54 user 20 critic

Johnny Belinda (1948)

Unrated | | Drama | 14 September 1948 (USA)
2:35 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $9.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

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.



(screenplay) (as Irmgard VonCube), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Snake Pit (1948)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A detailed chronicle of a woman during her stay in a mental institution.

Director: Anatole Litvak
Stars: Olivia de Havilland, Mark Stevens, Leo Genn
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Katie Holstrom leaves the farm to become a nurse, but is sidetracked into domestic service, romance, and politics.

Director: H.C. Potter
Stars: Loretta Young, Joseph Cotten, Ethel Barrymore
Caged (1950)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A naive nineteen year old widow becomes coarsened and cynical when she is sent to a woman's prison and is exposed to hardened criminals and sadistic guards.

Director: John Cromwell
Stars: Eleanor Parker, Agnes Moorehead, Ellen Corby
Kings Row (1942)
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The dark side and hypocrisy of provincial American life is seen through the eyes of five children as they grow to adulthood at the turn-of-the-century.

Director: Sam Wood
Stars: Ann Sheridan, Robert Cummings, Ronald Reagan
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A German-born engineer, his American wife and their children travel from Mexico to the United States to visit his brother but their plans are complicated by a Romanian count.

Directors: Herman Shumlin, Hal Mohr
Stars: Bette Davis, Paul Lukas, Geraldine Fitzgerald
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In this family saga, Mrs. Parkington recounts the story of her life, beginning as a hotel maid in frontier Nevada where she is swept off her feet by mine owner and financier Augustus ... See full summary »

Director: Tay Garnett
Stars: Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, Edward Arnold
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A tycoon hires a tutor to teach his lover proper etiquette.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Judy Holliday, William Holden, Broderick Crawford
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An unwed mother, forced to give up her child to avoid scandal, follows her son's life from afar even as she prospers in business.

Director: Mitchell Leisen
Stars: Olivia de Havilland, John Lund, Mary Anderson
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Arnold Boult is determined to make his son a success at all costs. He commits arson, causes two suicides, and bribes people. His wife, unable to leave him, becomes alcoholic and dies. His ... See full summary »

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Deborah Kerr, Ian Hunter
Pinky (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A light-skinned African American woman falls in love with a white doctor, though he is unaware of her true race.

Directors: Elia Kazan, John Ford
Stars: Jeanne Crain, Ethel Barrymore, Ethel Waters
Kitty Foyle (1940)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Kitty Foyle, a hard-working white-collar girl from a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania low, middle-class family, meets and falls in love with young socialite Wyn Strafford but his family is against her.

Director: Sam Wood
Stars: Ginger Rogers, Dennis Morgan, James Craig
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In 1940s Mississippi two teenage boys and an elderly woman combine forces to prevent a miscarriage of justice and clear a black man of a murder charge.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: David Brian, Claude Jarman Jr., Juano Hernandez


Complete credited cast:
Rosalind Ivan ...
Dan Seymour ...
Mabel Paige ...
Ida Moore ...


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

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


There was temptation in her helpless silence...and then torment See more »




Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




Release Date:

14 September 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Belinda  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Jane Wyman became the first person, actor or actress since the silent era to win an Oscar without uttering a word, after sound was created, just before The Jazz Singer (1927) was filmed & released, 21 years earlier, in 1927. See more »


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


Mrs. McKee: Mrs. Moore is her own worst enemy.
Mrs. Poggety: Not while I'm alive, she isn't!
See more »


Referenced in You Bet Your Life: Episode #11.1 (1960) See more »


Wedding March
(1843) (uncredited)
from "A Midsummer Night's Dream"
Music by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Played at the church after the wedding
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Silence Yields Oscar Gold
28 January 2007 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

The movies had been talking for 20 years when Johnny Belinda came out in 1948. Those first Oscars were awarded for silent films and it took 20 years for another Oscar to be awarded for a performance without a single word of dialog.

Jane Wyman, who for the first ten years or so of her film career, played a lot of second leads, proves she could have competed with Mary Pickford or Gloria Swanson in the silent era, got an Oscar for her career role as Belinda McDonald. Belinda is a deaf mute who gets raped and impregnated by the town lout and because of what she is, she can neither name her attacker or speak out against the small minds that inhabit the town she lives in.

The story takes place in one of the Canadian isles off Nova Scotia and it begins with the arrival of a new doctor, Lew Ayres in town. One night he gets a call for a veterinary problem from farmers Charles Bickford and his sister Agnes Moorehead. While there he meets Bickford's mute daughter, Jane Wyman.

It's a rough life on that farm which doesn't yield much for creature comforts. Rough of course for Wyman, but also rough for Bickford who brought his sister in to help raise the child after his wife died in childbirth with Wyman. They're hard people, but they have a tender side also which is brought out as the film develops.

Johnny Belinda brought home a flock of Oscar nominations, for Ayres as Best Actor, for Bickford as Best Supporting Actor, for Agnes Moorehead as Best Supporting Actress, for the film itself, for Director Jean Negulesco. But only Wyman got the prize on Oscar night.

The closest performance I can think of to Wyman's in more modern times is that of Hilary Swank as trans-gender Brandon Teena. Swank hasn't the education to articulate her feelings either just as Wyman doesn't until Ayres teaches her to sign, still an audience made of statues will understand and be moved.

In addition to those already mentioned, look for fine performances from Stephen McNally as the lout and Jan Sterling as his wife.

But most of all look to be terribly moved by Jane Wyman.

25 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
As much as I enjoy this movie... octoberbest
What Year Is This Set In? jobimfan3000
Sign language pauldbartlett
Great Movie soulstrong
Raper Kelsey Jefferson
The ending???? musi-o-musi
Discuss Johnny Belinda (1948) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page