The Miracle Worker (1979 film)

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The Miracle Worker
Genre Drama
Based on The Miracle Worker
by William Gibson
Screenplay by William Gibson
Directed by Paul Aaron
Starring Melissa Gilbert
Patty Duke
Charles Siebert
Stanley Wells
Diana Muldaur
Music by Billy Goldenberg
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
Executive producer(s) Sandy Gallin
Raymond Katz
Producer(s) Fred Coe
Barbara Abeles Cowan (associate producer)
Alan David (assistant producer)
Cinematography Ted Voigtlander
Editor(s) Gerald Lee Taylor
Running time 98 minutes
Production company(s) Half-Pint Productions
Distributor NBC
Original network NBC
Original release October 14, 1979 (1979-10-14)

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 1902 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 teach 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.


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