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A retarded adult male struggling to survive in the world consents to an experiment to raise his intelligence.
Genre: Feature Film-Drama
Release Date: 8-MAR-2005
Media Type: DVD
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Top Customer Reviews
The 1968 movie version, of course, opens up the story and gets away from the first-person perspective that made "Flowers for Algernon" so compelling. To add insult to injury, there is now a romance between Charly with a character named Alice Kinian (Claire Bloom). Of course, this changes the whole dynamic of the film, at the cost of the poignancy of Charly's relationship with Algernon. As the title character Cliff Robertson won the Oscar and clearly the problem is not with his performance but rather with Stirling Silliphant's screenplay. Still, to be fair, any film adaptation of the fragile original story was going to lose what made it so great.
Consequently, this is one of those films that you will enjoy more if you have not read "Flowers for Algernon." Of course, if you have not read either the short story or the novel, you should. At least this was an intelligence "science fiction" film for its day, certainly a more human story than other films of that era, such as "2001: A Space Odyssey."
Of course that was a few years ago. Now we have the new-age touchy-feely let's-get-spiritual nonsense of "K-Pax" to keep us home on a Friday night. Ah, the evolution of American Film.
Well it's (...) like this, that makes me really appreciate Charly for the gem that it is.
Like any good Welshman, director Ralph Nelson (Lilies Of The Field, Soldier Blue) will never use three words when ten will do. I don't know for sure that he's Welsh (in fact I'm alnost certain he isn't), but he certainly has something to say.
In a nutshell: mentally retarded man gets IQ boosting operation, only to realize the fix isn't permanent.
"Charly" is part of that golden era of "legitimate" Science Fiction: films where ideas and intelligence were still important and dramatization was still taken seriously. It makes a good book-end to "Colossus: The Forbin Project" and "The Andromeda Strain", and it asks if ethical/moral/social responsibility can keep pace with technology (this is something to think about, now that scientists are busy patenting our genes for their own commercial gain).
Daniel Keyes original short story was evolved into a teleplay, then a novel (1966) and then this feature (1968). Keyes had several years and many drafts to get the book right.Read more ›
"Flowers for Algernon" was about a mentally challenged man's exponential mental development after a surgical procedure, followed by his tragic decline. "Charly" is about a mentally challenged man's transformation into a suit-and-tie kinda guy, at which point his libido awakens and he strikes up an absurd relationship with his tutor. Then we get a minute's worth of footage of Charly growing forgetful and irritable, and then - bam! - he is again frolicking around with an IQ of 68, happy as a clam. Not only does this film provide us with a happy ending - it's the WRONG happy ending: read the book and you'll find a much better one at the end.
Of course, "Charly" isn't entirely bad. It just seems that way. Cliff Robertson's outstanding performance as the title character buoys the score a little. It also allow him to keep a straight face during an unintentionally comical scene in which a panel of scientists ask him existential questions and he gives snappy answers ("Standard of living?" "A TV in every room." "Education?" "A TV IN EVERY ROOM!") The scenes in which Charly goes through biker and disco dancer phases are also hilarious.
Seriously, though, the entire film creates an impression of wrongness and inappropriacy. Charly acts in realistic, sufficiently childlike ways, but the viewer never gains insight into his inner workings. The film is a character study narrated by minor and totally undeveloped characters.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This is a movie that is sentimental and sad to see a Person with a handicap situation that was abuse by friends at his work and after they almost cure him to be more normal... Read morePublished 2 months ago by sab
This DVD doesn't work in NA machines, but this was not clear in the ad. Useless purchase.Published 9 months ago by jenn covent gaudaur
The book was required reading in high school English class, still remember the name Algernon. This movie, like so many others, deviates from the book, however, it is very well... Read morePublished on Dec 7 2011 by HH
Very realistic. Be prepared for a tragic ending after a hopeful development.
Acting is of the highest quality.
Very realistic portraying of a medical impossibility. Read more
i have not seen the movie but i am reading the book and it is a terrific story. i have a dog named charlie so my dad recommended the book to me, so i am already rating it 5 stars!Published on June 12 2003
I found both the short story, "Flowers for Algernon," and this film adaptation of it to be moving; but the experimental cinematography and somewhat immature storytelling... Read morePublished on Jan. 22 2003 by Ecnal Yeldnil
This movie is absolutely awful.I hope no one has to go through the terrible experience of watching it.The acting is bad and the book itself is boring. Read morePublished on Nov. 14 2002
unfortunately this film tries to push the whole wonderful story 'Flowers For Algernon' into a way too short film. Read morePublished on Nov. 10 2002 by Mr. B. R. Good
I read the book Flowers for Algernon and thoroughly enjoyed it. So I was disappointed when I watched the movie and discovered that it was so bad. Read morePublished on Nov. 3 2002 by C. Hill
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