The Keller family, totally unequipped to handle their increasingly frustrated deaf/blind daughter Helen (Patty Duke), calls on a noted New England school for the blind. In response, they receive Anne Sullivan (Anne Bancroft), a resolute former student whose unorthodox and uncompromising methods help to break the communication barrier and ultimately bring drastic changes to those in Helen's condition. Directed by Arthur Penn, from a screenplay by William Gibson adapted from his own play, is not opened up particularly well for the screen, feeling more like an episode of American Playhouse, although some interesting ideas are attempted to ease the translation of the action. Worthwhile to see the great, unusual, offbeat physical acting from Bancroft and Duke, who also starred on Broadway in Gibson's play.
*** 1/2 out ****