Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Johnny Belinda (1948)

Academy Awards, USA 1949

Best Actress in a Leading Role
Jane Wyman
Best Picture
Best Actor in a Leading Role
Lew Ayres
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Charles Bickford
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Agnes Moorehead
Best Director
Jean Negulesco
Best Writing, Screenplay
Irma von Cube
Allen Vincent
Best Cinematography, Black-and-White
Ted D. McCord
Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black-and-White
Robert M. Haas
William Wallace
Best Sound, Recording
Best Film Editing
David Weisbart
Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture
Max Steiner

Warner Bros.
Directed by Jean Negulesco
My rating: 2.5 stars out of 4
(DVD, Warner Bros.)

Kind-hearted country doctor Lew Ayres takes pity on the deaf and dumb daughter of a local farmer. He teaches her sign language, which opens up a whole new world for her and her family. A local boy gets drunk and rapes her one night and the resulting pregnancy threatens to destroy her. She gets through it with the help of the doctor and has the baby. Small town rumors begin to link them romantically, ruining his business. He decides to move to another town and take the girl and baby with him after he realizes she really is in love with him. First, they have to get through a trial convened by rabid locals trying to taker her baby away. Melodrama raised to high art, but still melodrama.

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