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Miracle Worker [VHS]

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Product Details

  • Actors: Anne Bancroft, Patty Duke, Victor Jory, Inga Swenson, Andrew Prine
  • Directors: Arthur Penn
  • Writers: Helen Keller, William Gibson
  • Producers: Fred Coe
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, Original recording reissued, NTSC
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
  • VHS Release Date: July 30, 2002
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (354 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0792842146
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #145,607 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews


Customer Reviews

Acting is great and the true story is very inspirational!
Michelle Deuling
And now, I show it to my students as they learn about the persistence and perseverance of Anne Sullivan as Helen Keller's teacher.
The acting performances of Patty Duke and Anne Bancroft are amazing!
Linda Wilder

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

141 of 142 people found the following review helpful By David Kusumoto on July 29, 2001
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The most amazing thing about the film version of "The Miracle Worker" is its absolutely timeless quality. It still holds up beautifully for a film that's more than 50 years old.

I've seen "The Miracle Worker" probably a dozen times. And it never gets tiring, boring or unemotional. In fact, after each viewing, I pick up more details - and the tears still come just as they did when I first saw it many years ago.

The Oscar-winning performances by Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke are shattering. The grainy flashback and dream sequences involving Bancroft's character, Annie Sullivan, are wonderfully spooky - and the fabulously haunting score by Laurence Rosenthal adds a perfect counterbalance to "The Miracle Worker," bringing emotional resonance to an otherwise purposely unsentimental telling of the Helen Keller story. Yet while I say it's unsentimental, its ending is arguably sentimental, which is why the film's devastating last 10 minutes remain wonderful. The film covers only the short period leading up to Helen Keller's breakthrough to others as a child of intelligence - instead of a child who's incorrectly believed to be mentally handicapped.

Director Arthur Penn, who later went onto to lens his classic, "Bonnie and Clyde (1967), did a wonderful thing translating William Gibson's play to the visual language of cinema. There isn't a flaw I can detect with this film, especially his pans, dissolves, double exposures and grainy images with the dream sequences. It's a remarkable portend of things to come for this director - and frankly, I enjoy "The Miracle Worker" a lot more than "Bonnie and Clyde," an acknowledged classic that for me, is more recognized for its counter-culture storytelling style and shocking violence at the time it was released.
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96 of 97 people found the following review helpful By Daniel on February 2, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
I'm usually very critical of movies. A movie that really blows me away is rare, but I have never been more blown away in my entire life than by this film - I am deaf, I say this because it is relevant to the subject. I grew up in the same school as deaf/blind children. I assure you, the performance of Patty Duke is INCREDIBLE - totally credulous. Anne Bancroft is overwhelming as Annie O'Sullivan, the schoolteacher. There is not a bad performance in this entire movie. It is emotional and gut-wrenching without the smallest drop of schmaltz or saccharine - something that is very rare in a movie with the subject matter of a disabled child. In fact, it is almost painful and brutal to watch at times, but I am grateful to the director for cutting no punches. The cinematography and black-and-white film are perfectly in tune with the performances and subject matter. So often the easy way is taken out when transferring a stage play to screen - just look at "And Then There Were None" aka "Ten Little Indians" for an example - but here, the ending is presented after a gruelling drama - I honestly think that the ending of this film is a true cinematic moment - it is unsentimental and yet... the emotions, the sheer power, the strength and climax of it all - the realisation. My entire nervous system vibrated for half a hour after watching this film, and still does so whenever I think of it - It is BRILLIANT. Disturbing, disquieting, ferocious, frightening, funny (yes, funny), tender, loving, HATING, calmness and storms. I could say so much about this film - write so many essays upon its different aspects - but I have neither time, nor you the patience, so I shall end with these words: Watch it!
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 14, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
I believe this is one of the most spectacular movies I have ever seen! The movie is about an 7-year old blind,deaf,and mute child named Helen Keller. After numerous attempts to communicate with Hellen, the Kellers hire Annie Sullivan, a twenty year old teacher from Boston. Annie who is virtually blind herself, has an agressive, but meaningful approch to help Helen overcome her disablities. This movie truly does deliver. From the infamous dining room scene, to the heart wrenching finale. The acting is superb. By the way, Bancroft and Duke won Academy Awards. This is one of those movies that you can't just watch once. The more you watch it,the more you'll love it. I must admit, it's hard not to be emotional moved by this masterpiece which is "One of the finest works of art in the history of motion pictures." (Boxoffice)
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By David Von Pein on February 9, 2006
Format: DVD
15-year-old Patty Duke and 30-year-old Anne Bancroft are simply magnificent in 1962's emotion-filled and heart-tugging drama, "The Miracle Worker", a film based on the true-life story of Helen Keller, who was both deaf and blind, but far from dumb.

Bancroft (Anne "Annie" Sullivan) and Duke (Helen Keller) fight tooth-and-nail throughout a goodly portion of "The Miracle Worker", which is a movie which was inspired by the real Helen Keller's autobiography "The Story Of My Life". It was, indeed, literally a "tooth"-and-nail battle for Miss Sullivan in parts of the movie, as she attempts to communicate with young Helen, with Annie getting a tooth knocked out of her head at one point thanks to a hearty smack across the face from her student.

But through an undying combination of caring, kindness, persistence, and unwavering toughness, Annie finally gets through to Helen, and by the film's final act we can see that Annie has taught Helen more than just the meaning of the words "water", "tree", and "key". Annie has taught her the meaning of the word "love" as well -- as we see demonstrated so well and tenderly in the very last moments of this motion picture.

Patty Duke's performance as Keller is so realistic and genuine, it's nothing short of awe-inspiring. Not once did I detect even the smallest sign that Patty was "acting" here. I would swear she was totally blind throughout this motion picture. And Miss Bancroft is every bit Patty's equal in this 106-minute film. The thick accent and that wonderful pair of ever-present dark glasses help to define the character of "Annie", the tough teacher, formerly blind herself, who performs the "Miracle" that Helen's family had never thought was possible.
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