The Miracle Worker

The Miracle Worker

Streaming Video - 2000
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An adaptation of William Gibson's 1959 play about Annie Sullivan, the teacher that opens up the world for the blind and deaf Helen Keller. This compelling story of unconditional love and perseverance, the Kellers of Tuscumbia, Alabama, are a family in crisis. Their eight-year-old daughter Helen has been blind, deaf and mute since she was 18 months old, and her most consistent form of communication is to grab, tear and scratch violently at anything, or anyone, handy. Captain and Kate Keller feel such tremendous love and pity for Helen that they indulge her every whim. The result is that they have lost any semblance of peace in their home and son James bitterly resents how much attention is lavished on his half-sister. The Kellers make one last attempt to find a solution to their daunting problem. The Perkins School for the Blind in Boston offers to send one of their best students, Annie Sullivan, a recent graduate, to the Keller household to be Helen's live-in teacher in 1887. Annie, herself the product of an arduous childhood, also suffers from failing eyesight. Sullivan immediately, and sternly, tries to teach Helen manners and to use finger spelling -- sign language letters done against the palm of her hand -- as a true language. The process starts with Annie signing into Helen's hand the names of different objects. However, Helen cannot make the crucial connection between those letters and the actual objects and she expresses her frustration violently. Additionally, the Kellers, uncomfortable with seeing their "pitiful" child disciplined, frequently undermine Annie's authority. Sullivan, who is on her own journey of self-discovery, hatches a plan to save her job, control the family interference and create a world of structure for her bright, lively young student that is essential for her to learn and survive. Annie's determination leads Helen to a climactic breakthrough that allows her to discover the world through the eyes and ears of others. Growing into one of the most extraordinary women of any time, Helen served as an international leader for the disabled, with the assistance of the lifelong friendship and support of her teacher and mentor, Annie Sullivan, whose groundbreaking techniques for teaching deaf and blind people are still being used today.
Publisher: [United States] : Walt Disney Television : Made available through hoopla, 2000
ISBN: 9780788828881
Branch Call Number: eVideo hoopla
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 video file (ca. 120 min.)) : sd., col
Alternative Title: Disney's the miracle worker

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b
Bang_On
Aug 01, 2018

IMO - This horrid 1962 picture completely disgraced the respected name of Helen Keller.

I've just recently finished reading Keller's biography and I don't believe (for even a minute) that, as a child, she was such an uncontrollable monster as Patty Duke's dreadful, over-the-top performance led one to imagine her to be.

I mean - Duke's Keller (at age 7) was so unrestrained that not only did I believe she was mentally retarded - But she should've been locked up in a cage, as well.

And, on top of that - When considering the Keller family's high social standing - I completely doubt that they would've allowed Helen to carry on in such a monstrous fashion for her first 7 years.

Anyway - Patty Duke (who was 16 at the time) definitely did not deserve the Oscar that she won for this disgraceful and demented portrayal of Helen Keller. No way.

m
mr_chocolate
Aug 01, 2018

I have not read any biographical or autobiographical information on the real Hellen Keller (The Story of My Life: 1903; The World I Lived In: 1908 ; Light in My Darkness: 1927), but was as impressed with this film when recently re-watching, as I was when I had first seen it years ago.

How close to the real events, I don't know, but it was easy to believe that well-off parents had pampered their deaf and blind child with love to the point of hindrance. The film depicts the attempts of Keller's (1880 - 1963) teacher, Anne Sullivan (Trachoma, had left her blind at the age of 5), to teach the child some manners of the social standing that was expected and demanded by the father. This was the last ditch effort, before giving her up to an institution, to of which the mother had resisted.

Fine example into the depths of struggle and despair of a family and teacher working with an untrained and undisciplined child.

This was a very moving and emotional film for me, done with sincerity, depth and superb acting.

l
lavasushi
Jun 12, 2018

Bravo. Outstanding. Patty Duke is amazing as is Ann Bancroft. She was a15 years old when she did this film and it was her 16th performance (film and TV. I checked IMBD). I’ve seen this 2-3 times before and I think it gets better. Love the black and white and minimal characters. So many scenes are ingrained in my brain: When Helen walks around the table eating off everyone’s plate, when Annie and Helen have the meal in the dining room and everyone has to leave, when James Keller (Andrew Prine) slams the door in the dining room, when Helen (Patty Duke) learns that words mean something. Incredible.

s
SF_READER
Mar 16, 2018

Outstanding movie and performances by Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke .

Both won Oscars for their performance. Best Actress for Bancroft and Best Supporting Actress for Duke.

Franln Jun 21, 2016

There are 3 versions of this movie. One from 1962, 1979 and this one from 2000. This version was actually quite good, the 1979 one was not as good. Have yet to receive the original academy award winner through Inter Library Loan.

g
garycornell
Aug 22, 2014

Director Arthur Penn is best known for directing Bonnie and Clyde and Little Big Man. After seeing "The Miracle Worker" I side on this being his finest movie. The first two movies have large casts and plenty of violence. "The Miracle Worker" is a character study of the real Helen Keller and her teacher Annie Sullivan played by Anne Bancroft. Patty Duke has to portray the challenges of being blind. She will at times become frustrated and need motivation to continue. Anne Bancroft shows Annie Sullivan as a patient teacher with remarkable abilities to communicate what she sees to a blind person. The movie has a great script from the book by the same name and the overall cast are great. There are few movies so universally loved as "The Miracle Worker". Because of it original box office success, there have been re-makes, which you should watch out for. The original is the best of them all!

t
thekristenkat
Dec 02, 2012

Very inspirational. Shows you can overcome anything. Inspiring women. Made me cry happy tears!

m
Monolith
Nov 24, 2012

An affecting, cathartic upheaval of emotion, (and glassware), exquisitely directed by Arthur Penn. Tremendous performances from Oscar winners Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke (who was sixteen! I thought she looked younger...) Even Inga Swenson as the loving Mrs. Keller was wonderful. (And I agree with your comment, TheRogue. This edition was in its original black and white, which absolutely added to the depth and texture of it. I'm not a fan of colorized movies -- too fake. Sorry yours was.) An outstanding, inspirational tearjerker. FIVE STARS.

t
TheRogue
Nov 15, 2012

Without a doubt, one of the most brilliant films of all time. Patty Duke was simply impeccable as the young Helen Keller. What many don't realize on seeing it is that one of the most dramatic scenes, the battle of wills in the locked dining room, was completely shot in one sequence. Over 5 minutes long. Utterly mind boggling. I'm only sorry they have colorized it as the b&w lent great gravity to the film. I would rate this as SIX stars.

w
Wej
Sep 28, 2012

Excellent movie in every way

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Green_Rabbit_118 Mar 05, 2014

Green_Rabbit_118 thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and under

blue_zebra_603 Jun 27, 2012

blue_zebra_603 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Lauren Aug 28, 2008

Lauren thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

nadian Aug 26, 2008

nadian thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

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Austin J Feldkamp Oct 28, 2013

Annie Sullivan: "Why, Mrs. Keller, there's nothing impaired in that head of hers!"

m
Monolith
Nov 24, 2012

James Keller: "You really ought to put her away, Father." Kate Keller: "What?!?" James Keller: "Some asylum! It's the kindest thing." Aunt Ev: "Why, she's your sister, James!" James Keller: "Half-sister, half... mentally defective. She can't even keep herself clean. It's not pleasant to see her ABOUT all the time." Kate Keller: "Do you DARE... complain of what you CAN SEE?!?"

m
Monolith
Nov 24, 2012

Kate Keller: "...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."

m
Monolith
Nov 24, 2012

Annie Sullivan: "...The rooms a wreck, but she folded her napkin."

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