Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1960s Charly (1968)

Charly (1968)

Cliff Robertson found himself cast as heroic types after he played the young John F Kennedy in PT 109 (1963), but the most rewarding role of his career came with this Oscar-winning portrayal of a mentally disabled bakery worker whose life is transformed by radical brain surgery, which so far has only been tried on laboratory mice.

Though his intellect develops rapidly, so do his overpowering sexual feelings for his night-school teacher, leading to a tragic aftermath.

The scenes between Robertson and Claire Bloom are touching, and Algernon the mouse is unforgettable, so director Ralph Nelson can be forgiven for playing down some of the fascinating possibilities raised by Stirling Silliphant’s shrewd script.

The film may feel a little twee in this more cynical age, but it remains an unassuming charmer.


Charly Gordon
Cliff Robertson
Alice Kinian

Claire Bloom
Dr Anna Straus

Lilia Skala

Dick Van Patten 

William Dwyer 
Skipper McNally

Dan Morgan
Dr Richard Nemur

Leon Janney 
Mrs Apple

Ruth White

Barney Martin

Ralph Nelson