The Miracle Worker
The Miracle Worker is a cycle of 20th century dramatic works derived from Helen Keller's autobiography The Story of My Life. Each of the various dramas describes the relationship between Helen—a deafblind and initially almost feral child—and Anne Sullivan, the teacher who introduced her to education, activism, and international stardom. The movie was filmed in Gladstone, New Jersey. They used coaches from the Black River and Western Railroad and the producers wanted to use Ex. Delaware, Lackawanna and Western No.565 in the movie, but because the Central Railroad of New Jersey would not transport the locomotive out of Chester, New Jersey, only some of the BR&W coaches appear in the movie.
Its first realization was a 1957 Playhouse 90 broadcast written by William Gibson and starring Teresa Wright as Sullivan and Patricia McCormack as Keller. Gibson adapted his teleplay for a 1959 Broadway production with Anne Bancroft as Sullivan and Patty Duke as Helen. The two reprised their roles for the 1962 feature film.
The Miracle Worker was produced in London's West End, first at the Royalty Theatre in March 1961, transferring to Wyndhams on 8 May of the same year. Anna Massey played Annie Sullivan and Janina Faye was Helen Keller.
It was remade for television in 1979, with Patty Duke as Sullivan, Melissa Gilbert as Helen Keller, and Diana Muldaur and Charles Siebert in supporting roles. In 2000, a Disney Channel television production was made, directed by Nadia Tass and starring Alison Elliott as Sullivan and Hallie Kate Eisenberg as Helen, with David Strathairn and Lucas Black in supporting roles. A 1984 made-for-television sequel, Helen Keller: The Miracle Continues, starred Blythe Danner as Sullivan, Mare Winningham as Helen Keller, and Jack Warden as Mark Twain.
Source of the name
The title originates in Mark Twain's description of Sullivan as a "miracle worker". The famed American humorist and author was an admirer of both women, and although his own personal finances were problematic, he helped arrange the funding of Keller's Radcliffe College education by his friend, financier and industrialist Henry Huttleston Rogers.
- Playhouse 90 production at the Internet Movie Database
- The Miracle Worker (1962 film) at the Internet Movie Database
- The Miracle Worker (1979 television remake) at the Internet Movie Database
- The Miracle Worker (2000 television film) at the Internet Movie Database
- Helen Keller: The Miracle Continues at the Internet Movie Database
- 50th Anniversary Broadway production (2010)