography:


    "Charly" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 21 May 2024. <>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest writers community and scripts collection on the web!

    Watch the movie trailer



    The Studio:

    ScreenWriting Tool

    Write your screenplay and focus on the story with many helpful features.