A deaf and mute young woman (Jane Wyman) ekes out a joyless existence on her father's farm in Nova Scotia until a local country doctor (Lew Ayres), also alone, takes pity on her, teaching her to read and write, and falling in love with her in the process. There situation, already seen as untenable by many in the town, is aggravated further when she is raped at a community gathering. "Johnny Belinda" is a superior social drama from director Jean Negulesco, containing not a hint of false sentimentality, and featuring absolutely heartrending performances from Wyman (who won the Oscar) and Ayres. Negulesco adds to his involving, ahead of its time story with breathtaking, countryside visuals. In our time, it would be hard to picture this kind of picture other than in a cheap, made-for-TV fashion. With "Johnny Belinda", Wymen, Ayres, and Negulesco show just how authentic and deep emotions can run in this kind of story.