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...
There was temptation in her helpless silence...and then torment
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Did You Know?
The only film to be nominated for Best Actor and Actress Oscars that year. See more
The adoption papers from the council misspell the possessive "its" as "it's." See more
Dr. Robert Richardson
I have to get cash somewhere, and you and some of the others are the only ones who can afford it.
Also shown in computer colorized version. See more
Version of I Maria tis siopis
from "A Midsummer Night's Dream"
Music by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Played at the church after the wedding See more