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Johnny Belinda (1948)

Unrated | | Drama | 14 September 1948 (USA)
Trailer
2:36 | Trailer
In post-war Cape Breton, a doctor's efforts to tutor a deaf/mute woman are undermined when she is raped, and the resulting pregnancy causes scandal to swirl.

Director:

Jean Negulesco

Writers:

Irma von Cube (screenplay) (as Irmgard VonCube), Allen Vincent (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jane Wyman ... Belinda McDonald
Lew Ayres ... Dr. Robert Richardson
Charles Bickford ... Black MacDonald
Agnes Moorehead ... Aggie MacDonald
Stephen McNally ... Locky McCormick
Jan Sterling ... Stella McCormick
Rosalind Ivan ... Mrs. Poggety
Dan Seymour ... Pacquet - Storekeeper
Mabel Paige ... Mrs. Lutz
Ida Moore ... Mrs. McKee
Alan Napier ... Defense Attorney
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Storyline

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 duke1029

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There was temptation in her helpless silence...and then torment See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

14 September 1948 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Belinda See more »

Filming Locations:

Fort Bragg, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original Broadway production of "Johnny Belinda" by Elmer Harris opened at the Belasco Theater & ran for 321 performances. See more »

Goofs

The adoption papers from the council misspell the possessive "its" as "it's." See more »

Quotes

Dr. Robert Richardson: Your Lordship, I insist this girl obeyed an impulse older than the laws of man: the instinct of a mother to protect her child.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Also shown in computer colorized version. See more »

Connections

Version of Johnny Belinda (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

The Maple Leaf Forever
(uncredited)
Music by Alexander Muir
Played during opening narration
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
A Wonderful All-Around Film
31 January 2008 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

This is a great storytelling and movie-making rolled into one and I can see why it was up for so many Academy Awards in its day (when they rewarded the best movies.)

Jane Wyman seems to get the most attention here but I was totally impressed not only with her but all the actors, the director and the photographer. All excelled in this film, I thought - a great effort all-around.

Wyman and Lew Ayers were terrific in the leads, playing endearing characters who were easy to become involved with and root for in this story. Wyman, like Dorothy McGuire in "The Spiral Staircase" (1945) and Alan Arkin in "The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter" (1968), plays a deaf mute effectively with haunting, expressive facial features. I hope people don't overlook Ayers' extremely warm performance as the doctor who truly cares for this woman. Ayers plays a very decent man and does it with a lot of dignity.

Charles Bickford was powerful, too, as Belinda's father and ditto for the always-entertaining Agnes Moorhead, playing Belinda's sister. I can't leave out the "villains," either: Stephen McNally, who really looks his part, and his reluctant bride Jan Sterling, an underrated classic-era actress.

Jean Negulesco's direction provided numerous interesting low and high-angle camera shots and cinematographer Ted McCord made the most of it, including some great facial closeups. To be honest, I am not familiar with either of these two names but I was very impressed with their work here. Oh.....having Max Steiner doing the music didn't hurt, either!

The film gets a little melodramatic at times but it's never overdone. The story flows nicely. No scene - pleasant or unpleasant - overstays its welcome. You get a cohesive blend of heartfelt sentiment, romance, drama and suspense. In addition, the DVD transfer of this film is magnificent. I would like to have seen some behind-the-scenes features with the disc, but the film was so good I am not complaining.


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