A life, when faced with insurmountable obstacles, can either go two ways: forwards or backwards. Thanks to Annie Sullivan, Helen Keller, the girl who was born with three of her vital senses missing, became the woman who not only overcame her condition but learned to "speak" in several different languages, and thus not remain the "animal" she was being dubbed as be her own family who did not know what to do with her. Arthur Penn's movie THE MIRACLE WORKER, based on William Gibson's heart-pounding play, is essentially a two-character study of two people with similar conditions bound together by their need of each other. Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke rip into their roles and create a monumental piece of truly mesmerizing acting, since much of their interaction is basically non-verbal and intensely physical. The entire play is a set-up to that one wondrous moment when Helen finally is able to effectively communicate and understand the concept of "water": this is, quite frankly, one of the most moving sequences in not only this movie but cinema that deals with the triumph of the spirit. A timeless classic and a major inspiration.
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