The Miracle Worker (1962) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Miracle Worker (1962)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Miracle Worker Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Based on William Gibson's Broadway play, this film tells the true story of Helen Keller, an Alabama girl born blind and deaf. Enter Anne Sullivan, a partially-blind woman assigned the task of teaching Helen sign language. Anne begins the arduous process of teaching the girl the basics of language.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: William Gibson
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 6, 2001
MGM Home Entertainment


Anne Bancroft
as Annie Sullivan
Patty Duke
as Helen Keller
Inga Swenson
as Kate Keller
Victor Jory
as Capt. Keller
Andrew Prine
as James Keller
Jack Hollander
as Mr. Anagnos
Grant Code
as Doctor
Peggy Burke
as Helen at Age 7
Mindy Sherwood
as Helen at Age 5
Michael Darden
as Percy at Age 10
Dale Ellen Bethea
as Martha at Age 10
Walter Wright Jr.
as Percy at Age 8
Donna Bryan
as Martha at Age 7
Diane Bryan
as Martha at Age 5
Keith Moore
as Percy at Age 6
Michele Farr
as Young Annie at Age 1...
Alan Howard
as Young Jimmie at Age ...
Judith Lowry
as 1st Crone
Helen Ludlam
as 3rd Crone
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Miracle Worker

Critic Reviews for The Miracle Worker

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (5)

The centerpiece is a one-room, nine-minute war of attrition, as a tutor (Anne Bancroft) imposes table manners on her feral charge (Patty Duke). It's a heaving, shin-cracking donnybrook, done with complete commitment.

Full Review… | November 12, 2008
Village Voice
Top Critic

Where the picture really excels, outside of its inherent story values, is in the realm of photographic technique.

Full Review… | October 18, 2008
Top Critic

It's a stunningly impressive piece of work, typically (for Penn) deriving much of its power from the performances.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Anne Bancroft is superb as Annie Sullivan, the teacher who finally reached into Helen Keller's darkness, and Patty Duke is chillingly real as the young Helen.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

An early yet central work for Arthur Penn

Full Review… | May 25, 2015

Audience Reviews for The Miracle Worker

Intense from the get-go, in both style and acting; still cinematographically modern in a lot of ways and dominated by a fiery performance by Anne Bancroft. It struck me as unusual for a film of its era to start SO in media res, with the stakes already so high and the parents already so distraught, but it's for the better. Stark and powerful, even if it slows into a somewhat repetitive groove after a while. Definitely see it once, it's a classic, winner of Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress Oscars... given that it's largely a two-hander of a script, it kind of makes you wonder how it wasn't nominated for Best Picture, too, but 1962 was a deep year... Lawrence of Arabia (winner), To Kill a Mockingbird, Mutiny on the Bounty, The Music Man and The Longest Day got that nomination, which means that other great films like The Manchurian Candidate, Days of Wine and Roses, Long Day's Journey Into Night and Birdman of Alcatraz also didn't get the nod. There's one argument in favour of the return to (up to) 10 nominees for the big prize! I digress, though; The Miracle Worker is a fine film and may well have cast the die for future "inspirational caregiver, teacher, etc." films.

Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer

How many films have fight scenes? You'd lose count trying to figure it out. But how many feature an all out back and forth between teacher and her student? Bancroft and Patty Duke in one of the most thrilling fight scenes ever filmed ... and a child gets rescued at the end of this heartwarming piece. An astounding work. Recently seen again, and even better than remembered, justifying my life long unrequited love affair with Patty Duke, who looks to be playing herself throughout.

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

Few get to men and women's hearts than this movie. When it does, it goes deep and buries itself so that when years later after seeing it, it's still pretty much there to incite again the momentous experience. Power is the word that describes, from the characters that everyone with a heart will care about, and the retelling of the one of the most brilliant stories ever told, not mere fantastical tale, but something that really actually happened.

Adriel Lim
Adriel Lim

Super Reviewer

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