Thursday, April 5, 2012
Johnny Belinda(1948). Cast: Jane Wyman, Lew Ayres, Charles Bickford, Agnes Moorehead, Stephen McNally, and Jan Sterling. Wyman won an Oscar for this film for Best Actress.
Deaf/mute girl Belinda, lives in a small fishing village with her father and her aunt. She can not communicate with her family and lives in a world all her own. Until, a doctor named Robert, comes to help the family with the birth of a calf.. He and Belinda quickly become friends and he teaches her sign language.
One evening, when Locky McCormick and his girl friend, Stella Maguire, stop by the farm with a group of their friends. They begin playing music and dancing and Robert places Belinda's hand on the violin so that she can feel the music for the first time.
Later, having been rejected by Stella, a drunken Locky rapes Belinda. Belinda becomes withdrawn and her father asks Robert, to find out what is wrong with her.
Robert takes Belinda, to town to visit an ear specialist and learns that she is pregnant. Robert only tells Aggie, knowing her father, will take it to hard.
One Sunday.. her father and Robert, take her to church for the first time. Locky and Stella, also attend the service and Belinda's reaction to Locky makes Robert think that he may be the father of the child.
After the baby, is born the townspeople, believing that Robert is the child's father, ostracize him and the McDonalds. Robert offers to marry Belinda, but.. her father does not think it is a very good idea, because he is not in love with her.
When Locky shows up during a storm, Belinda's father suddenly realizes the identity of his grandson's father and the two men get into a fight to and Locky pushes her father off a cliff to his death.
Robert, leaves town to start a new life and promises to send for Aggie and Belinda, as soon as he can. The townspeople decide to take the baby from Belinda and give him to Stella and Locky, who have since married. Stella, can not go through with it. Locky then tells Stella that he is the baby's father. When he comes after the baby, Belinda shoots and kills him. Will Stella tell the truth and save Belinda from going to jail for murder?
Jane Wyman became the first actor since the silent era to win an Oscar without uttering a word.
I think that you will love Agnes Moorehead's down to earth character in this film. I think you will also agree that Jane Wyman, gave one of her greatest performances of all time.
She played a prominent supporting role in, Johnny Belinda (1948). She also performed in the films, Caged (1950), Mystery Street (1950), The Mating Season (1951), Ace in the Hole (1951), Flesh and Fury (1952), The Human Jungle (1954), and Female on the Beach (1955). Often cast as hard and determined characters, she played a more sympathetic character in, Sky Full of Moon (1952). In 1954 Sterling was nominated for an Academy Award and won a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in, The High and the Mighty.