The true story of Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan, THE MIRACLE WORKER is a gripping and inspiring story of the battle to overcome impossible obstacles and the struggle to communicate. As a young girl, Helen Keller (a brilliant Patty Duke) is stricken with scarlet fever. The illness leaves her blind, mute, and deaf. Sealed off from the world, Helen cannot communicate with anyone, nor anyone with her. Often frustrated and desperate, Helen flies into uncontrollable rages and tantrums that terrify her hopeless family. The gifted teacher Annie Sullivan (Anne Bancroft) comes to help the little girl understand the world from which she is isolated, freeing Helen Keller from her internal prison forever. Under Arthur Penn's controlled direction, Bancroft and Duke deliver unforgettable, flawless performances. The screenplay for THE MIRACLE WORKER was written by William Gibson, who also wrote the book.
1962 - Academy Awards - Best Actress Winner
1962 - Academy Awards - Best Supporting Actress Winner
Arthur Penn - American Director
Anne Bancroft - American actress, THE GRADUATE
Anna Maria Louise Italiano - American actress, THE GRADUATE
Anne Marno - American actress, THE GRADUATE
Inga Swenson - American TV/Film Actress, NORTH AND SOUTH (1985)
Laurence Rosenthal - American Composer
Patty Duke - Oscar-winng American actress, THE MIRACLE WORKER (1962)
Anna Marie Duke - Oscar-winng American actress, THE MIRACLE WORKER (1962)
Patty Duke Astin - Oscar-winng American actress, THE MIRACLE WORKER (1962)
Patty Duke-Astin - Oscar-winng American actress, THE MIRACLE WORKER (1962)
William Gibson - Playwright, THE MIRACLE WORKER
Andrew Prine - American Actor
George Jenkins - Oscar winning art director, ALL THE PRESIDENTS MEN
Fred Coe - American Director/Producer
Aram Avakian - Director/Editor
Victor Jory - Canadian born actor
Beah Richards - American Actress
Helen Keller is isolated from the world. Struck down at a young age by scarlet fever, Helen cannot see, she cannot speak, she cannot hear. Her total inability to communicate sends her into wild, uncontrolled tantrums. Some people claim she is mentally ill and cannot be helped. Her own family doesn't know what to do to help their little girl. They suffer over Helen's unimaginable condition, but are slowly accepting it as permanent. But one day gifted teacher Annie Sullivan arrives to help Helen escape her prison.
Theatrical Release: July 28, 1962 Director Arthur Penn first filmed a television play of THE MIRACLE WORKER (starring Teresa Wright and Patty McCormack), which aired in 1957. The Broadway version of THE MIRACLE WORKER opened on October 19, 1959 at the Playhouse Theatre. Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke, who reprised their roles for the 1962 film, both won Academy Awards for their acclaimed performances. At only sixteen years old, Duke became the youngest recipient of the Best Supporting Actress Oscar up to that point. The exteriors of the film were actually shot in New Jersey, not Alabama, where the film is supposedly set.