2016 Blind Spot Series: The Miracle Worker
What I knew going in: The story (Which I think everyone knows) and that of all the film adaptations, this one is considered the best.
Captain Keller (Victor Jory) wants to have his blind, deaf, and mute daughter Helen (Patty Duke) institutionalized as she grows harder and harder to control as she gets older. His wife Kate (Inga Swenson) begs him not to, and instead they hire a woman named Annie Sullivan (Ann Bancroft) to teach her to communicate. However the Kellers aren't accustomed to Annie's harsh teaching tactics and refuse to admit any faults of their own.
I had seen the Lifetime version with Hallie Kate Eisenberg as Helen, and now after watching this, I feel I can finally understand how terrible that one is in comparison. Everything looked far too polished. Bancroft and Duke are outstanding in their roles. Duke never for one second looks like she's acting. She's so convincing in her eyes, they're never focused on anything. Bancroft also makes us feel about a fraction of what the real Annie must have felt. Watching this film can sometimes be frustrating, especially seeing Annie try so hard to get through to Helen. You wish you could speed up the process for them.
The film did have some downsides. The acting aside from Duke and Bancroft ranges from terrible (Jory) to just okay. (Swenson) They don't match the greatness of the leads. The film is very well shot and staged. The black and white feels even more washed out than normal, like it's capturing the bleakness of the situation. I case could be made for Duke being far too old to play Helen, though I didn't mind. I'm not sure if they could've found a better one.
Memorable Quote: "The room is a wreck, but her napkin is folded." - Annie (Anne Bancroft)