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The Miracle Worker (1962)

 -  Biography | Drama  -  28 July 1962 (USA)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 10,490 users  
Reviews: 79 user | 29 critic

The story of Anne Sullivan's struggle to teach the blind and deaf Helen Keller how to communicate.

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(screenplay), (based upon the stage play by), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Miracle Worker (1962)

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Won 2 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Set in 1898, Cambridge, Massachusetts, depicts Annie Sullivan Macy supporting her student Helen Keller at Radcliffe College.

Director: Alan Gibson
Stars: Blythe Danner, Mare Winningham, Perry King
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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)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although Patty Duke had been playing Helen Keller in the play for more than year, she almost didn't get the part in the film adaptation. The studio felt that being a teenager, she looked too old to play a seven-year-old. However, they decided to use Duke after deciding to use Anne Bancroft, who played Duke's original Annie Sullivan in the play. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the dinnertime confrontation, Helen's position changes; she is kneeling at Annie, and begins to stand, but in the next cut she is kneeling again. See more »

Quotes

Kate Keller: What are you saying to her?
Annie Sullivan: Oh, I was just making conversation. Telling her it was a sewing card.
Kate Keller: Does that mean that to her?
Annie Sullivan: Oh, no, she won't know what spelling is till she knows what a word is.
Kate Keller: The captain says it's like spelling to a fence post.
Annie Sullivan: Does he now? It's how I watch you talk to your baby.
Kate Keller: The baby?
Annie Sullivan: Any baby. It's gibberish. Grown-up gibberish. Baby-talk gibberish. Do they understand one word of it to start? Somehow they begin to if they hear it. I'm letting Helen hear it.
Kate Keller: Other ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 70th Annual Academy Awards (1998) 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
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

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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