Johnny Belinda (1948) - Plot Summary Poster

Plot Summary

  • 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 blame the doctor, and he and the McDonalds become pariahs, unable to earn a living in the provincial village. Matters come to a head when McCormick and his new wife pressure the local council to declare Belinda an unfit mother and declare them the baby's legal guardians.

    - Written by duke1029
  • In a small fishing village on the island of Cape Breton, Dr. Robert Richardson takes an interest in a sweet deaf mute named Belinda. He teaches her sign language and lip reading, and she soon falls in love with him. When Belinda is left alone one night, she is raped by the town bully, Locky MacCormick. When Robert takes her to see a doctor, it is discovered she is pregnant...

    - Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>
  • 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.

    - Written by Shannon Patrick Sullivan <shannon@mun.ca>


It is the story of a deaf girl, Belinda McDonald, who is befriended by the new doctor, Dr. Robert Richardson...

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