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Charly [1968] [DVD]

Cliff Robertson , Claire Bloom , Ralph Nelson    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
Price: 6.90 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Charly [1968] [DVD] + Flowers for Algeron [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] + Flowers For Algernon (S.F. MASTERWORKS)
Price For All Three: 15.93

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Product details

  • Actors: Cliff Robertson, Claire Bloom, Lilia Skala, Leon Janney, Ruth White
  • Directors: Ralph Nelson
  • Writers: Daniel Keyes, Stirling Silliphant
  • Producers: Ralph Nelson, Selig J. Seligman
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Fremantle
  • DVD Release Date: 2 July 2001
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JCB7
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 52,515 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

From Amazon.co.uk

Released in 1968, Charly is a period-piece from the summer of love when "natural" was nirvana, the air hummed with the mantra "Everybody's beautiful", and all ills stemmed from institutional monoliths such as Science, Government, Education, and Religion. It is adapted from Daniel Keyes' novel Flowers for Algernon and its hero, Charly (Cliff Robertson), is 30 years old and mentally handicapped. His innocent sweetness makes him superior to most able-minded folk, whether they're the bigoted dolts he sweeps floors for or the ambitious scientists who see him as the human equivalent of Algernon, a mouse they've surgically (but impermanently) smartened up. Naturally, post-op Charly, sporting a genius IQ, "sees things as they are". Trotted out as the neurosurgeons' poster boy, he stands up to the "learned" audience--shot as faceless, inhuman interrogators. He's every 60s flower child, berating his "elders" for blighting their brave new world.

The one reward Charly derives from his higher IQ is sex. In a lengthy montage resembling a retro TV commercial, he and his teacher (Claire Bloom, a madonna with an eternal Mona Lisa smile) romp through Edenic gardens, their embraces hallowed by sunlight glinting through leaves, moonlight glinting on water, and sappy Ravi Shankar music (stylistic clichés also include embarrassing outbreaks of split screens and multiple small screens within the frame, notably when rebellious Charly turns biker). Robertson's performance is well-meaning but mawkishly sentimental. Still, in the penultimate moments when Charly begins to slide back into mental illness, the actor achieves a genuine tragic gravity, and he became a surprise Oscar winner for his pains. --Kathleen Murphy, Amazon.com

Product Description

Mentally-challenged Charly Gordon (Cliff Robertson) fails in all his attempts to improve his IQ at night school, despite the encouragement and friendship of his teacher, Alice (Claire Bloom). After volunteering to act as guinea pig for an experimental new form of neurosurgery, Charly is transformed into a genius. He embarks on a romance with Alice, but a shocking discovery threatens his new-found success. Robertson won a Best Actor Oscar for his performance as Charly, seven years after he originally played the role in a television drama.


Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars THE BOOK IS BETTER... 1 Jan 2003
By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
This is a somewhat disappointing adaptation of the wonderful book, "Flowers for Algernon", by Daniel Keyes. This is not to say that Cliff Robertson's performance in the title role of Charly Gordon, a gentle, mentally challenged person, is not Oscar worthy. It is, and he deservedly won the Oscar for Best Actor for his portrayal of Charly Gordon. Claire Bloom is also noteworthy for her performance as Charly's teacher and love interest, Alice Kinian. The problem with this film lies in the screenplay and direction of the film.
The storyline is simple enough. Charly Gordon, a gentle, mentally challenged soul with a thirst for knowledge, attends night school in an effort to get smart. His teacher is Alice Kinian, a sensitive and caring person, who recognizes Charly's determination, as well as his limitations. She takes an interest in him and refers him to an institute that has been doing research in increasing the intelligence of laboratory mice through neurosurgery and is now on the cusp of attempting that experimental neorosurgery on humans. The institute is in the process of selecting candidates for its clinical trials.
Charly goes to the institute where he undergoes a battery of tests and has his capability for problem solving compared to that of a laboratory mouse named Algernon, whose intelligence has been surgically enhanced. After much deliberation, the institute decides to take Charly on as a human guinea pig, after Ms. Kinian eloquently persuades them that Charly's determination and sweet disposition should overcome the fact that he is below the threshold level of intelligence that they were looking for in a human subject.
Charly undergoes the neurosurgery which initially appears to be a success. He gets smart, very smart. The inevitable romance with Ms.
Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By Lawrance M. Bernabo HALL OF FAME VINE VOICE
Format:VHS Tape
"Charly" is based on Daniel Keyes's short story turned into a novel "Flowers for Algernon." The story was about Charly Gordon, a man who, in the parlance of the time, was mentally retarded. As part of a scientific experiment he is given a drug that turns him into a genius. The Algernon of the title is a lab rat who was the first guinea pig for this treatment. However, the treatment proves to be only temporary. Both versions of Keyes's story were done as diary entries, which provided a graphic indication of how Charly is changing.
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."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars THE BOOK IS BETTER... 13 Jan 2003
By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:VHS Tape
This is a somewhat disappointing adaptation of the wonderful book, "Flowers for Algernon", by Daniel Keyes. This is not to say that Cliff Robertson's performance in the title role of Charly Gordon, a gentle, mentally challenged person, is not Oscar worthy. It is, and he deservedly won the Oscar for Best Actor for his portrayal of Charly Gordon. Claire Bloom is also noteworthy for her performance as Charly's teacher and love interest, Alice Kinian. The problem with this film lies in the screenplay and direction of the film.
The storyline is simple enough. Charly Gordon, a gentle, mentally challenged soul with a thirst for knowledge, attends night school in an effort to get smart. His teacher is Alice Kinian, a sensitive and caring person, who recognizes Charly's determination, as well as his limitations. She takes an interest in him and refers him to an institute that has been doing research in increasing the intelligence of laboratory mice through neurosurgery and is now on the cusp of attempting that experimental neurosurgery on humans. The institute is in the process of selecting candidates for its clinical trials.
Charly goes to the institute where he undergoes a battery of tests and has his capability for problem solving compared to that of a laboratory mouse named Algernon, whose intelligence has been surgically enhanced. After much deliberation, the institute decides to take Charly on as a human guinea pig, after Ms. Kinian eloquently persuades them that Charly's determination and sweet disposition should overcome the fact that he is below the threshold level of intelligence that they were looking for in a human subject.
Charly undergoes the neurosurgery, which initially appears to be a success. He gets smart, very smart. The inevitable romance with Ms.
Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Taking drugs makes you bright
A film about turning a mentally challenged adult into a smart genius. Where have you seen that lately? Read more
Published 7 months ago by Juan Carlos Mateo
5.0 out of 5 stars hello
on time and in the condition described
I have had many hours of pleasure with this buy.
I am very happy
many thanks
Published 9 months ago by Mr. Dcm Caillet
5.0 out of 5 stars Tearjerker
Saw this film many years ago and read about it recently so purchased a copy. A bit old fashioned, but still a fabulous film to watch with a bag of chocs and a box of tissues.
Published 19 months ago by James F Strong
5.0 out of 5 stars Wasn't disappointed.........
......the second time around.

What a beautiful film - I first saw it years and years ago on tv, and I don't often watch anything twice. Read more
Published on 17 May 2012 by Rosie
5.0 out of 5 stars bookworm
I love this film, saw it many years ago, did not realise recently listening to radio four going to work in the car, that it is from the Book Flowers for Elgernon, it is hopefull,... Read more
Published on 18 April 2012 by Ann Carol Langford
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable nonetheless
Yes it was a film of its time and yes it may not compare favourably with the original story, but worth watching for the performances and - all these years later - I still remember... Read more
Published on 8 Feb 2011 by Mr. M. Bryant
3.0 out of 5 stars Not great
Having just finished the book 'Flowers for Algenon' I thought I'd give this film version a go, despite some wary reviews. Read more
Published on 11 Mar 2010 by R. Murphy
5.0 out of 5 stars Charly
I bought this DVD for my wife. She had seen this film many years ago and was thrilled to find it was available to buy on Amazon. Very happy with the purchase.
Published on 7 Mar 2009 by Alan
5.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable film
Charly (Cliff Robertson) is thirty years old and has the mental age of a young child. He works at a menial job where he is tormented endlessly, and he isn't progressing in his... Read more
Published on 20 Oct 2005 by Kona
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