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
Although this film was a very big success, director Jean Negulesco later claimed that he had had a very bad time making it, and that studio head Jack L. Warner had re-edited the film against his wishes and even included some new footage by a different director. He left Warner Brothers immediately after finishing it. 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 »
I had always written Jane Wyman off as just the ex-wife of Ronald Reagan and the matriarch of the Falcon Crest clan, but this movie really changed my mind about her. I was completely blown away by her performance as a deaf-mute. It is very easy to fall into stereotypes when playing physically challenged roles (especially in 1948), but Wyman underplays her part with great skill. She rises above the melodrama of the film without saying a single word and everything can be seen in her eyes. This film is truly a shining moment in her career.
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