The Miracle Worker Overview:

The Miracle Worker (1962) was a Biographical - Drama Film directed by Arthur Penn and produced by Fred Coe.

The film was based on the autobiography The Story of My Life written by Helen Keller at the & 1959 Play Playhouse Theatre, NY 1903 (play performed Oct 19, 1959 - Jul 1, 1961).

Academy Awards 1962 --- Ceremony Number 35 (source: AMPAS)

AwardRecipientResult
Best ActressAnne BancroftWon
Best Supporting ActressPatty DukeWon
Best Costume DesignRuth MorleyNominated
Best DirectorArthur PennNominated
Best WritingWilliam GibsonNominated
.

BlogHub Articles:

The Miracle Worker (1962)

By Beatrice on Jul 25, 2017 From Flickers in Time

The Miracle Worker Directed by Arthur Penn Written by William Gibson based on his play and the book by Helen Keller 1962/USA Playfilm Productions Repeat viewing/Netflix Spectacular acting meets a powerful, inspirational story. This is based on the true story of Helen Keller (Patty Duke), who, at ... Read full article


The Miracle Worker

By Amanda Garrett on May 14, 2016 From Old Hollywood Films

Today, I'm reviewing The Miracle Worker (1962), starring Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke. This article is part of The Disability in Film Blogathon hosted by Pop Culture Reverie. Helen Keller lived most of her life with profound disabilities, but that did not stop her from becoming an internation... Read full article


Anne Bancroft, Winner for The Miracle Worker

By Virginie Pronovost on Feb 6, 2016 From The Wonderful World of Cinema

The 31 Days of Oscar Blogathon is finally back! This is one of my favourite blogathons, so I was very excited to participate again. As always, it is hosted by the fantastic Aurora from Once Upon a Screen, Kellee from Outspoken and Freckled and Paula from Paula’s Cinema Club. Today, we start th... Read full article


Silence in Sound: The Power of “Johnny Belinda” and “The Miracle Worker”

By Lara on Oct 21, 2011 From Backlots

When the silent era finally gave way to talkies in 1927, an art form was lost–the art of meaningful expression without words. When we look at the films of the great silent stars, for example those of Clara Bow, Norma Talmadge, or Lillian Gish, we see a wholly separate kind of film, one where a... Read full article


The Miracle Worker (1962)

By Raquel Stecher on Nov 30, -0001 From Out of the Past - A Classic Film Blog

Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke in The Miracle Worker (1962) It seemed like an impossible task. How does one teach a young girl who is blind, deaf, and mute how to communicate with the world? It would take a teacher of great strength who would persist against all odds. It would take a miracle worker.... Read full article


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Quotes from

Captain Arthur Keller: Miss Sullivan, I find it difficult to talk through those glasses. Why do you wear them? The sun's been down over an hour.
Annie Sullivan: Any kind of light hurts my eyes.
Captain Arthur Keller: Well, put them on, Miss Sullivan. I've decided to give you a second chance.
Annie Sullivan: To do what?
Captain Arthur Keller: To remain our employee! But on two conditions! I'm not accustomed to rudeness! If you want to stay, there must be a radical change of manner!
Annie Sullivan: Whose?
Captain Arthur Keller: Yours, young lady! Isn't it obvious? You must convice me that there's the slightest hope of you teaching a child who now flees from you like the plague.
Annie Sullivan: There isn't. It's hopeless here.
Captain Arthur Keller: Am I to understand...
Annie Sullivan: We all agree it's hopeless here. The next question is...
Kate Keller: Miss Annie, I'm not agreed! She did fold her napkin. She learns. She learns! Did you know she began talking when she was only six months old? She could say water. Well, not really. Wah-wah. But she meant water! She knew what it meant at only six months old! I never saw a child so bright or outgoing! It's still in her, somewhere. Miss Annie, put up with her and with us.
Captain Arthur Keller: Us?
Kate Keller: Please. Like the lost lamb in the parable, I love her all the more.
Annie Sullivan: Mrs. Keller, I don't think Helen's greatest handicap is deafness or blindness. I think it's your love and pity. All these years you've felt so sorry for her you've kept her like a pet. Well, even a dog you housebreak.


Annie Sullivan: I have to live with her somewhere else.
Kate Keller: For how long?
Annie Sullivan: Until she learns to listen to and depend on me.
Captain Arthur Keller: Miss Sullivan...
Annie Sullivan: Captain Keller, it meets both of your conditions. It's the one way I can get back in touch with Helen, and I don't see how I can be rude to you again if you're not around to interfere with me.
Captain Arthur Keller: And what's your plan if I say no? Pack the other half for home and abandon your charge to... to...
Annie Sullivan: The asylum? I grew up in such an asylum, the State Alms House. Rats? Why, my brother Jimmy and I used to play with the rats because we didn't have any toys. Maybe you'd like to know what Helen will find there, not on visiting days. One ward was full of the old women. Crippled, blind, most of them dying, but even if what they had was catching, there was nowhere else to move them. That's where they put us. Then there were younger ones across the hall, prostitutes mostly, with TB and epileptic fits. And some of the kind that keep after other girls, especially the young ones. And some were just insane. Some had the DTs. Then there were girls in another ward to have babies they didn't want. They started at thirteen, fourteen. They left afterwards, but the babies stayed. We played with them, too. There were a lot of them, with sores all over from diseases you're not supposed to talk about.


Kate Keller: What are you saying to her?
Annie Sullivan: Oh, I was just making conversation. Telling her it was a sewing card.
Kate Keller: Does that mean that to her?
Annie Sullivan: Oh, no, she won't know what spelling is till she knows what a word is.
Kate Keller: The captain says it's like spelling to a fence post.
Annie Sullivan: Does he now? It's how I watch you talk to your baby.
Kate Keller: The baby?
Annie Sullivan: Any baby. It's gibberish. Grown-up gibberish. Baby-talk gibberish. Do they understand one word of it to start? Somehow they begin to if they hear it. I'm letting Helen hear it.
Kate Keller: Other children are not impaired.
Annie Sullivan: Oh, there's nothing impaired in her head. It works like a mousetrap.
Kate Keller: Then when will she learn?
Annie Sullivan: Maybe after a million words.


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Facts about

William Gibson took Helen Keller's story to Broadway in 1959, but it was performed for the first time not on Broadway but on live television in a 1957 episode of "Playhouse 90": The Miracle Worker. The two leads were Teresa Wright and 11-year-old Patty McCormack. On the Broadway stage and in the film they were Anne Bancroft and 16-year-old Patty Duke. Arthur Penn directed both the TV version and the 1962 film.
The original Broadway production of "The Miracle Worker" opened at the Playhouse Theater on October 19, 1959, ran for 719 performances and won the 1960 Tony Award for the Best Play. Anne Bancroft (winner of the 1960 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play) and Patty Duke recreated their stage roles in the movie. Also in the opening night cast were Kathleen Comegys as Aunt Ev and Beah Richards as Viney, both originating their movie roles. William Gibson wrote the teleplay, the stage play and the screenplay.
Although Patty Duke had been playing Helen Keller in the play for more than 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.
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