8.1/10
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94 user 36 critic

The Miracle Worker (1962)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama | 28 July 1962 (USA)
Trailer
1:47 | Trailer

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ON DISC
The story of Anne Sullivan's struggle to teach the blind and deaf Helen Keller how to communicate.

Director:

Arthur Penn

Writers:

William Gibson (screenplay), William Gibson (based upon the stage play by)
Reviews
Won 2 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Anne Bancroft ... Annie Sullivan
Victor Jory ... Captain Arthur Keller
Inga Swenson ... Kate Keller
Andrew Prine ... James Keller
Kathleen Comegys Kathleen Comegys ... Aunt Ev
Patty Duke ... Helen Keller
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Storyline

Young Helen Keller, blind, deaf, and mute since infancy, is in danger of being sent to an institution. Her inability to communicate has left her frustrated and violent. In desperation, her parents seek help from the Perkins Institute, which sends them a "half-blind Yankee schoolgirl" named Annie Sullivan to tutor their daughter. Through persistence and love, and sheer stubbornness, Annie breaks through Helen's walls of silence and darkness and teaches her to communicate. Written by Christina Dunigan <minstrel@wf.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

An emotional earthquake! See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

28 July 1962 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ana de los milagros See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Playfilm Productions See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although Patty Duke had been playing Helen Keller in the play for more than a year, she almost didn't get the part in the film adaptation. The studio felt that being a teenager, she looked too old to play a seven-year-old. However, they decided to use Duke after deciding to use Anne Bancroft, who played Duke's original Annie Sullivan in the play. See more »

Goofs

During the infamous breakfast scene, while struggling to get Helen back to the table to eat with a spoon, a (presumably) glass candle cover is knocked down from a table against the wall. The sound of plastic hitting the floor is distinctly heard and the cover does not break. It appears again later in the welcome home dinner for Helen. Plastic was not used during the time the film takes place. See more »

Quotes

James Keller: Sooner or later, we all give up, don't we?
Annie Sullivan: Maybe you all do, but it's my idea of the original sin.
James Keller: What is?
Annie Sullivan: Giving up!
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Connections

Featured in The Line King: The Al Hirschfeld Story (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Hush, Little Baby
(uncredited)
Traditional Southern lullaby
Music adapted by Don Costa
Lyrics by Arthur Siegel
Sung by Anne Bancroft
Also played in the score
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Words
23 December 2001 | by kinolieberSee all my reviews

Using the vehicle of the story of a blind and deaf girl's discovery of the meaning of words, this film poetically and emotionally celebrates that singular gift we humans possess: language. It also depicts with deep understanding and identification the glory of that early relationship we all have one way or another, that between child and teacher. There's a line that Annie Sullivan speaks about words being our vision "5000 years into the past" that could apply to this film and play: its words are our vision into the silent and sightless world of Helen Keller.

Unlike many period films shot in the sixties, this one was true to its setting. It hasn't dated a bit. And unlike many films of plays, it never seems stagebound. The black and white camerawork and editing, by people who, strangely, had very limited careers, is superb. The dining room scene is one of the most brilliantly shot and edited sequences I have ever seen. The music is subtle when it needs to be and powerfully effective in the big scenes. The use of flashbacks for Annie's troubled past is done artfully, and in a way true to the emotional content of the memories. The acting by Bancroft and Duke is of course legendary, but the supporting roles are equally well played. But it's probably the director Arthur Penn who is most responsible for the film's success. He saw the play through its journey from live television drama to Broadway to film.


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