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The Miracle Worker (1962)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama | 28 July 1962 (USA)
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The story of Anne Sullivan's struggle to teach the blind and deaf Helen Keller how to communicate.

Director:

Arthur Penn

Writers:

William Gibson (screenplay), William Gibson (based upon the stage play by)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Anne Bancroft ... Annie Sullivan
Victor Jory ... Captain Arthur Keller
Inga Swenson ... Kate Keller
Andrew Prine ... James Keller
Kathleen Comegys Kathleen Comegys ... Aunt Ev
Patty Duke ... Helen Keller
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Storyline

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 <minstrel@wf.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A mighty motion picture experience. . .touch it. . .sense it. . .feel it. . .you can't forget it! See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

28 July 1962 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Miracle Worker See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Playfilm Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[first lines]
Doctor: She'll live.
[Captain Arthur and Kate Keller embrace tenderly and thankfully at the seemingly good news]
Doctor: 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
Kate Keller: Doctor, will my girl be alright?
Doctor: By morning she'll be knockin' down Cap'n Keller's fences again.
Kate Keller: Oh, is there nothing we should do?
Captain Arthur Keller: Put up stronger fences, huh?
Doctor: 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 »

Connections

Referenced in Night Court: The Computer Kid (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Hush, Little Baby
(uncredited)
Traditional Southern lullaby
Music adapted by Don Costa
Lyrics by Arthur Siegel
Sung by Anne Bancroft
Also played in the score
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Enormously moving
13 June 2005 | by howard.schumannSee all my reviews

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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