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The Miracle Worker (1962)

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

A mighty motion picture experience. . .touch it. . .sense it. . .feel it. . .you can't forget it! 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:

The Miracle Worker See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,139
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Playfilm Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

United Artists originally offered a $2-million budget if writer William Gibson and director Arthur Penn would cast either Elizabeth Taylor or Audrey Hepburn in the role of Annie Sullivan. When they insisted that the part be recreated by Tony Award winner Anne Bancroft, UA cut the budget by $1.5 million. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the dinnertime confrontation, Helen's position changes; she is kneeling at Annie, and begins to stand, but in the next cut she is kneeling again. 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 ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Version of The Miracle Worker (1979) 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
See more »

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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