Cinema: Medical Menace

Charly is an odd little movie about mental retardation and the dangers of all-conquering science, done with a dash of whimsy. It sounds like an impossible combination, and in fact it is. Cliff Robertson plays the hero, a mugging, clowning, saintly fool so retarded mentally that he cannot write his own name correctly. He agrees to a brain operation that will spark his intelligence. Almost overnight, Charly is transformed into a debonair, Shakespeare-quoting sage who knocks off philosophy, calculus and microbiology with dazzling ease. Yet the experiment has a hitch: Charly has fallen in love with his teacher (Claire Bloom), but...

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