Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. USA, 1962. Playfilm Productions. Screenplay by based on his play, adapted from the book The Story of My Life by Cinematography by Produced by Fred Coe. Music by Laurence Rosenthal. Production Design by George Jenkins. Costume Design by Ruth Morley. Film Editing by Aram Avakian. Academy Awards 1962. Golden Globe Awards 1962. National Board Of Review Awards 1962.
A bit melodramatic at times, this biography of Helen Keller and how she was brought into the world of knowledge by her teacher is an unforgettable drama. Anne Bancroft shines as Annie Sullivan, the caring and sensitive teacher whose tough methods with Keller (played by a riveting Patty Duke) helped her become the influential woman that won over the world. Born both blind and deaf, Keller was treated as little more than a dog by her family, left to pick up table scraps from their meals and treated indifferently in every possible way. Sullivan arrives from the Perkins Institute at the request of the family and, half-blind herself, manages to give Keller an ability to communicate and a direction for her life. Duke later played the older part in a TV-movie remake.