JOHNNY BELINDA (1948) B/W 103m dir: Jean Negulesco
w/Jane Wyman, Lew Ayres, Agnes Moorehead, Charles Bickford, Stephen McNally, Jan Sterling
From Variety 's review of the film: "Johnny Belinda is a story that easily could have become a display of scenery-chewing theatrics. It has its theatrics but they spring from a rather earnest development of story fundamentals, tastefully handled. Jean Negulesco's direction never overplays the heart-strings, yet keeps them constantly twanging, and evidences a sympathetic instinct that is reflected in the performance.
"[In this adaptation of the stage play by Elmer Harris] Jane Wyman portrays a mute slattern completely devoid of film glamour. It is a personal success: a socko demonstration that an artist can shape a mood and sway an audience through projected emotions without a spoken word.
"Plot essentials cover a deaf-mute girl, dwelling with her father and resentful aunt on a barren farm in Nova Scotia. A village romeo rapes her. She has a baby and events move forward ...."
Wyman won a Best Actress Oscar. The film was nominated for eleven other Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Director, Actor (Ayres), Supporting Actress (Moorehead), Screenplay, etc.