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Johnny Belinda (Warner 1948, Jane Wyman, Lew Ayres)

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In Johnny Belinda a patient, compassionate doctor (Ayres) in a rural community teaches a deaf-mute girl (Wyman) to communicate. After the young lady is brutally raped by a local villager, the bucolic populace suspects the doctor of being the father of the child she later delivers. Just as Wyman’s life is looking up the father of the child comes to claim it. Better-than-average melodrama much admired at the time. Director Jean Negulesco was competent with both sweeping romantic drama and tough-minded noirs. This may be his shining moment, but he and this film receive less notice now.

Johnny Belinda was set on the New England coast, was actually shot in Northern California, on the jagged, foggy shoreline near Mendocino.

Golden Globes for Best Actress in a Drama: Jane Wyman and Best Motion Picture, Drama.

Academy Award Nominations: 12, including Best Picture; Best Director; Best Actor: Lew Ayres; Best Supporting Actor: Charles Bickford; Best Supporting Actress: Agnes Moorehead; Best Cinematography; Best Screenplay.

production details
USA | Warner Bros. | 102 minutes | 1948

Director: Jean Negulesco
Producer: Jerry Wald
Writers: Irma von Cube, Allen Vincent
Original Story: Elmer Harris
Composer: Max Steiner
Art Director: Robert M. Haas
Director of Photography: Ted D. McCord

cast
Agnes Moorehead as Aggie MacDonald
Barbara Bates as Gracie Anderson (uncredited)
Dan Seymour as Pacquet – Storekeeper
Jan Sterling as Stella McCormick
Stephen McNally as Locky McCormick
Jane Wyman as Belinda McDonald
Lew Ayres as Dr. Robert Richardson
Charles Bickford as Black MacDonald
Rosalind Ivan as Mrs. Poggety
Mabel Paige as Mrs. Lutz
Ida Moore as Mrs. McKee
Alan Napier as Defense Attorney
Monte Blue as Ben (uncredited)
Creighton Hale as Bailiff (uncredited)
‘Snub’ Pollard as Man on Jury (uncredited)
Colin Kenny as Man Reciting Lord’s Prayer (uncredited)

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