directed by Ralph
Strangely enough, Ralph Nelson's "Charly" succeeds as a movie for reasons
having little to do with the plot. As the story of a personality in crisis, it
works. We care about Charly. But the whole scientific hocus-pocus, which causes
his crisis, is irrelevant and weakens the movie by distracting us.
The story idea is a simple one, which Daniel Keyes was able to spin out into a successful novel ("Flowers for Algernon") by keeping his focus on Charly's, developing character. We start with a good-natured mentally retarded man of perhaps 30. He can do simple tasks and write a few words.
He cheerfully inhabits a world that seems frightening to us. His barren room contains a blackboard with the next day's tasks on it; he works as a janitor at a bakery where his "friends" torment him. With heartbreaking persistence, he attends night classes and takes guided tours of the city, but the things he learns all slip away and he has to keep starting again.
Then Charly undergoes a brain operation (which remains unconvincing despite a surplus of fishy explanations). His IQ begins to increase rapidly, and he has to do 20 years of maturing in a few months. His tutor along the way is a young teacher, and not surprisingly he falls in love with her.
Theatrical Release: June 1968 - Berlin Film Festival
DVD Review: MGM - Region 1 - NTSC
|DVD Box Cover||
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|Distribution||MGM Home Video - Region 1- NTSC|
Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.94 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.
|Audio||English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Dolby)|
|Subtitles||English, French, Spanish, None|
screen version on reverse side
Very acceptable image from MGM. Moderately sharp with film grain, decent colors and strong contrast are this package's highlights. Unfortunately, as per standard - there are no extras (as in none). The 1.33 version is offered on the opposite side of this DVD10 (two sides - one layer) and the amount that is removed from the frame is shocking (see sample below). A little better than standard fare from MGM and I like this film and DVD. Again, the price sure is right.
Sample from Pan and scan side