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The Miracle Worker (1962)

Approved | | 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.

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Writers:

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

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Kathleen Comegys ...
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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:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Release Date:

28 July 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ana de los milagros  »

Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The French title of this film is "Miracle en Alabama" (translated literally, "Miracle in Alabama"). 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

Captain Arthur Keller: What would another week accomplish? We are more than satisfied. You taught her things to do, how to behave. She's more manageable, cleaner.
Annie Sullivan: Cleaner?
Captain Arthur Keller: Well, we say cleanliness is next to godliness.
Annie Sullivan: Cleanliness is next to nothing! Give me more time with her.
Captain Arthur Keller: Look, what's she spelling? Teaching a dog to spell? The dog doesn't know what she means any more than she knows what you mean, Miss Sullivan. I think you ask too much of her and yourself. God may not have meant Helen to have the eyes you speak...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Night Court: Walk Away, Renee (1985) 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
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
MW: One one of the reasons I fell in love with film as art
22 May 2000 | by (Michigan, USA) – See all my reviews

Although I am a long-time Patty Duke admirer, and thus far from objective, this film still stands the test of time. This is the kind of filmmaking that prompted me to fall in love with the movies. Brilliantly inspired writing by William Gibson, from his equally inspired play. Intelligent, austere direction by Arthur Penn (one of the true gentlemen and masters of the American cinema); Penn had the sense to retain the inate artistry and grit of the original stage play and simply allow the camera to capture the actors' intuitive - albeit, well rehearsed, performances, recreating their stage roles which generated an unheard-of 19 curtain calls when it first graced the stage in its Philadephia opening. The film, in stark, black and white, speaks total reality to the film audience of 1962 - and, of course, well beyond that year. Finally, one would be hard pressed to think of another film that so exquisitely defines the term "2-character" study. Bancroft and Duke deliver A-plus, no bones about it, top-drawer, performances. It is a film about the undaunted human spirit and our need to communicate. Although much has been written about 11-minute breakfast donneybrook, which is certainly wonderful cinema to behold, the entire film is breathtaking from opening credits to the final scenes. I dare anyone to even breathe during the climactic water pump scene when teacher Annie Sullivan finally "connects" and communicates with her "unreachable" charge, the deaf, blind, young Helen Keller. It's an absolutely astonishing, "can't take your eyes off it," moment of celluloid. Duke, Bancroft and Penn worked beatifully to create this incredibly touching masterpiece of dramatic filmmaking, which is not without its moments of "comedy," as all fine dramas are capable of conveying. It is a film which breathes life - and it is especially brought to life by two of the best actresses America has ever produced. The Miracle Worker is a story and film portraying real human courage, patience and individual, personal will. It continues to live in my memory as a work of art that has rarely been equalled before - or since - on screen.


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