Unlike most I don’t immediately default to Charly when I think of Cliff Robertson, who died yesterday at age 88. I think instead of his performance as Higgins, the cynical CIA official in Three Days of the Condor (’75). Or his hammer-like performance as Joe Cantwell, the sanctimonious, Richard Nixon-esque presidential candidate in The Best Man (’64).
Charly is an agreeable, sweetly touching drama, and Robertson played a mentally challenged man with care and sensitivity. But gentle sentiment never ages well. For me something more interesting came out when Robertson played shits.