|The Miracle Worker|
|Based on||The Miracle Worker|
by William Gibson
|Screenplay by||William Gibson|
|Directed by||Paul Aaron|
|Music by||Billy Goldenberg|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Executive producers||Sandy Gallin|
Barbara Abeles Cowan (associate producer)
Alan David (assistant producer)
|Production locations||Big Sky Ranch - 4927 Bennett Road, Simi Valley, California|
|Editor||Gerald Lee Taylor|
|Running time||98 minutes|
|Production company||Half-Pint Productions|
|Original release||October 14, 1979|
The Miracle Worker is a 1979 American made-for-television biographical film based on the 1959 play of the same title by William Gibson, which originated as a 1957 broadcast of the television anthology series Playhouse 90. Gibson's original source material was The Story of My Life, the 1903 autobiography of Helen Keller. The play was adapted for the screen before, in 1962.
The film is based on the life of Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan's struggles to teaching her. It starred Patty Duke (who played Helen Keller in the original 1962 film, for which she won the Oscar) as Annie Sullivan and Melissa Gilbert as Helen Keller. It produced a TV sequel, Helen Keller: The Miracle Continues in 1984.
Young Helen Keller (Melissa Gilbert), blind, deaf, and mute since infancy, is in danger of being sent to an institution. Her inability to communicate has left her frustrated and violent. In desperation, her parents seek help from the Perkins Institute, which sends them a "half-blind Yankee schoolgirl" named Annie Sullivan (Patty Duke) to tutor their daughter. Through persistence and love, and sheer stubbornness, Annie breaks through Helen's walls of silence and darkness and teaches her to communicate.
- Melissa Gilbert as Helen Keller
- Patty Duke as Annie Sullivan
- Charles Siebert as Captain Arthur H. Keller
- Diana Muldaur as Kate Adams Keller
- Stanley Wells as James Keller
- Anne Seymour as Aunt Evelyn
- Hilda Haynes as Viney
- Byron Green as Percy
- Noniece Williams as Martha
- Titos Vandis as Anagnos
- Jonathan Gilbert as voice of Jimmy Sullivan (Anne's younger brother who died in childhood while both were living at Tewksberry Hospital Almshouse).
British actress, Lynne Frederick, had expressed interest playing Anne Sullivan. Despite her lengthy and accomplished body of work, the producers told Frederick that she was “far too pretty” for the part.
Awards and nominations
|American Cinema Editors Awards||Best Edited Television Special||Gerald Lee Taylor||Nominated|
|Directors Guild of America Awards||Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Specials/Movies for TV/Actuality||Paul Aaron||Nominated|
|Golden Globe Awards||Best Motion Picture – Made for Television||The Miracle Worker||Nominated|
|Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Drama or Comedy Special||Raymond Katz, Sandy Gallin and Fred Coe||Won|
|Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or a Special||Patty Duke||Won|
|Outstanding Cinematography for a Limited Series or a Special||Ted Voigtlander||Nominated|
|Outstanding Achievement in Hairstyling||Larry Germain and Donna Barrett Gilbert||Won|
- The Miracle Worker (2000 film)
- Black (2005 film)
- List of films featuring the deaf and hard of hearing