The Miracle Worker Script - Dialogue Transcript

Voila! Finally, the The Miracle Worker script is here for all you quotes spouting fans of the Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke movie.  This script is a transcript that was painstakingly transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of The Miracle Worker. I know, I know, I still need to get the cast names in there and I'll be eternally tweaking it, so if you have any corrections, feel free to drop me a line. You won't hurt my feelings. Honest.

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The Miracle Worker Script



She'll live.



I can tell you now, I thought she wouldn't.



I've brought up two of them.

This is my wife's first.



She isn't battle-scarred yet.






Will my girl be all right?



By morning she'll be knockin' down

Captain Keller's fences again.



Is there nothing we should do?



Put up stronger fencin'. Hm?



Just let her get well.

She knows how better than we do.



These things come and go in infants.

Never know why.



Call it acute congestion

of the stomach and brain.



I'll see you to your buggy, Doctor.



Main thing is the fever's gone.



I never saw a baby with more vitality.

That's the truth.



(baby cries)






Don't you cry now.



You've been trouble enough.



"Call it acute congestion" indeed!



I don't see what's so cute about

a congestion just cos it's yours.



We'll have your father

run an editorial in his paper.



"The wonders of modern medicine."



They don't know what they're curing

even when they cure it.



Men! Men and their battle scars.



We women have...






(clicks fingers)












Cap'n! Will you come?



- Katie! What is it? What's happened?

- (screaming)



- Katie! What is it? What's wrong?

- Look! She can't see.



Look at her eyes. She can't see.






Or hear.

When I screamed she didn't blink.



- Not an eyelash!

- Helen!



- She can't hear you!

- Helen!






I told you to let her be.






Arthur? Arthur, something

ought to be done for that child.



A refreshin' suggestion. What?



Why, this very famous

Perkins School in Boston.



They're just supposed to do wonders.



She's been to specialists. They couldn't

help her in Baltimore or Washington.



I think the Cap'n will write

to the Perkins School soon.



Katie, how many times

can you break your heart?



Any number of times, as long as there's

the least chance for her to see or hear.



- What, child?

- There isn't! I must finish here.



With your permission, Cap'n, I would

like to write to the Perkins School.



I said no, Kate.



(older woman)

Writing does no harm, Arthur.



- A little bitty letter to see if they can help.

- They can't.



(Kate) We won't know that to be a fact

till after you write.



They can't.






- I might as well work in a hen yard.

- (baby cries)



- You really ought to put her away, Father.

- What?



- Some asylum. It's the kindest thing.

- She is your sister, James.



Half-sister and half... mentally defective.



She can't keep herself clean.

It's not pleasant to see her about.



Do you dare complain

of what you can see?



This discussion's at an end. The house

is at sixes and sevens over the child.



I want some peace here. I don't care how.



But we won't have it by rushin' about

the country to every new quack.



- I'm as sensible to this affliction as...

- Helen!



My buttons.






She wants the doll to have eyes.



My goodness me. I'm not decent.



She doesn't know better, Aunt Ev.

I'll sew 'em on again.



It's worth a couple of buttons, Kate. Look.



This child has more sense

than all these men Kellers,



if there's ever a way

to reach that mind of hers.



- Helen!

- (baby cries)



Helen! You're not to do such things.

How can I make you understand?






How can I get it

into your head, my darling?



Katie, she must be taught

some discipline.



Discipline an afflicted child?

Is it her fault?



I didn't say it was.



How can I teach her?

Beat her till she's black and blue?



It's not safe. There must be

some way of confinin' her.



In a cage? She's a growin' child.

She has to use her limbs.



Answer me one thing.

Is it fair to the baby?



Are you willing to put her away?



Now what?



She wants to talk like...



be like you and me.



Every day she slips further away.



I don't know how to call her back.



I do have a mind

to write to Boston myself.



If that school can't help her,

maybe they'll send somebody who can.



I'll write to Perkins, Katie.



(makes guttural sound)



Train to New York!



And south!



It will no doubt be difficult for you there.



(conductor) All aboard!



This is my last time to counsel you, Annie.



You do lack some -

and by some I mean all - what?



Tact. All talent to bend to others.



What has saved you

more than once at Perkins



is that there was nowhere to expel you to.



- Your eyes hurt?

- My ears, Mr Anagnos.



Nowhere but to that dreadful place

where you grew up learning to be saucy!



Annie, I know how unhappy

it was for you there,



but that battle is dead and done with.

Why not let it stay buried?



- I think God must owe me a resurrection.

- What?



- He keeps digging up that battle.

- That is not a proper thing to say.



Be humble. You'll need their affection

working with this child.



A gift, with our affection.



Dear Mr Anagnos.



Well... What should I say?



I'm an ignorant, opinionated girl,

and everything I am I owe to you?



That is only half-true, Annie.



Which half?



Good luck.



Goodbye, goodbye. Goodbye.



I won't give them any trouble. I'll be

so ladylike they won't notice I've come!



- (child) Where are we going, Annie?

- Jimmy...



- Where are we going?

- I said I'm taking care of you.



Where are we going?



(man) Annie Sullivan, aged nine,

virtually blind.



James Sullivan, aged seven.

What's the matter with your leg, sonny?



(Annie) It's his hip, mister.

He was born that way.



(man) Can't he walk without a crutch? Girl

to the women's ward, boy to the men's.



Annie! Annie, don't let them take me!



Annie! Annie...



(train whistle)









- Miss Sullivan?

- Here.



At last. I thought the trains must be

backing up every time I dozed off.



- I'm James Keller.

- James? I had a brother Jimmy.



- Are you Helen's?

- I'm only half her brother.



- You're to be her governess?

- Well, try.



You look like half a governess.



- You have a trunk, Miss Sullivan?

- Yes.



Mrs Keller.



We've met every train for two days.



You didn't bring Helen.

I was hoping you would.



No, she's home.



- You live far from town, Mrs Keller?

- Only a mile.



Well, I suppose I could wait

one more mile.



But don't be surprised

if I get out and push the horse.



- Welcome to lvy Green, Miss Sullivan.

- My husband, Miss Annie. Cap'n Keller.



- Captain, how do you do?

- Pleasure to see you.



- I trust you had an agreeable journey.

- Oh, I had several.



- Where do you want the trunk?

- Where Miss Sullivan can get at it.



- Yes. Where's Helen?

- And the suitcase.



I'll take that. I've got something

for Helen. When do I see her?



(Kate) There. There's Helen.



- (Captain) Katie...

- Sh.



- She's very rough, Katie.

- I like her, Cap'n.



How old is she?



Well, she's not in her teens, you know.



Why does she wear those glasses? I like

to see a person's eyes when I talk to 'em.



- For the sun. She was blind.

- Blind?



She had nine operations on her eyes.

One just before she left.



Blind? Good heavens! They expect

one blind child to teach another?



How long did she teach there?



She was a pupil.



This is her first position?



She was valedictorian.



A houseful of grown-ups

can't cope with Helen.



How can a half-blind Yankee

schoolgirl manage?



Great improvement.

Now we have two of them.



- You be quiet.

- I was agreeing with you.



You talk too much.



- Nothing I say is right.

- Why say anything?



All the trouble I went to

and that's how I look?



Oh, no, not the drawers.



(doll makes sound)



All right, Miss O'Sullivan, let's begin.



With doll.


















You spell pretty well.



Finding out if she's ticklish? She is.



- What is it, a game?

- An alphabet.






For the deaf.



- How bright she is.

- You think she knows what she's doing?



She's a monkey. She imitates everything.



Yes, she's a bright little monkey, all right.



She wants her doll back.



- When she spells it.

- She doesn't know the thing has a name.



Of course not. Who expects her to now?

All I want is her fingers to learn the letters.



Won't mean anything to her.



She doesn't like that alphabet.

You invent it yourself?



Spanish monks under a vow of silence -

which I wish you'd take.



Yes... Yes!


















You do as my fingers do.

Never mind what it means.


















Think it over.






Imitate now. Understand later.

End of the first lesson.






Oh, you little wretch.

Nobody's taught you any manners.



Helen? Helen!



Helen! Helen, let me out...



Don't worry, they'll find you.

You're not lost.



Only out of place.



And toothless!



- Where's Miss Sullivan?

- Locked in her room.



Locked in her...?



- Helen locked her in and took the key.

- And you sit here and say nothing?



Everyone's been telling me

not to say anything.



- Viney, look out front for Helen.

- She's out by the pump!



I'll look.



- Miss Sullivan.

- Yes, Captain Keller.



Is there no key on your side?



If there were a key, I wouldn't be in here.

Helen took it.



The only thing on my side is me.



Not in the house ten minutes.

I don't see how you managed it.



And even I'm not on my side.



- Viney!

- Yes, sir, Captain Keller?



Put that meat back in the oven!



- She has no key.

- Nonsense. You searched in her pockets?



- Yes. She doesn't have it.

- Katie, she must have the key.



- Take that ladder back!

- Certainly.



- She could have hidden it.

- Where?



Anywhere. Under a stone...



I can't plough up the entire grounds

to find a missin' key.



Jimmy! Bring me a ladder!






- (baby crying)

- What's the baby doing up?



Captain woke her, Miss Kate.

All that hollerin'.






Get back to your work!



- Miss Sullivan!

- Yes, Captain Keller?



- Come onto the roof.

- You have a ladder. How thoughtful.



Come down, Miss Sullivan.



- I don't see how I can.

- I'll carry you.



- It's very chivalrous, but...

- Miss Sullivan, follow instructions.



I will not have you also

tumblin' out of our windows.



I hope this is not what we may expect in

simplifyin' the work of looking after Helen.



Captain Keller, I'm able to go down

a ladder under my own steam.



Miss Sullivan, I doubt it.



Simply hold onto my neck.



My neck, Miss Sullivan!



- I'm sorry to inconvenience you.

- No inconvenience.



Other than taking that door down and

replacing the lock, if we can't find the key.



- I'll look everywhere.

- Thank you.



Do not look in any rooms

that can be locked.






Go, go! What are you looking at?

Nothing for you to look at.



- Now...

- (baby cries)



Would it be possible for us

to have dinner like other people?



- Miss Sullivan!

- Viney, I'll put the baby to sleep.



Oh... Might as well leave the l-a-d-d-e-r.



You devil.



Oh, you think I'm so easily gotten rid of?



You've got a thing or two to learn first.



I've got nothing else to do,



- and nowhere to go.

- (Captain) Miss Sullivan!



Discipline her



without breaking...












It has a name.



Down, under, up.

And be careful of the needle.



Right. You keep out of the ink and

perhaps I can keep out of the soup.






All right, all right. Let's try temperance.


















Very good girl.



- (Kate) What are you saying to her?

- I was just making conversation.



Saying it was a sewing card.



Does that mean that to her?



Oh, no. She won't know what spelling is

till she knows what a word is.



The Cap'n says it's like

spellin' to a fence post.



Does he, now?



- Is it?

- No.



It's how I watch you talk to the baby.



- The baby?

- Any baby.



It's gibberish. Grown-up gibberish.

Baby-talk gibberish.



Do they understand

one word of it to start?



Somehow they begin to if they hear it.

I'm letting Helen hear it.



Other children are not... impaired.



Oh, there's nothing impaired in that head.

It works like a mousetrap.



And... when will she learn?



Maybe after a million words.



Perhaps you'd like to read Dr Howe

on the question of words.



I should like also

to learn those... letters, Miss Annie.



I'll teach them to you tomorrow morning.



That makes only half a million each.



- It's her bedtime.

- Yes.






I'm sorry.



(makes guttural sounds)



Why does she get a reward

for stabbing me?



There are so many times

she simply cannot be compelled.






I'm the same way myself.



Good night.



(James) Shouldn't we give

the devil his due, Father?



We lost the South two years earlier

when he outthought us behind Vicksburg.



Outthought is a peculiar word

for a butcher.



- Harness-maker, wasn't he?

- I said butcher.



His strength as a soldier was numbers.

He led them to slaughter like sheep.



- But even if he was a butcher...

- And a drunk, half the war.



Agreed, Father.

If his own people said he was...



What is it you find to admire

in such a man, Jimmy?



- The drunkenness or the butchery?

- Neither, Father. Only that he beat us.



- He didn't.

- Are you saying we won the war, sir?



He didn't beat us at Vicksburg.

We lost it by stupidity vergin' on treason.



(James) We lost it because Grant was

one thing no Yankee general was before...



Drunk? I doubt it.



- Obstinate.

- Obstinate?



None of 'em compare with old Stonewall.

If he was there we'd still have Vicksburg.



(James) The butcher wouldn't give up.

He tried four ways...



(Captain) If we'd had

a Southerner in command



instead of a half-breed Yankee traitor

like Pemberton... What's the matter?



Miss Annie, she's accustomed

to helping herself from our plates.



- I'm not accustomed to it.

- Of course not. Viney!



- Jimmy, give her something.

- Her table manners are her best.



Let her this time. It's the only way

we get any adult conversation.



- I'll get another plate.

- I have one, thank you.



Viney! What Cap'n Keller says is only

too true. She'll persist in this till...



- I have a plate. I intend to keep it.

- You see why they took Vicksburg?



A plate is no matter

to struggle with a deprived child about.



- I'd sooner have a more heroic issue.

- I really must insist...



- She's hurt herself.

- She hasn't.



- Will you please let her hands go?

- You don't know her well enough...



I know a tantrum when I see one

and a badly spoiled child.



Hear, hear.



You'd have more understanding

if you had some pity.



Pity? For this tyrant?

The whole house turns on her whims.



Is there anything she doesn't get?



What I pity is that the sun won't rise and

set for her, and you're telling her it will.



What good will your pity do

when you're gone?



- Kate, for the love of heaven...

- I don't think it serves...



Serves you good. It's less trouble

to feel sorry than to teach her anything...



You haven't taught her anything yet.



- I'll begin now if you leave the room.

- Leave?



- Everyone, please!

- You are a paid teacher, nothing more.



I can't unteach her six years of pity

if you can't stand up to one tantrum.



Old Stonewall indeed!



Mrs Keller, you promised me help.

Leave me alone with her now.



Katie, come outside with me at once!



- Heaven's sakes!

- Out, please.



If it takes all summer, General!



I've a mind to ship her back to Boston,

and you can inform her so for me.



- I, Cap'n?

- She's a hireling.



Unless there's a complete

change of manner,



she goes back on the next train.

Will you make that clear?



Where will you be, Cap'n,

while I am making it clear?



At the office.



Will you? I thought what she said

was exceptionally intelligent.



- I've been sayin' it for years.

- To his face?



Or will you take it, Jimmy, as a flag?






(makes guttural sounds)



(stamps feet)






Good girl, Helen.






(clock striking)



I don't see how you can wait here

a minute longer, Kate.



This could go on all afternoon too.



I'll tell the Cap'n you called.



Give me her, Miss Kate.

I'll sneak her in back to her crib.



- She never gives me a minute's worry.

- Oh, yes.



This one's the angel of the family.

No question about that.



- What happened?

- She ate from her own plate.



She ate with a spoon... herself.



And she folded her napkin.



Folded her napkin?



The room's a wreck,

but her napkin is folded.



I'll be in my room, Mrs Keller.



Don't be long, Miss Annie.

Dinner'll be ready right away.



Folded her napkin...



My Helen folded her napkin?









(woman) There's school.



- There is school.

- (woman # ) There is not.



What lies are you telling

the ignorant girl, you old loon?



They teach blind ones worse than her.



- To do what? See with their nose?

- To read and write.



How can they read and write

if they can't see?



- (screaming)

- You crazy old Mick.






(Jimmy) You ain't going to school, Annie?



When I grow up.



You ain't either, Annie. You're going

to stay here, take care of me.



I'm going to school when I grow up.



You said we'd be together

for ever and ever and ever.



I'm going to school when I grow up!

Now leave me be.



"Can nothing be done

to disinter this human soul?"



"The whole neighbourhood

would rush to save this woman



if she were buried alive

by the caving in of a pit,



and labour with zeal

until she were dug out."



"Now, if there were one

who had as much patience as zeal,



he might awaken her..."



- (woman) They're all here.

- (woman # ) Talk to them.



- (woman # ) You can get out.

- Talk to them.



(woman) All the investigators is here.



- That's Mr Sanborn.

- He's the commissioner. Talk to him.



You might get out.



Mr Sanborn?



Mr Sanborn, I want to go to school.



"...might awaken her to a consciousness

of her immortal nature."



"The chance is small indeed,



but with a smaller chance they would

have dug desperately for her in the pit."



"And is the life of the soul

of less import than that of the body?"



Let alone the question of

who's to pay for the broken dishware.



From the moment she came,

she's been nothing but a burden.



Incompetent, impertinent,

ineffectual, immodest and...



She folded her napkin, Cap'n.



- She what?

- Not ineffectual.



Helen did fold her napkin.



What is so extraordinary

about foldin' a napkin?



Well, it's more than you did, Cap'n.






Today she scuttled any chance

of gettin' along with the child.



If you can see any point in her staying,

it's more than I can.



- What do you wish me to do?

- I want you to give her notice.



- I can't.

- Then if you won't, I must.






(Captain Keller shouting)



(Captain Keller shouting)



Miss Sullivan?



Captain Keller,

I thought we should have a talk.



Yes, I... Well, come in.



Miss Sullivan, I have decided...

I have decided I'm not satisfied.



- In fact, I'm deeply dissatisfied.

- Excuse me.



- Is that little house near the bridge used?

- In the huntin' season.



- Mrs Keller...

- If you'll give me your attention.



I've made allowances because you come

from a part of the country where people...



(clears throat)



...women, I should say, come from,

for whom allowances must be made.



I have decided nevertheless






Miss Sullivan, I find it difficult

to talk through those glasses.



Why do you wear them?

The sun's been down for an hour.



Any kind of light hurts my eyes.



Put them on, Miss Sullivan.



I've decided...



to give you another chance.



- To do what?

- To remain in our employ.



But on two conditions.

I'm not used to rudeness.



There must be a radical

change of manner.



- Whose?

- Yours, young lady! Isn't it obvious?



And persuade me there's

a hope of your teaching a child



who flees from you like the plague

to anyone in this house.



- There isn't.

- What, Miss Annie?



It's hopeless here.



- Do I understand...

- If we agree it's hopeless...



Miss Annie, I'm not agreed.



She did fold her napkin.



She learns.



She learns.



Do you know she began talking

when she was six months old?



She could say water.



Well, not really.









But she meant water. She knew

what it meant, and only six months old.



I never saw a child so bright or outgoing.



It's still in there somewhere, isn't it?



Miss Annie, put up with her and with us.



(Captain) Us?






Like the lost lamb in the parable,

I love her all the more.



Mrs Keller, I don't think Helen's

worst handicap is deafness or blindness.



I think it's your love... and pity.



All of you are so sorry for her,

you've kept her like a pet.



Why, even a dog you housebreak.



It's useless for me to try to teach her

language or anything else here.



Miss Annie, before you came

we spoke of putting her in an asylum.



What kind of asylum?



For mental defectives.



I visited there. I can't tell you what I saw.



People like animals,

with rats in the halls and...



What else are we to do if you give up?



Give up?



- You said it was hopeless.

- Here.



Give up? Why, I only today saw

what has to be done to begin.



- I want complete charge of her.

- You have that.



No. I mean day and night.

She has to be dependent on me.



- (Kate) For what?

- Everything.



The food she eats,

the clothes she wears, fresh... air.



Yes, the air she breathes.



Whatever her body needs

is a primer to teach her out of.



The one who lets her have it should be

her teacher, not anyone who loves her.



- But if she runs from you to us...

- Yes. That's the point.



I'll have to live with her somewhere else.



For how long?



Until she learns to listen to

and depend on me.



- I've packed half my things.

- Miss Sullivan...



It meets your conditions. It's the one way

I can get back in touch with Helen.



And I can't be rude to you

if you're not around.



What is your intention if I say no?

Pack the other half for home



and abandon your charge to... to...



The asylum? I grew up in such an asylum.

The state almshouse.






My brother Jimmy and I used to play

with the rats because we didn't have toys.



Maybe you'd like to know what Helen

will find not on visiting days.



One ward was full of the old women -

crippled, blind,



most of them dying,

but there was nowhere to move them.



That's where they put us.



There were younger ones - prostitutes

mostly, with TB and epileptic fits,



and a couple of the kind who keep after

other girls, especially young ones.



And some insane. Some just had the DT's.



The youngest were in another ward

to have babies. They started at      .



They'd leave,

but we played with the babies,



though a lot had sores from diseases

you're not supposed to talk about.



But not many of them lived.



The first year we had   .    died.



Jimmy and I played in the dead-house

where they kept the bodies.



- Oh, my dear...

- No. It made me strong.



But I don't think you need send

Helen there. She's strong enough.



Miss Annie.






Where would you take Helen?






- Italy?

- What?



Can't have everything.

How would your little house do?



Bring Helen there after a long ride

so she won't recognise it.



You can see her every day

if she doesn't know.






- Is that all?

- That's all.



Why, Cap'n, with your permission...



Percy could sleep there, run errands.



We could let Percy sleep there, Cap'n.



- And move in some old furniture.

- Cap'n, that old bedstead...



I've not yet consented to Percy,

or the house,



or the proposal,

or to Miss Sullivan staying on.



When I...



Very well, I consent to everything.

For two weeks.



I'll give you two weeks. It'll be a miracle

if you can get that child to tolerate you.



Two weeks. Miss Annie, can you

accomplish anything in two weeks?



Anything or not, two weeks

and the child comes back to us.



Make up your mind, Miss Sullivan.

Yes or no?



Two weeks.



I'll get her to tolerate me.






A. It's the first of many.






- Does she know where she is?

- No.



For all she knows

she could be in another town.



- That's her sign for me.

- Yes, I know. In two weeks.



Miss Annie, please be good to her.



These two weeks,

try to be very good to her.



I will.









(doll makes sound)



(Helen sobs)



Two weeks.



What did I get into now?



(Helen moaning)



(Annie sobbing)



Oh... oh... oh...






(child sobbing)









Did you call me?






- What are you doing here?

- Taking a turn. Is everything all right?



Just a dream?



How old was he? The other Jimmy.



Helen's age.



How did he die?



He had a tubercular hip.



Oh, we were a pair, all right.



Me blind and him on a crutch.



When did he die?



   years ago, this May.



You've had no one to dream about since?



No, one's enough.



You don't let go of things easily, do you?



You'd be quite a handsome girl

if it weren't for your eyes.



- No one's told you?

- Everyone.



You'd be quite a gentleman

if it wasn't for your manners.



You wouldn't say that to me

if you didn't have your glasses on.



How will you win her hand now,

in this place?



Do I know? I lost my temper

and here we are.



I'm counting on her.

That little head is dying to know.



- Know what?

- Anything.



Any and every crumb in God's creation.

I've got to use that appetite too.



- Maybe she'll teach you.

- Of course.



That she isn't.



That there's such a thing as dullness

of heart, acceptance, and letting go.



Sooner or later we all give up, don't we?



Maybe you all do.

It's my idea of the original sin.



- What is?

- Giving up.



You won't open her.



Why can't you let her be and have

some pity on her for bein' what she is?



If I'd ever once thought like that,

I'd be dead.



You will be. Why trouble?



Or will you teach me?






No pity. I won't have it.



On either of us.



(cries out)



I will touch you!



But how?



How do I?






Percy, get up. Get out of bed

and come in here. I need you.



Percy? You awake?






How would you like to play

a nice game with Helen?



Touch her hand.



(makes guttural sound)



Let me go! Let me go!



She try and talk. She gonna hit me.



She can talk, if she only knew.



I'll show you how. She makes letters.



This is C...



C... C...



She's mad at me. She won't play.

But she knows lots of letters.



This is A.



C... A...



C... A...









She spells cake, she gets cake.



She doesn't know it means this.

Isn't that funny?



She knows how to spell it,

but doesn't know she knows.



All right. If she won't play it with me,

I'll play it with you.



- Would you like to learn a new word?

- No.






This is M...



I... That's an easy one.

Just the little finger.






Oh, why should I talk to you?

I'm teaching a new word to Percy.



So you're jealous, are you?



All right.






I'm finally back to where I can touch you.



Touch and go.



Well, no love lost, but here we go.



You can go to bed now.

You've earned your sleep.



Thank you.



Now all I have to teach you is...



one word.






(doll makes sound)



Hush, little baby, don't say a word.



Mama's gonna buy you a mockingbird.



If that mockingbird don't sing



Mama's gonna buy you a diamond ring



If that diamond ring turns brass



Mama's gonna buy you a looking glass



If that looking glass gets broke



Mama's gonna buy you a billy goat



If that billy goat...



On my way to the office.

Thought I'd look in.



Well, she's toleratin' me

and I'm toleratin' her.



Where is... What's wrong?



I think she should dress herself.

She thinks she shouldn't.



- This her breakfast?

- Yes.



- She wouldn't eat?

- She'd love to eat it.



Why haven't you given it to her?



I will, when she dresses herself.

She's thinking it over.



- You intend to starve her into obeyin'?

- She won't starve, she'll learn.



All's fair in love and war, Captain Keller.



- This is hardly a war.

- Well, it's not love. A siege is a siege.



Miss Sullivan, do you like the child?



Do you?



I'm beginning to.






It has a name.



Tree. It has a name.






Bird. It has a name.









W-a-t-e-r. Water.


















Discipline... discipline.



Disinter, disinterested...






Where's discipline? What a dictionary.



You have to know how to spell it

before you can look up how to spell it.















You're not to overwork your eyes,

Miss Annie.



Whatever I spell to Helen,

I'd better spell right.



- You've taught her so much this week.

- Not enough. Obedience isn't enough.



Well... she learned two nouns

this morning. Key and water.



- But not...?

- No.



Not that they mean things. It's still

a finger game to her. No meaning.



But she will.



Might I... Might I take her

for one walk this evening?



Shall we play our finger game,

Mrs Keller?



- Next week seems so...

- Spell it.


            far off.

- Spell it.



If she ever learns, you'll have

a lot to tell each other. Start now.



In... under, under. Yes, crochet.












Oh, it has a name, and sewing isn't it.









It has a name.

The name stands for the thing.



Oh, it's so simple.



Simple as birth to explain.






Helen, the chick has to

come out of its shell sometime.






You come out too.






No, not key. Thimble.












Good girl.















"I feel every day

more and more inadequate."



"My letters must show that

I need a teacher as much as Helen."



I need help too.






In all the world there isn't a soul

who can tell me how to reach you.



How do I reach you?



Doesn't she need affection too?



She never shows me she needs it.

She won't have any caressing.



What would another week accomplish?

We are more than satisfied.



You taught her things to do, to behave.



- So manageable. Cleaner.

- Cleaner?



We say cleanliness is next to godliness.



Cleanliness is next to nothing.



- Give me more time alone with her.

- No.



What is she spellin'?






Teaching a dog to spell?



The dog doesn't know what she means

any more than she knows what you mean.



I think you ask too much of her,

and yourself.



God may not have meant Helen

to have the... eyes you speak of.



I mean her to.



What is it to you?



- Half a week.

- An agreement is an agreement.



Mrs Keller...



I want her back.



I'll send Viney to help you pack.



Not until   o'clock.

I have her until   o'clock.






Come, Katie.



Yes, what is it to me? They're satisfied.



Give them back their child

and their dog, both housebroken.



Everyone's satisfied but me.



And you.



Feel it.






I wanted to teach you.






Everything the earth is full of, Helen.

Everything on it that's ours for a wink.



And what we are on it. The light

we bring to it and leave behind in words.



You can see      years back

in the light of words.



Everything we feel, think,



know, and share in words.



So not a soul is in darkness,

or done with even in the grave.



But I know.



I know one word and

I can put the world in your hand.



And whatever it is to me, I won't take less.






How do I tell you that...



this... means a word?



And the word means this thing, wool.



Or this.



S-t-o-o-I means this thing.






F-a-c-e. Face.



(clock striking)















Let her come!






Come in.



Miss Annie, your first month's salary.



With many more to come, I trust.



It doesn't pay our debt

for what you've done.



I've taught her one thing: No.

Don't do this, don't do that.



- It's more than we could do...

- I wanted to teach her what language is.



I know without it

to do nothing but obey is no gift.



Obedience without understanding is

a blindness. Is that all I've wished on her?



- No.

- Maybe.



I don't know what else to do.



I simply go on and keep doing what I've

done and have faith that inside she's...



that inside is waiting,

like water underground.



- You can help, Captain Keller.

- How?



The world is not an easy place

for anyone.



I don't want her just to obey.



But to let her have her way

in everything is a lie.



To her.



And I don't even love her.



She's not my child.






You've got to stand between

that lie and her.






Won't you come now to supper?






I used to wonder

how I could earn a living.



Oh, you do.



I really do. Now the question is,

can I survive it?



Oh... (chuckles)



Oh, the keys!



Yes, I'll keep the keys.



I think we've had enough

of locked doors too.



Will you say the grace, Jimmy?



"And Jacob was left alone and wrestled

with an angel till the breaking of the day."



"And the hollow of Jacob's thigh was

out of joint as he wrestled with him."



"And the angel said

'Let me go, for the day breaketh."'



"And Jacob said 'I will not let thee go,

except thou bless me."'






Oh, you angel.



- That's a very strange grace, James.

- It's from the Good Book, isn't it?



Of course it is. Didn't you know?



- Yes, I knew.

- Well, why ask?



It is from the Good Book

and therefore a fitting grace.



Well, I don't know about that.



There's a lot of things in the Good Book

that I don't care to hear just before eating.



Well, fitting in the sense that Jacob's thigh

was out of joint, and so is this piggy's.



- James, I declare!

- Pickles, Aunt Ev?



I should say so.

You know my opinion of your pickles.



This is the end of them, I'm afraid.

I didn't put up nearly enough last summer.



Reverend looked in today

to complain his hens had stopped layin'.



Poor fella, he was out of joint. All that...



- I've always suspected those hens.

- Of what?



I think they're papists. Has he tried...



Now you're pulling my lower extremity.



The first thing you know

we'll be having another... one of our...



- Miss Annie, it's a very special day.

- It will be, when I give in to that.



Please. I've hardly welcomed her home.



- Captain Keller.

- Katie, we had a little talk.



- Miss Annie feels if we indulge Helen...

- It's a napkin. It's not breakable.



And everything she's learned is.



Mrs Keller, we shouldn't

play tug of war for her.



Either give her to me

or you keep her from kicking.



- What do you wish to do?

- Let me take her from the table.



Let her stay. She's only a child...



- And ask outsiders not to interfere.

- Outsider? Why, I'm the child's aunt.



Will this once hurt so much, Miss Annie?



I've made all of Helen's favourite foods.



It's her homecomin' party, Miss Annie.



- She's testing you.

- She's testing you.



Jimmy, be quiet.

Now that she's home, naturally...



She wants to see what'll happen at

your hands. I said it was my main worry.



- But she's not kickin' now.

- And not learning not to.



She'll live up to what you demand

and no more.



- She's testing you.

- Jimmy.



- I have an opinion.

- No one's interested in it.



I'm interested.

Of course she's testing me.



Let me keep her to what she's learned

and she'll go on learning.



Take her out of my hands

and it all comes apart.



Be bountiful. It's at her expense.



Please pass me more

of her favourite food.



- Take her, Miss Annie.

- Thank you.



I'm afraid you're the difficulty, Miss Annie.



I'll keep her to what she's learned.

You're quite right.



But I don't see we need send her

from the table. She's the guest of honour.



Bring her plate back.



If she were a seeing child, you wouldn't...



She's not! I think

some compromise is called for.



Bring her plate.






Occasionally another hand

can smooth things out.



There. Now, shall we start all over?



(James) I think we've started all over.



Don't get up.

Don't smooth anything else out for me.



Don't interfere in any way. I treat her like

a seeing child because I ask her to see.



I expect her to see! Don't undo what I do!



- Where are you going?

- To fill this pitcher.



You let her speak to you like that?

A creature who works for you?



No, I don't.



- Let her go.

- What?



I said let her go! She's right.



She's right.



Kate's right, I'm right, and you're wrong.



Has it never occurred to you

that on one occasion



you might be consummately wrong?



All right. Pump.



No, she's not here. Pump.



W-a-t-e-r. Water.



It has a name. W-a-t...



Wah... wah.



Wah... wah.












Oh, my dear.





















Mrs Keller. Mrs Keller!






Mrs Keller!



Mrs Keller... Mrs Keller.



Mother. Papa.



She knows!












I... love...






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