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)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 12 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 ... 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Patty Duke won the Oscar for this role. When questioned by Emmy TV Legends in a recent interview as to how she won the Oscar, she replied, "the part won the Oscar." See more »

Goofs

Anne Bancroft plays Annie Sullivan with a slight Irish accent. The real Sullivan was born in Agawam, Massachusetts and had no such accent. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Doctor: She'll live.
[Captain Arthur and Kate Keller embrace tenderly and thankfully at the seemingly good news]
Doctor: I can tell you now I thought she wouldn't.
Captain Arthur Keller: I thought too I'd miss my wife's first. It's a battle scar
Kate Keller: Doctor, will my girl be alright?
Doctor: By morning she'll be knockin' down Cap'n Keller's fences again.
Kate Keller: Oh, is there nothing we should do?
Captain Arthur Keller: Put up stronger fences, huh?
Doctor: Just let her get well. She knows how better than we do. These things come and go in infants, never know why. Probably acute ...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Happy Death Day 2U (2019) 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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User Reviews

 
MW: One one of the reasons I fell in love with film as art
22 May 2000 | by gevaultskiSee all my reviews

Although I am a long-time Patty Duke admirer, and thus far from objective, this film still stands the test of time. This is the kind of filmmaking that prompted me to fall in love with the movies. Brilliantly inspired writing by William Gibson, from his equally inspired play. Intelligent, austere direction by Arthur Penn (one of the true gentlemen and masters of the American cinema); Penn had the sense to retain the inate artistry and grit of the original stage play and simply allow the camera to capture the actors' intuitive - albeit, well rehearsed, performances, recreating their stage roles which generated an unheard-of 19 curtain calls when it first graced the stage in its Philadephia opening. The film, in stark, black and white, speaks total reality to the film audience of 1962 - and, of course, well beyond that year. Finally, one would be hard pressed to think of another film that so exquisitely defines the term "2-character" study. Bancroft and Duke deliver A-plus, no bones about it, top-drawer, performances. It is a film about the undaunted human spirit and our need to communicate. Although much has been written about 11-minute breakfast donneybrook, which is certainly wonderful cinema to behold, the entire film is breathtaking from opening credits to the final scenes. I dare anyone to even breathe during the climactic water pump scene when teacher Annie Sullivan finally "connects" and communicates with her "unreachable" charge, the deaf, blind, young Helen Keller. It's an absolutely astonishing, "can't take your eyes off it," moment of celluloid. Duke, Bancroft and Penn worked beatifully to create this incredibly touching masterpiece of dramatic filmmaking, which is not without its moments of "comedy," as all fine dramas are capable of conveying. It is a film which breathes life - and it is especially brought to life by two of the best actresses America has ever produced. The Miracle Worker is a story and film portraying real human courage, patience and individual, personal will. It continues to live in my memory as a work of art that has rarely been equalled before - or since - on screen.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

28 July 1962 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Miracle Worker See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,139
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Playfilm Productions See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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