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Johnny Belinda
Johnny Belinda
Actors: Jane Wyman, Lew Ayres, Charles Bickford, Agnes Moorehead, Stephen McNally
Director: Jean Negulesco
Genres: Drama
NR     2006     1hr 42min

Life is hard on MacDonald farm in stony, windswept Nova Scotia - and harder for young Belinda, a deaf mute whose affliction has been confused with mental deficiency. Then the town's new doctor takes an interest in helping ...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Actors: Jane Wyman, Lew Ayres, Charles Bickford, Agnes Moorehead, Stephen McNally
Director: Jean Negulesco
Creators: Ted D. McCord, David Weisbart, Jerry Wald, Allen Vincent, Elmer Harris, Irma von Cube
Genres: Drama
Sub-Genres: Classics
Studio: Warner Home Video
Format: DVD - Black and White - Closed-captioned,Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 01/31/2006
Original Release Date: 09/14/1948
Theatrical Release Date: 09/14/1948
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 1hr 42min
Screens: Black and White
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 4
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French

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Movie Reviews

JANE WYMAN, one of the great actresses of all times......
Old Legend Lover | Central Indiana | 10/17/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Jane Wyman was perhaps the most underrated and unappreciated actress of the 20th Century, while actually delivering some of the greatest performances seen on the screen. She never seems to be the recipient of those Lifetime Achievement awards that fly in all directions, nor is she subject matter for 'Biography' or 'Intimate Portrait' (though she also has the distinction of being the only divorced wife of an American President in US history).... yet I can think of no other star more deserving of accolades and awards. She demonstrated none of the overblown histrionics of Bette Davis, nor the phony, cloying 'sweetness' of Joan Crawford; she was not in the position of respect she attained in the movie industry because of Lana Turner or Ava Gardner glamour and beauty. Every performance from Wyman was an underplayed masterpiece, and her Academy Award winning role in "Johnny Belinda" was no exception. She never tried to over-shadow her co-stars Charles Bickford, Agnes Moorehead, and Jan Sterling...all of whom were letter perfect in their parts...and Moorehead, at least, must have admired her greatly because I can think of at least five Wyman movies right off the top of my head where Agnes was along for the ride! Yes, she won the Oscar for her superb, poignant performance in "Johnny Belinda," but she could have just as easily won it earlier for "Lost Weekend" or "The Yearling"...or a few years later for "The Blue Veil" (my personal Wyman favorite, but impossible to find on video) or "So Big" or "Magnificent Obsession" or its sequel, the much better "All That Heaven Allows." Long before she spent the decade of the 80's as the indomitable Angela Channing on TV's "Falcon Crest," Jane Wyman had already proved herself one of the greatest actresses of all times in countless movies......it's about time she was appreciated and honored for that, and buying a copy of "Johnny Belinda" would be a good place to start!"
A sensitive and brilliant film
meiringen | the Midwest | 06/24/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Jane Wyman deservedly won the Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of Belinda, the deaf-mute who becomes a mother after being raped. It is such a wonderful performance, as Belinda grows in knowledge and life experiences, helped along by Lew Ayres as a kind-hearted doctor who comes to Cape Breton Island after some problems in his own personal life. The two of them grow together, and overcome some severe obstacles before they can find happiness. Charles Bickford as Belinda's father and Agnes Moorhead as Belinda's aunt also give stellar performances.Ahead of its time in terms of subject matter (treatment of the handicapped and the stigma of rape), this film holds up well after all of these years. One of my long-time favorites, and a true classic."
Ahead of It's Time
F. Adcock | Silsbee, Texas United States | 02/22/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Many who have reviewed this near-masterpiece have neglected to say just how special this film was to 1948 audiences. Jane Wyman was known as the girl-next-door type, playing girlfriends and wives, but rarely taken seriously as a topnotch actress. Her one shot came with "The Yearling", as the stern, but understanding mother to Claude Jarmon, Jr. Her performance in "Johnny Belinda" was seen as a revelation, with her Oscar pretty much assured. The film itself garnered 13 Academy Award nominations, winning only the one for Jane Wyman.

The DVD has a greatly sharpened picture - near perfect, in fact. But the sound is a vast improvement, not muffled as it was on the VHS tape, and certainly better than what was offered by Turner Classic Movies for years. However, for the most recent televised airing, the new restored version was used.

The only disappointment is the lack of extras on the DVD. Somewhere in the vaults, there had to be more info about the making of the film or Oscar highlights. Get with it, Warner Brothers!

"
An understated, yet magnificent film
Candace Scott | Lake Arrowhead, CA, USA | 07/03/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I hadn't seen this film in 30 years, but watched it again last evening. I was mesmerized by several aspects of this classic (and ahead of its time) 1948 movie. Jane Wyman won the Oscar in this role where she makes not a single sound, not even in the throes of pregnancy. She is a deaf mute and never speaks, but imbues her character with a poignant tenderness and yearning which is extremely moving. There is no doubt that Wyman is an extremely underrated actress, because the pathos in this performance is moving indeed. Lew Ayres gives possibly his best performance here. For other reviewers who say he's the weakest part of the movie, I don't agree; perhaps they need to see him in the classic 1930 offering, "All Quiet on the Western Front." In that film, Lew was gorgeous to look at it, but couldn't act his way out of a paper bag. Here, he's vastly improved and deliberately underplays a character who is caring, decent, but essentially stoic and very still. I admit there isn't a lot of chemistry between Wyman and Ayres, but he projects a dignity and decency which shines through.Agnes Moorehead and Charles Bickford deliver outstanding supporting performances. Their interplay and dialogue is interesting and they contribute to the flowing plot.Aside from Wyman's stellar performance, the most interesting aspect of the film is that it is not dated in the least. The subjects of rape, an illegitimate baby and pre-marital sex were hardly common themes in movies of that era, and this film handles it with aplomb and class. The weakness of the film is that Belinda is assailed from all sides constantly; her lot in life is hard enough to begin with, but she is thrown one vicious curve after another. But not to worry, all comes out all right in the end.This movie is worth watching solely for Wyman's outstanding performance. Watch her eyes and how she conveys such beautiful emotion in them. I have renewed respect for Jane Wyman after watching this moving drama."