D: Ralph Nelson

Cinerama/ABC (Ralph Nelson)

US 🇺🇸 1968

106 mins


W: Stirling Silliphant [based on the novel "Flowers For Algernon" by Daniel Keyes]

DP: Arthur Ornitz

Ed: Fredric Steinkamp

Mus: Ravi Shankar

Cliff Robertson (Charly Gordon), Claire Bloom (Alice Kinnian), Lilia Skala (Dr. Anna Strauss), Leon Janney (Dr. Richard Nemur), Ruth White (Mrs. Apple)

Cliff Robertson won the 1968 Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal as Charly Gordon, a simple-minded man who becomes the subject of a science experiment to boost his intellect.

The film is based on the short story "Flowers For Algernon" by Daniel Keyes, portraying Charly as a man with the intelligence of a child working as a janitor for a bread factory and the butt of many jokes from his co-workers. He also develops romantic feelings for one of the doctors who tries to help him and this is a subplot that the story really didn't need, as it was far more interesting to see prejudices towards him change as he becomes smarter.

Robertson does give a very good portrayal in the lead, but I can't help but think that the Oscar win was due to a sympathy vote. Personally, I think there were other performances the same year that were much stronger.


Cliff Robertson in Charly
Cliff Robertson in Charly