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...Written by
Stephen McNally, who played the hideous "Locky McCormick" character role, in the theatrical film, also played the saintly doctor in the Broadway production, just to prove he could play a friendly or a diabolical (evil) character role. See more »
When Belinda fires one barrel of what looks like a 12 gauge, double-barreled, shotgun at Locky McCormick, there is no recoil of any kind, not even a slight twitch. That seems very unlikely given the size of the gun. See more »
Am 79 years old. Saw it at age 23. Saw it again on TV tonight.It is still a stunning film, the black and white cinematography could not be achieved by many of today's a.s.c. people. Anybody can shoot color.
She was poignant in every scene. The northern California coast doubles nicely for Nova Scotia from whence my maternal ancestors emigrated.
I have difficult time seeing Lew Ayers not in a German soldiers uniform but he was wonderful in this as he was in "All Quiet..." Bickford is always Bickford but in this he is truly in character. And who can deny Moorehead? Direction is flawless as is the casting. The score is gripping.
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