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Johnny Belinda (1948)

Unrated | | Drama | 14 September 1948 (USA)
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) (as Irmgard VonCube), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Pacquet - Storekeeper
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Mrs. Lutz
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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

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:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jane Wyman's Oscar acceptance speech is reportedly the shortest on record for Best Actress: "I won this award by keeping my mouth shut and I think I'll do it again." See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Locky McCormick: [to the trembling Belinda as he is about to rape her] Your heart's poundin'. I caught a sea gull once. It had the same scared look.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Un cero a la izquierda (1980) 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

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User Reviews

 
Magnificent in every respect
31 October 2005 | by See all my reviews

Most of the previous posts were on the mark. I thought every aspect of the movie was magnificent. A great deal of thought, care, and attention went into the production and filming of "Johnny Belinda." Wyman was unforgettable. Everyone else in the cast--down to the smallest role--was superb. The black and white cinematography is stunning, and the location work (I'm assuming the film was not shot in the studio) pays off handsomely. Costuming, props, sets--there's not a false note anywhere. The acting, screenplay, and direction all meld beautifully so that one of the film's greatest achievements is that it never becomes maudlin.

Wyman's Oscar was greatly deserved, but "Johnny Belinda" should have won several more. Throw a dart at the cast and credits list--wherever the dart lands will be a worthwhile Oscar winner.

The reviewer who hailed this as a "forgotten masterpiece" nailed it perfectly. Not only do they "not make 'em like this any more," they only very rarely did before. This is a film crying out to be rediscovered.


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