Charly (1968) Script

Goethe saw that it was Faust's relentless search for objectives...

In the end, Faust was saved because he ceaselessly strove... for the goal he had never obtained.

That's very good, Mrs. Gardner.

"Go to night school." It's very good.

There's only one thing wrong. It's the word "night".

I know it sounds like N-I-T-E. But we spell it...


Night. Okay?

I can never get that one word, that "school".

That's wrong, isn't it? Yeah.

It's S-C-H-O-O-L, Charly, not S-K.


Okay, everybody. Next Wednesday, we study through Page 20.

Good night.

I should like you to work very hard.

Whenever you can... You must come next Wednesday.

Every week, okay? Thank you very much.

Good night, Miss Kinnian.

Charly, we missed you.

At the clinic. The doctors wanted to do some tests.

Yeah. Well, I forgot.

I went to the library. I've never seen so many books in my life.

Don't forget the clinic tomorrow night.

No. I'm gonna write it down on my blackboard twice, I promise.

Good night. Good night, Miss Kinnian.

Hello, darling. Thanks for waiting for me.

Good night.

For instance, apples and pears.

They're both alike because they're both fruit.

Do you understand? Yeah.

Okay, we'll begin. Shoes and gloves.

Charly, shoes and gloves.

My rabbit's foot. That's good, Charly.


Shoes, gloves.

Shoes and gloves.

You wear them. That's right.

Airplane, automobile.



You ride in them.

Morning, afternoon.

Charly, you don't have to worry about passing or failing. Not these tests.

That's a very funny face, Charly.

Charly, I'm going to show you some pictures.

Look at me.

What happened in this picture? What do you see?

Is there something missing? No.

I want you to make up a story about these people.

I can't make up a story...

About people I don't know, Miss Kinnian. Yes, you can.

You can make-believe.

Make up a story.

Is that a family?

That's a family.

Who is this?

That's a father. Right.

If that is the father, then who is this?

That's a mother.

If that is the mother...

Do you remember your mother?

Yeah, sometimes I remember her.

I think I remember her. Sitting on the edge of a bed...

putting her hand on my head and saying, "He's burning up."

But, then, maybe... that was a woman at the institute, I don't know.

Probably a woman at the institute.


It's 5:00, Charly. Forgot what you have to do?

Finish the floor.

Come on, Charly, think. You were gonna take something home.


For a minute there, Charly, you had me worried.

You're always thinking such deep thoughts.

How you gonna remember a little thing like your landlady's birthday?

Yeah, Mrs. Apple is gonna be real happy.

And thanks for making me remember, Gimp.

What are pals for, Charly?

Give me the broom. Me and the boys will help you clean up.

Right, fellas? Right!

Come on, Charly.

Gimp, what gives?

We filled his pail with raw dough this morning, full of yeast.

It growed. It got big.

It growed. It got big.

Yeah, Charly again. He has a marvelous opportunity.

Is that a him or a her?

We call him Algernon. Algernon.

Please, set up Number Four. All right. You can take it away now.

Now, you come, Charly, and I'll show you something.

Okay, dear. See you at 9:00. Bye.

Doctor, why are you using the mouse test?

We're simply using a laboratory animal, Mrs. Kinnian... to spur the subject on to his best effort.

Now you and Algernon are going to run a race.

Well, I can beat him 'cause I'm bigger than he is.

It's not that kind of race.

Charly, what does this look like? It's a puzzle.

Very good, that's right. Now watch.

We put Algernon in here to start.

Then we put some food in here, at the finish.

And Algernon knows he must find his way through the puzzle... if he wants to get the food.

And if he don't? Then he doesn't get to eat it.

He don't?

Don't worry, Charly. He won't go hungry.

Now, Charly... this is a diagram.

Diagram? It's exactly the same as Algernon's puzzle.

You'll take this pencil and draw... from the start to the finish... without going through any of the lines.

You'll start at the same time Algernon does... and we'll see who gets through first.

Do you understand, Charly?



Very good.

He beat me.

He beat me. I didn't know mice are so smart.

Come on, Charly, cheer up.

How would you feel if you was dumber than a mouse?

Good night, Miss Kinnian.

Charly, aren't you gonna ask me up?

I've never once seen your apartment.

I'd like to see it.

Well, it's just a room. It doesn't matter.

It's upstairs.

Can you imagine, Monty?

Charly Gordon with a girl.

He better have her out by 10:00.

There will be no hokey-pokey in my house.

It's just a room, Miss Kinnian. It's very nice.

Who are they?

That's Gimpy and the guys at the bakery. They are my best friends.

Charly, may I have a glass of water, please?

Yeah. Would you...

Would you like a soda pop? Yeah. That will be fine.

How about you? No, that's okay.

Would you like to sit down? Yeah, I would.

Grab a chair.

Thank you.

I'll sit in this chair.

It's little, but it's good.

I had a radio but it got busted.

Charly? Yeah?

Can you keep a secret?

Yeah. I'm a good secret keeper.

That mouse you raced today.

Yeah, that Algernon.

He was very special.

He had an operation.

When it was over, he was smarter.

The doctors are ready to try that operation on a man.

They're ready to choose someone now.

That's why you had all those tests.

Well, they should have told me. I would have tried harder.

Would you like an operation like that? Yeah.


I'd like to be smarter... so that I could understand Gimpy and the fellas at the bakery.

There's a lot of their words I don't understand.

Just so I could get a little closer, you know.

I think we can get you to race Algernon again.

I don't know.

Algernon is a smart little mouse.

Ready now? Start.

Take it easy. You ready? Start.

Well, here are the results.

His Performance IQ is 59...

Verbal 69, Full Scale 70.

Too low, at least for our first subject.

We have other retardates... who might be more suitable.

I've never met one who has Charly's motivation.

He came all by himself for two years to night school... to try to improve his reading.

That's all very well, Mrs. Kinnian. But I think...

Isn't it true that the average retardate is overly sensitive and sometimes hostile?

In Charly's working environment... he is the butt of all kinds of jokes, some of them cruel... yet he always remains cheerful and pleasant.

The fact remains he's a grown man.

Doctor, is the operation dangerous?

It need not involve any unusual surgical risk.

It's the postoperative period we're concerned about.

The younger our subject... the less complicated his emotional adjustment is apt to be.

There is one point in Charly's favour.

Mrs. Kinnian.

Whoever we decide on will have to be put in an accelerated learning program.

He'll need a full-time teacher.

Somebody with Mrs. Kinnian's background, even more important... someone he trusts.

Would you be available?

My fiancé and I were planning to work... on a joint thesis for our doctorates.

Well, at the moment, it's all hypothetical anyway.

Of course.

Thank you, Mrs. Kinnian. Thank you, Doctor.

Come on, Charly. Let's go.

Yeah, just one more, Miss Kinnian.

Not quite.

You sure are a smart mouse, Algernon.

Good night, Bert.

Good night, Bert. Take it easy, Charly.

Good night, Algernon.

That Father Callahan now. Take him, Monty.

He's one of that new breed of liberal priests.

It's no wonder the younger generation are selling their souls to the devil.

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the historical tour of Boston.

This is the Charles River Basin where amateur yachtsmen can sail 365 days a year.

In the late afternoon, you can see the sculling crews of Harvard...

MIT, and other universities, practicing for their annual races.

On the left is the Prudential Center. The Prudential Tower, 52 stories high... is the tallest building in the continental United States... if you consider Manhattan Island outside the continental United States.

Here's Bunker Hill Monument.

Stands 220 feet tall, 30 square feet at the bottom...

15 at the top, 294 winding stairs.

It'll take you approximately 20 minutes to walk up, 15 minutes to come down... and 10 days to get over it.

The Boston-Cambridge area has a total of 189 universities and small colleges.

We are now going through Boston University... which includes a School of Law, a School of Political Science... a School of Philosophy, a School of Accounting... a School of Nursing, a School of Business Administration... a School of Fine Arts, and many others.

As we make a right-hand turn, look to your left.

You'll see the Boston Public Library. The third oldest library in America.

There's over 2 million volumes in its collection.

On your far left is the Old South Church.

As we make a right-hand turn on Boylston Street, look to your right.

You will see Trinity Church, founded in 1877... designed by Henry Hobson Richardson.

Phillip Brooks was pastor of this church for 22 consecutive years.

While being pastor, he was made Bishop of Massachusetts.

Most of you people remember Phillip Brooks by his famous church hymns.

One of the most famous Christmas carols, O Little Town of Bethlehem.

We'll make a brief stop in South Boston, to discharge a passenger.

See you next Sunday, Charly. Okay.

Come on, Charly, just one beer. No, I can't. Not tonight, Gimp.

I bet you're gonna see that school teacher. Boy, could I give her a lesson.

I didn't think you went for broads. Sure I do.

What do you do with her?

I promised her. I can't talk about it.

What do you mean you can't talk about it, Charly?

Ain't I your best buddy? Sure you are.

What's the big mystery? I promised her. I can't talk about it.

Charly, I'm disappointed in you. Don't be mad at me, Gimp.

So come on over and have a beer. Just a little beer.


Charly, how about playing a little music? Yeah, okay.

I've got it here. Hold it, Hank.

Charly's got lots of dough. Right, Charly? Yeah, I save my dough.

I bet you got a bundle tucked under the mattress.

What do you save it for, Charly?

Well, I don't know. Something. What?

So blow two bits, Charly? Yeah.

Watch this.

Charly, what did you do to it? Drop a slug in?

No, I put a quarter in there, Gimp. A real quarter.

Talk to the juke, Charly, like you always do.

Yeah, okay.

Juke, I put a quarter in there, and you better play. Do you hear?

Charly, Juke don't like to be scolded.

Juke likes a nice, sweet tone of voice.

Okay, Juke.

You're a nice juke and you got nice lights, and you're real nice.

Come on back here, champ. We knew you could do it.

Charly, you hear it's liable to snow tonight? I don't know. I didn't hear that, Gimp.

That's what they say. I'll tell you what.

How about stopping off at the corner of Manning and Standish on your way home?

Okay, what do I do there? I'll tell you, Charly.

A lot of people don't know this.

But I'm gonna let you in on it.

That's where the snow always starts. Yeah.

Right there on the corner where Manning runs into Standish.

Now you wait there for a while... and when that first flake comes down, you give us a call.

That way we get to get home in time before it really starts coming down.

Okay, Charly? Yeah.

Who do I call?

Paddy, give Charles one of your cards.

Better get started, Charly. Yeah.

None of that now.

I guess I can afford to buy a beer for good old Charly.

All right.

Go get them, tiger, go get them.

So long, pal. See you later.

Well, here's to a blizzard.

Buddy, what you doing?

What you doing?

Waiting for it to snow.

Let's go.


The operation.

The operation? Yes.

I made it? Yes.

I made it!

Miss Kinnian? Yes.

I don't feel no smarter.

Ready? Start.

Again, Charly.

Again. Try.


How did the lessons go tonight?

Just one more... I keep doing it again and...

But try it, Charly.

Post-surgical recovery is complete.

These five mice, look at their mental curve.

He's shown no comparable intellectual progress.


Charly, I know that you can do it.

I know that I can't do it, Doctor.

Yesterday, and the day before, you keep saying I can do it... and Miss Kinnian says I can do it, everybody says I can do it... but I know I can't do it.

But we know you can do it. I know I can't do it.

Charly, try. It makes a lovely, nice figure.

I can't do it, Dr. Straus, you know I can't do it.

I know I can't do it, and I don't want to do it.

I can't learn nothing. Charly!

Did that operation make me dumber? Nothing of the sort.

I can't do any of the puzzles, and I'll tell you something else.

I ain't racing that Algernon no more. I'm sick of being beaten by a mouse...

And people laughing at me. Nobody is laughing at you.

I don't care! I'm going out of here, now!

"My name is Dick. I live in a house.

"I have a sister named Jane and a dog named Spot."

My name is Charly Gordon, and I live in a room... and I got no sister, no dog, and I am stupid!

And what are you doing here?

I ain't gonna race you.

I know why they brought you over here, but I ain't gonna race you.

'Cause I don't like you. You're not my friend!

Charly Gordon. Do you have a girl in your room?

No, it's a him!

Charly Gordon.

It's a mouse.

Young man, there are no mice in this house.

There's one in my room. They brought him over in a cage.

But I ain't gonna race him.

Cage. Charly.

I've been meaning to talk to you.

Could you step in here, please?

Monty. That nice Charly Gordon is coming to visit.

You say, a cage. A pet mouse?

Yeah, but I ain't gonna race him.

Come in here for a minute.

Sit down, Charly.

Don't sit on Monty.

Sit down, Charly.

Charly. Yeah.

Having a pet is a gift from God.

Isn't that right, Monty? I don't know, Miss Apple.

Don't argue with me, young man. I'm telling you.

This little mouse is a blessing in disguise.

First of all, a pet keeps you company.

They don't talk back.

They're loyal and loving.

They are truly man's best friend.

A little animal is one of God's creatures.

They live only to comfort you.

Now, Charly, you go right back up there, and you make up with him.

Tell him you'll feed him... clean his cage and give him water.

That's all he wants. That, and your love.

And in return, he'll give you many happy hours.

Monty, why don't we give Charly... one of your bones, to give to the little mouse?

Would you mind?

I don't know if mice are carnivorous or vegetarious.

Anyway, Charly, here you are.

What are you going to call him? They call him Algernon.

You and Algernon are welcome down here at any time.

Thank you, Miss Apple.


What do you think of that, Montgomery?

Hi, Alg.

Wanna race?

You ready, pal?


I beat you.

I beat him!

I beat him!

Professor, Dr. Straus, Miss Kinnian! I beat him!


Miss Kinnian, I beat him.

I was in the room... They put... Somebody... A mouse...

I got the wrapper, and I spelt "school".

I put him, and I beat him.

I creamed him!

Miss Kinnian, what happens now?

Punctuate it.

Go ahead, punctuate it.

Now, I got something all made up for you to punctuate.

Punctuate that.

That does not make sense.

"That, that is...


"That, that is not...

"is not."

"Is that it?"

"It is."

Student surpasses the teacher.

Mrs. Kinnian. Yes.

Where's Mr. Kinnian?

He died.

Are you in love with Frank?

Tomorrow's studies.

Basic chemistry.

Good night, Charly. Good night, Miss Kinnian.

This is the Capitol of the United States.

Our government is divided into three branches.

The Executive, the Legislative, and the Judicial.

What are the two legislative branches of Congress called?

Turn off the teaching machine to answer.

House of Representatives and Senate.

You are looking at a film of one of our country's most significant events.

Who are these men? Why are they here?

What did they do almost 200 years ago, that affects your life today?

Those men are getting ready... to sign the Declaration of Independence, and declare our country... free from England.

And I'm getting ready for work.

Hey, Charly. Yeah?

You know what day it is? I don't know, Gimp.

We aren't keeping you awake, are we?

Is it that chick? Just won't let you alone?

It's April Fools' Day. That's what day it is. His birthday.

The English Constitution.

Hey, Gimp. Yeah?

You know what a Magna Carta is? That's a cigar, isn't it?

Come on, Hank. I need that.

You really know all this stuff in here? Or are you just looking at pictures?

I know some of it.

Hell, Charly, you're so smart that...

Yeah, why not. Here.

See this machine? Yeah.

You know what it is? It's a machine that you work.

How would you like to work it?

Gimp, you kidding? What do you mean, kidding, Joey?

Man knows what the Magna Carta is.

He'd be able to operate a simple machine like a pastry mixer.

It took you two weeks learning how. That's a very complicated machine.

Not for Charly. Come in here closer.

Look, this is all you got to do. Step number one.

You turn on your water. See?

Make sure the temperature is 78 degrees, okay?

Then we come over here and set our water pressure at 140 pounds.

See that, right there.

Set it back and turn on the water switch.

You got this now, right?

Now we follow our fresh water along that line to that valve, see?

Excuse me, Joey. I wanna get up there.

We come up here... and we open up our flour hopper. Lets our flour down here.

You mix it with the water, okay? Come over here.

Open up our bowl.

I want you to get a look at this dough.

Then we start up our agitator. This stirs up the dough inside.

Okay, see it? All right.

Then we close it up.

Now comes a very important thing. These timing switches.

Set your timing switches. They're very important. Don't forget these.

Now, Charly, you put all this together, and it comes out dough.

What do you say? I don't know.

Suppose he breaks it? Then we get the day off.

April Fools' Day.

Watch it!

Watch Charly.

Charly, that was perfect. Great. I love that.

You couldn't have done better than that.

Mrs. Kinnian. Come here, quick.

There's a whole new world in it. Look at it.

It's exciting? Yeah.

Let's see if you can identify... the activity in each of these slides.

Is he in love with you?


I'd rather not discuss my personal life, if you don't mind.

Not that there is anything secret about it or even unusual.

It has nothing to do with your program of learning.

First slide. I got a birthday present.

It's not my birthday. It's not for you.


It's his birthday cheese.

What makes you think it's his birthday?

How do you know it's not?

That's true. Happy birthday, Algernon.

Happy birthday, Algernon.

It's very nice of you, Charly.

Well, he's very special.

Nice paintings. Now, Judy, what...

I painted a house.

Isn't that nice, dear?

And what is your... Mrs. Kinnian.

That's nice that you came.

Dean, would you be good enough and go over to Cathy?

Play with the pumpkins. You can sit down, Mrs. Kinnian.

Would you do it, Dean, please?

Thank you so much. Thanks a lot. That's nice what you've painted, Dean.

Look what I made. It's so bright.

I got your letter, Mrs. Kinnian.

I'm afraid I can't accept your reasons.

I'm holding him back.

He knows the answers and questions before I even open the book.

And? And what?

You seem tense. Is it that important for you to resign from this project?

I gave you my reasons.

Which I must reject. You are a psychologist.

You know that Charly has made a transference... and at this point, is completely dependant upon you.

He's involved with you emotionally.

That's normal, isn't it?

And you are involved with him emotionally?

Why do you ask that?

I am engaged, you know. I met your fiance.

Very charming. How long have you been engaged?

I'll stay until the convention, Doctor.

No longer.

I've got to go.


Bye. Bye-bye, Mrs. Kinnian.

Faneuil Hall. Built in the early 1740s... and given to the city by the merchant Peter Faneuil.

It burned in 1761 but was rebuilt.

It's still in use as a market, a meeting place.

Why is it known as the Cradle of Liberty?

If we'd walked in there, say in 1774... whom might we have met attending a meeting of protest?

What's the matter? Nothing.

The next stop along the Freedom Trail is the North Church.

Built 1723.

Boston's oldest church.

For what historic incident is North Church known?

I'm sorry, I didn't...

What happened here that became part of our national heritage?

Two lanterns in the steeple signaled Paul Revere... that British were on their way to Concord.

Right. Any questions?

I was wondering why people... that would never dream of laughing at a blind or crippled man... would laugh at a moron.

What happened?

My friends at the bakery got up a petition, and I got fired.

Is that an automatic law, something like gravity?

Increased intelligence equals lost friends.

You needn't worry about losing your job.

The doctors want you to work full-time at the clinic... studying, learning, and getting paid, too.

Will you be there all the time?

Yes. I imagine so.

At least until the convention.

The doctors have been asked to head a symposium.

The annual meeting of the Society for Cerebral Research.

I suspect you and Algernon are scheduled to be their prime exhibits.

What will we have to do?

Maybe speak a foreign language... do an exercise in neo-Boolean math.

Both of us?

George Bernard Shaw wrote something once...

Pass the ketchup, please.

I didn't know he wrote that. What?

Pass The Ketchup, Please.

Here's your chowder, sir. It's the lady's.

No, seriously.

Thank you.

He said, "Whenever you learn something, it seems at first...

"as if you've lost something."

A whole universe is opening up for you.

It's a world that's always been there... but not for you. Not till now.

Cream, please.

Now you're growing, and growth causes pain.

You do your job very well.

Bert, please.

Are you quite certain of your evaluation of Charly's Rorschach tests?

There's no question in my opinion.

Thank you.

Once the initial breakthrough occurred... subject completed all elementary school work in five weeks.

A capacity speed-up occurred during the high school phase.

And all this work was accomplished in three weeks.

Instructions were then accelerated.

You have been pushing him much too hard.

Subject made the leap from rote memorization to a grasp of abstract theory.

The next step was attaining insightful function and the ability to restructure.

Subsequently... Richard.

May I please have your attention?

Emotionally, he's still a child.

Frightened. Insecure.

Look at these drawings...

I've had him do.

They are representative of the last... two months.

Each one progressively more disturbed. Disturbed?

He likes to paint.

He still can't believe he's being paid to do nothing but learn, paint, and improve.

But can't you see?

I cautioned you about this before.

These aren't disturbed. They are more sophisticated.

More abstract than the ones he did a couple of months ago.

You go right on ignoring even the evidence.


Anna, I don't think we should interrupt his studies.

Thymine, guanine and cytosine.

Structure of the insulin molecule.

Double-chain, 51 amino acids... employing 17 basic aminos cross-linked by sulfur atoms.

What metal and what gas would you combine...

In order to convert heat into... Electricity? Tantalum and cesium vapor.


What is the technique called the algebra of...

What are you trying to turn him into?

Some kind of side-show freak? Don't be ridiculous.

You're pushing your program for his intellectual development too rapidly.

It has to keep pace with my program for his emotional development... or the imbalance will become dangerous.

I thought we were to be satisfied with a minor miracle...

What are you afraid of? a retarded human being... become a more productive member of society.

He has shown no indication of any mental ceiling.

So why are you afraid to reach for whatever that ceiling may be?

In any event, we shall have to give Mrs. Kinnian her notice.


All she can do now is ask him questions out of books that he's already absorbed.

What he needs at this point is a giant step forward.

New conceptualization. Inductive thinking.

That calls for experts, not Alice Kinnian.

I will say it once more, Richard.

Charly Gordon is still a child emotionally.

I don't agree.


Charly, what is it?

I brought you a present.

Okay, come in.

Very nice of you.

What's the occasion?

I just wanted you to have a present.

Sit down.

Lovely paper.

Charly, it's so beautiful.

Must have been terribly expensive.

You like it?

It's beautiful but it's too much.

Just beautiful. Thank you.

He only kissed you on the cheek.



Have you been spying on me?

I've been falling in love with you.


These feelings aren't what you think.

It isn't love...

We have fun working together... but you have to understand that between...

You think anyone would ever want you?

You stupid moron!

I saw your cycle outside.

It's for sale.

What did you learn?

I'm back.

What did you learn?

I'm here.

Marry me, Alice. Charly...

I could never keep up with you, and I don't want to hold you back.

And I don't want to be left behind. Einstein had a wife.

Didn't Einstein say... that everything was in motion, that nothing ever stands still?

Marry me, pretty girl, marry me.

We will marry at quarter past Wednesday... on the 74th of November... and our anniversary will happily be... on those days when we both remember.

Ever been anywhere?


Portugal is straight ahead.

I can smell the olives.

Ship ahoy.

Abandoned schooner off the starboard bow.

Want to ship out?

Okay, where are the sails?

Who needs sails?

As captain of this ship, I now declare us man and wife.

I signed on only as first mate.

You know what's going to happen in the year 2018?

I'm never gonna let this year end.

It will be our golden wedding anniversary.

Charly, let's worry about breakfast.

Think Algernon has found a wife?

Or his true love.

The plural of mouse is mice.

The plural of spouse must be spice?

They say, Charly... that true love... is letting go.

What's enough love?

Always a little more... than anyone ever gets.

Please, could we stop these recriminations... and use the time to decide tomorrow's program?

All right, you still really believe he'll be here?

But, of course. You were on the extension, you heard them...

How do we know what's happened to Charly in the past four weeks?

Whether he's learned more or not? We have no immediate evaluation...

May we concentrate on the presentation?

All right, what are your ideas on the programming?

How much time shall we program for Algernon and the Phase 5 mice?

I thought we agreed to eliminate that part of the presentation.

No, I did not agree to that.

It is essential to show the entire graph of Algernon's various stages.

In my opinion, we should concentrate on Charly... the preoperative testing, and then you cap it all off... by bringing him out on stage.

Why don't you just leave the programming to me?

You know, sometimes you give me the feeling you have already... written your acceptance speech for the ceremonies in Stockholm.


You made us lose a lot of valuable time.

Time, as you've often taught me, Professor, is relative... as it creeps on in its petty pace from day to day.

To the last syllable of recorded time. Edgar Allen Shakespeare.

You both look happy! I have never felt happier.

There were no telephones where you were, Mrs. Kinnian... no post offices until yesterday?

I didn't have a dime, I didn't have a stamp, I didn't have the time!

She didn't have a dime, time, or the inclination.

Hi, Charly, Mrs. Kinnian! Bert, how are you? How's Algernon?

Last week he said hello to me in Sanskrit.

What did you say to him?

What do you say to a mouse that says hello in Sanskrit?

I said hello!

Homecoming! We've still got a little champagne left.

Champagne with a plastic top: symbol of our times.

Now that you're here, I want to run over tomorrow's program.

Very well. What would you like... a treatise on photosynthesis and its effect on fourth-generation computers?

By the way, how do your surgical techniques work on retarded computers?

And you, Dr. Straus... what would you like for emotional effect? Would you like... an ideational activity or would you like fragmented self-image?

I would like a drink.

Fragmented grape. Thank you.

Come on, Professor, cheer up. After tomorrow... you're gonna be on the cover of Time and Newsweek.

And you, Dr. Straus, are gonna be in the centerfold of Playboy.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is my honour at this time to present to you... the distinguished Dr. Richard Nemur... and his colleague, Dr. Anna Straus... who are responsible for the Algernon-Gordon effect.

You are all acquainted with their eminent qualifications... through their published papers...

I told you we're not using the Phase 5 group.

I asked Bert to bring them.

Some of the behavioral psychologists might care to see them.

Is that advisable?

I think it is absolutely essential that...

Dr. Anna Straus and Dr. Richard Nemur.

Learned colleagues... the presentation today will deal first...

Give me a cigarette.

...aspects of the Algernon-Gordon effect... which my associate will cover.

Thanks. I didn't know you smoked.

I don't.


There's absolutely no need to be nervous. No.

There's only a few hundred of the world's most eminent scientists out there.

No reason to be nervous. Never mind about them.

You are talking directly to me. Yes.

Will you stand where I can see you? Right there.

Let me know.

...resulted in a maverick enzyme... of the kind which induces... defective biochemical reaction and causes brain damage.

Fortunately, while the destruction to the tissue is irreversible... the protein process is not.

Many researchers are able to reverse the process through control of chemicals... which combine with the defective enzymes... and change the molecular shape of the interfering key, as it were.

This is also central in our technique.

But first we remove the damaged portions of the brain... and permit the implanted tissues... which have been chemically revitalized... to produce brain protein... at an accelerated and supernormal rate.

Dr. Straus.

And now we would like to show you... a film study of Charly Gordon... when he first came to the clinic.

Got my... rabbit's foot.

That's very good. Shoes, gloves.

Shoes and gloves...

You wear them. That's right.

Morning, afternoon.

You don't have to worry about passing or failing. Not these tests.

Morning, afternoon...

That's a very funny face, Charly.

That was Charly Gordon then.

Ladies and gentlemen, I would like you... to meet Charly Gordon now.

Are there any questions?

Did you enjoy the film?

Mr. Gordon...

how do you feel at the present moment about your development?

Grateful, sir.

You are happy about it? Yes.


Because it has allowed me to see.

To see what?

The world.

And what do you see in that world?

My eyes are new, Doctor.

What do they see, Mr. Gordon?

Things as they are.


And what they are becoming.

Can you give me an example, Mr. Gordon?

No, sir, you give me one.

Very well.

Modern science.

Rampant technology.

Conscience by computer.

Modern art.

Dispassionate draftsmen.

Foreign policy. Brave new weapons.

Today's youth. Joyless, guideless.

Today's religion. Preachment by popularity polls.

Standard of living. A TV in every room.

Education. A TV in every room!

The world's future, Mr. Gordon.

Brave new hates, brave new bombs, brave new wars.

The coming generation. Test-tube conception, laboratory birth...

TV education, brave new dreams, brave new hates, brave new wars... a beautifully purposeless process of society suicide.

Any more questions?

In the back, any more questions about things as they are... and what they're becoming?


I have a question.

Professor Nemur...

Charly Gordon?

Come on, Professor, you know.

You know, but you haven't told me.

Anybody out there answer the question "Charly Gordon?"

Anyone in the back answer the question "Charly Gordon?"


Well, I'm disappointed in you doctors.

You're not very smart.

You're not even as smart as a mouse.

Because he knows.

Algernon showed me.

The answer to the question...

"Charly Gordon?" is:

Charly Gordon... is a fellow... who will very shortly be...

what he used to be.

Professor Nemur... why didn't you tell me... the success of the operation... was only temporary?

Thank you. You're welcome.

Let me buy you a drink. No.

I wish you would. Waitress.

The entire Phase 5 group... all the same as Algernon.

Not one of the mice is capable anymore of solving the simplest problem.

Did you find him?

Why didn't you tell me?

Why did you have to hide it?

But we only discovered an indication of this condition last week, Mrs. Kinnian... and only in a few of the Phase 5 mice.

I assumed it was simply erratic behavior, individual behavior.

There was no need to alarm Charly!

With the convention coming up, why should you both miss your moments of glory?

Before we could run further checks, he had no right to make it public.

No right? Have you any idea what he's done... to our standing in the scientific community?

Let us calmly, dispassionately, try to decide what we are going to do...

About this situation. Which situation?

Your standing or Charly? They're related, you know.

Is that all this means to you?

But don't you understand, Mrs. Kinnian?

Algernon's regression doesn't prove it will happen to Charly.

Charly's a human being, not a laboratory animal.

This regressive syndrome may be limited to the mice.

I will thank you...

Have you been close to something, but not close enough?

Is there a second operation you can give him, some corrective surgery?

No. I see.

What do you do here with the specimens that fail?

The freezer first, then the incinerator?

How can I help?

Consider the human brain as an information-processing system... of several parts.

The cortical surface consisting of distributed in logic arrays... various multi-directional buses and distributing converters... for converting synaptic memory into DNA storage.

One area for investigation is the doctors' hypothesis... that the mind can be permanently improved... through surgery and enzyme enrichment... thereby utilizing unused portions of the brain. Can you program that?

It's a little vague, Mr. Gordon. Could you give me more detailed specs?

It correlates to what we've already programmed on DNA conversion.

I see. Can we use the same system?

Right. Just change the variables.

Is mental improvement temporary because it lacks appropriate DNA conversion... because of a storage limitation, which tends to overload and disable the repaired area?

Any combination of those factors?

Run it.

Assuming the brain neurons store information on a temporary basis only... let's assume...

Thank you, this one's finished.

Assuming the brain neurons store information on a temporary basis only... let us assume that this information... is subsequently coded into DNA molecules... permitting storage of far more material than the nerves could hold by themselves.

It could be that this transformation takes place during sleep... and is indeed one of the purposes and needs for sleeping... and for dreaming.

Simulating brain damage.

Comparing homologous lesions in the tissue of animals... and corresponding...

It requires no great stretch of imagination to visualize a possible connection... between protein synthesis and...

And what?

Perhaps the only possible answer... to our question is, whatever we said the mind is, we'll discover it's not.

It may be that we've been... trying to capture something which is scientifically...

Which by its very nature... is scientifically premature.

Charly, go...

Go home, Charly. You'll work better in the morning.

I'm finished.

My work is finished.

That's good.

Then you can go home... and sleep for at least two days.

These tapes will have to be programmed.

Could they do it tonight?

If you go home and sleep.

I'd rather wait.

Might take all night.

I'll wait.

Your evaluations were correct.

That's too bad.

It was such a promising theory. It is.

It still is.

Thank you.

Felt like coffee.

Everything's closed.

Not at Charly Gordon's.

Open 24 hours a day, you know that.

Hungry? Want some eggs? No, just coffee.

I hope it's not too strong.

Marry me, Charly.



I'll get you a spoon.

Marry me.

All right, don't marry me.

Motion carried.

But I'm gonna stay. Right here.

Whenever you feel like telling me to go, just tell me so. I'll go.


Please leave.

All right.

Good night.

Good night.