Eighteen-year-old Esther has been deaf and blind since the accident which killed her mother. Wealthy Margaret Landi, a native of Esther's village in Ireland, is talked into helping to ...
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Eighteen-year-old Esther has been deaf and blind since the accident which killed her mother. Wealthy Margaret Landi, a native of Esther's village in Ireland, is talked into helping to educate and possibly heal Esther. Margaret grows to love Esther as a daughter, but finds Esther's innocence threatened by sleazy promoters and her own sleazy ex-husband.Written by
Crackpot script from Charles Kaufman, based on Nicholas Monsarrat's novel, involves a middle-aged socialite (Joan Crawford) who is introduced to an unfortunate Irish girl rendered blind, deaf, and mute by an explosion five years prior. Taking the tremulous child under her wing, the wealthy matron helps educate and makeover young Esther, resulting in a flurry of publicity and an international Good Will tour. Interesting, if unexciting, mix of bleeding-heart sympathies and the sort of emotional fireworks which skirt "Mildred Pierce" territory, the film nevertheless brings up some involving issues (such as young Esther's inadvertently becoming a cash cow for the exploitation market, as well as the lustful attraction Crawford's shady husband begins exhibiting for the budding young woman). Production values high, yet the movie fails to convince or satisfy. Crawford's breathy condescension is meant to substitute for an impassioned nature, but she doesn't bring any dimension to her role, doesn't give it any weight; as a result, one feels the actress is sticking mainly to the surface and faking her way through. ** from ****
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