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 ... See full summary »
After incurring the wrath of the mob, a comic flees Detroit for Chicago taking the name "Mickey One." As he returns to the stage and becomes successful, he fears that the mob will track him... See full summary »
Film screenwriter Jake Armitage and his wife Jo Armitage live in London with six of Jo's eight children, with the two eldest boys at boarding school. The children are spread over Jo's three... See full summary »
Former football player and present private detective Harry Moseby gets hired on to what seems a standard missing person case, as an aging Hollywood actress whose only major roles came ... See full summary »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The French title of this film is "Miracle en Alabama" (translated literally, "Miracle in Alabama"). See more »
The way Annie holds the doll changes after Helen gets back in bed after learning 'milk.' See more »
Maybe you ought to put her away, Father.
Some asylum. It's the kindest thing.
Why, she's your sister, James!
Half-sister. Half mentally defective. She can't even keep herself clean. It's not pleasant to see her about all the time.
Do you dare complain about what you can see?
See more »
An Exceptional Movie That Appeals to the Imagination
With two terrific leading performances, an absorbing and thought-provoking story, and many well-conceived touches by Arthur Penn and his production team, this classic version of "The Miracle Worker" is an exceptional movie that appeals to the imagination and that has much to say about humanity. The story itself is so good that even the lesser remakes have been worth seeing, but there is really no reason at all to look any further than this nearly flawless filming of the story.
As Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller, Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke could not have been better. The battle of wills and wits between the two is engrossing, becoming quite involved and very interesting. The lengthy dining room struggle alone would make any movie worth watching - it is worthwhile even beyond the interesting action itself, as it brings out aspects of human nature and human learning that go beyond even Helen's own trials.
There is a great deal of substance to the movie that goes beyond the immediate issues and confrontations, and a significant reason for the greatness of the film is the way that Bancroft and Duke tap into the imagination of the viewer. The concept of seeing an unseen world (and the challenge of helping someone to see it) is brought out in ways that are profound yet accessible.
The two leads carry almost the whole picture, as the other characters are there primarily for Annie and Helen to play off of. Accordingly, the supporting cast keep their characters more simple, and their performances stylized and almost exaggerated, which allows Bancroft and Duke to have most of the moments of significance. The production also enhances the picture through simple but well-conceived settings, use of lighting, and other features that nicely complement the main action.
It's always rather unfortunate that movies like this one, which take a little effort to appreciate fully, are not given more attention. If you stop to consider what Helen Keller had to face in life, it is a situation far more terrifying than facing any of the cartoonish, artificial movie villains that gain so much notoriety. And if you consider the job that Annie Sullivan had to do, her accomplishment is far more impressive and worthwhile than almost any scientific discovery, feat of athletics, or military exploit.
That this movie is able to convey such themes makes it a memorable classic that is much more worthwhile than many movies that have received far more acclaim.
75 of 81 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?