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Johnny Belinda (1948)

 -  Drama  -  14 September 1948 (USA)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 2,509 users  
Reviews: 49 user | 16 critic

In post-war Cape Breton, a doctor's efforts to tutor a deaf/mute woman are undermined when she is raped, and the resulting pregnancy causes scandal to swirl.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Johnny Belinda (1948)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Stephen McNally ...
...
Rosalind Ivan ...
Dan Seymour ...
Mabel Paige ...
Ida Moore ...
...
Defense Attorney
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Storyline

Dr. Robert Richardson, a dedicated young general practitioner, seeks to establish himself in an isolated fishing village on Cape Breton Island off the Nova Scotia coast. The population is poor and the struggling physician generally gets paid for his efforts in barter. When he meets Belinda McDonald, a young deaf mute callously dismissed by family and neighbors as "the dummy," he alone senses her innate intelligence. He overcomes the initial skepticism of her flinty, gruff father and indifferently cold aunt, who operate a hardscrabble grist mill and farm, and devotes himself to teaching the young girl sign language and lip-reading. Hopes are even raised that she might even eventually qualify for a medical procedure that might improve her condition. Her optimism is crushed, however, when she raped by Locky McCormick, a brutish local fisherman. Traumatized, she is unable to communicate the outrage to her family, who are baffled and angry when they learn she is pregnant. The local gossips... Written by (duke1029@aol.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

She was alone with terror - and torment! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Release Date:

14 September 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Belinda  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Stephen McNally, who played the heinous Locky in the film, actually played the saintly doctor in the Broadway production. See more »

Goofs

The adoption papers from the council misspell the possessive "its" as "it's." See more »

Quotes

Dr. Robert Richardson: Hello, Aggie. You got back all right?
Aggie McDonald: Wouldn't be here if I hadn't, would I?
Dr. Robert Richardson: Is your sister better?
Aggie McDonald: Yes.
Dr. Robert Richardson: Did she have a good doctor?
Aggie McDonald: Don't have any. Doesn't believe in them.
Dr. Robert Richardson: Well, that's the right attitude as long as one can afford it.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in It's a Great Feeling (1949) See more »

Soundtracks

Come, Thou Almighty King
(1769) (uncredited)
Music by Felice de Giardini
Words anonymous
First stanza sung by the church congregation
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The true gem of the 40s.Oh,Johnny,what a movie!
11 July 2007 | by (Serbia and Montenegro) – See all my reviews

I have read some great things about this movie before I saw it and I am very glad to say-it was all true!The screenplay,based upon the stage play by Elmer Harris,is fascinating,and all the characters are absolutely believable-at times you would say that you actually know these people.Their habits and beliefs are beautifully presented,so are all the beauties and drawbacks of village life.This is a touching drama with elements of romance about a modest doctor who sees hidden potentials and talents in a deaf-mute girl Belinda McDonald and does his best to show her and her family that she could live a normal life.He treats her as a human being and an intelligent girl which she is.He also helps her father and aunt to realize how smart and sensitive Belinda actually is.Things change for the worse after she was raped by a village rascal Locky.When the doctor finds out she is pregnant,the scandal is inevitable... I won't tell you the rest,you just have to see this magnificent movie.The direction is flawless,even though Negulesco is a relatively unknown director of the 40s(there were Huston,Ford,Wilder,Capra,Lang,Mankiewicz,etc.)Still,he manages to draw viewers' attention to important things-he used the script very well.Every member of the cast is the story of his own,but I simply must point out Jane Wyman.A strikingly beautiful woman,whom I saw before only in The Lost Weekend,was really mesmerising.Her stellar performance represents the best-played challenged person ever,and one of the most deserved Oscars in Hollywood history.You can see every her feeling and thought on her pretty face-I was swept off my feet by her power of expression.The scene in which she prays in sign language over her father's deathbed is among the most poignant ever made.I was lost for words when I saw it.The great accomplishment of the great actress.Lew Ayres portrayed the doctor marvelously-he experienced the same hell as Belinda,and still,he stood by her all the way.Certainly,one of his best roles.This is the first movie in which Jane Wyman and Agnes Moorehead starred together-they continued their partnership over the years.Agnes did great and also deserved the Academy award for her role of strict,but good aunt Aggie.(Claire Trevor got the Award,because she portrayed an alcoholic-a pure cliché.)Charles Bickford was very good as the patriarch who does all he can to keep his family together.He and Jane make beautiful father-daughter chemistry on screen.Other actors gave their own contribution to make this film a true masterpiece,which it is.This is a must-see for any classic film-lover and another proof that you can learn many,many things about life from classic movies.Every man carries the substance that makes him human inside his own heart.This is a monumental movie.


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