Honest and hard-working Texas rancher Homer Bannon has a conflict with his unscrupulous, selfish, arrogant and egotistical son Hud, who sank into alcoholism after accidentally killing his brother in a car crash.
Young Helen Keller, blind, deaf, and mute since infancy, is in danger of being sent to an institution. Her inability to communicate has left her frustrated and violent. In desperation, her parents seek help from the Perkins Institute, which sends them a "half-blind Yankee schoolgirl" named Annie Sullivan to tutor their daughter. Through persistence and love, and sheer stubbornness, Annie breaks through Helen's walls of silence and darkness and teaches her to communicate.Written by
Christina Dunigan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Although Patty Duke had been playing Helen Keller in the play for more than a year, she almost didn't get the part in the film adaptation. The studio felt that being a teenager, she looked too old to play a seven-year-old. However, they decided to use Duke after deciding to use Anne Bancroft, who played Duke's original Annie Sullivan in the play. See more »
During the infamous breakfast scene, while struggling to get Helen back to the table to eat with a spoon, a (presumably) glass candle cover is knocked down from a table against the wall. The sound of plastic hitting the floor is distinctly heard and the cover does not break. It appears again later in the welcome home dinner for Helen. Plastic was not used during the time the film takes place. See more »
[Captain Arthur and Kate Keller embrace tenderly and thankfully at the seemingly good news]
I can tell you now I thought she wouldn't.
Captain Arthur Keller:
I thought too I'd miss my wife's first. It's a battle scar
Doctor, will my girl be alright?
By morning she'll be knockin' down Cap'n Keller's fences again.
Oh, is there nothing we should do?
Captain Arthur Keller:
Put up stronger fences, huh?
Just let her get well. She knows how better than we do. These things come and go in infants, never know why. Probably ...
[...] See more »
Powerfully directed by Arthur Penn and supported by two Oscar-winning performances, The Miracle Worker dramatizes the early years of Helen Keller, the blind and deaf mute who became a famous author and prominent Socialist. Anne Bancroft's first lead role is as Anne Sullivan, Helen's lifelong teacher and friend and her performance is compelling. Patty Duke is also outstanding as Helen, portraying the disturbed child as she works to overcome bad manners and temper tantrums, the result of being overly indulged by her well meaning but ineffective parents. Moving into a small cottage away from her parents, Anne, who was partially blind herself, assists Helen with some tough love and begins to teach her to spell with her fingers.
Until this point, Helen had no understanding of the meaning of words. This changed when Anne led her to the water pump and spelled out the word water as she pumped the water over Helen's hand. She is said to have learned thirty words the same day and eventually learned to read. In 1904 Helen graduated from Radcliffe College, becoming the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. The film could have easily descended into melodrama, but Penn keeps his focus and the result is enormously moving without being maudlin. The Miracle Worker is a miracle.
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