Review: ‘The Miracle Worker’

A celebrated television show, later a critical, artistic and popular hit on the stage, the Fred Coe production was directed by Arthur Penn, who staged the legit version, and stars Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke in the roles they introduced to Broadway.

A celebrated television show, later a critical, artistic and popular hit on the stage, the Fred Coe production was directed by Arthur Penn, who staged the legit version, and stars Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke in the roles they introduced to Broadway.

Gibson’s screenplay relates the story of the young Helen Keller and how, through the dedication, perseverance and courage of her teacher, Annie Sullivan, she establishes a means of communication with the world she cannot see or hear.

Where the picture really excels, outside of its inherent story values, is in the realm of photographic technique. It is here that director Penn and cameraman Ernest Caparros have teamed to create artful, indelible strokes of visual storytelling and mood-molding. The measured dissolves, focal shifts and lighting and filtering enrich the production considerably. Add to these attributes the haunting, often chilling, score by Laurence Rosenthal.

1962: Best Actress (Anne Bancroft), Supp. Actress (Patty Duke).

Nominations: Best Director, Adapted Screenplay, B&W Costume Design

The Miracle Worker

Production

United Artists. Director Arthur Penn; Producer Fred Coe; Screenplay William Gibson; Camera Ernest Caparros; Editor Aram Avakian; Music Laurence Rosenthal; Art Director George Jenkins

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1962. Running time: 106 MIN.

With

Anne Bancroft Patty Duke Victor Jory Inga Swenson Andrew Prine
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