Johnny Belinda (1948 film)

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Johnny Belinda is a 1948 American drama film based on the play of the same name by Elmer Blaney Harris. The movie was adapted to the screen by Allen Vincent and Irma von Cube, and directed by Jean Negulesco.

The story is based on a real life incident that happened near Harris's summer residence in Fortune Bridge, Bay Fortune, Prince Edward Island. The title character is based on the real life of Lydia Dingwell (1852-1931), of Dingwells Mills, Prince Edward Island. This film also expresses the consequences of spreading lies and rumors.

The film stars Jane Wyman, Lew Ayres, Charles Bickford, Agnes Moorehead, Stephen McNally, and Jan Sterling.

It was filmed in northern California around Mendocino.

The film was remade as a 1967 television movie starring Mia Farrow as Belinda and David Carradine as Locky.


Plot summary

It is the story of a deaf-mute girl, Belinda McDonald, who is befriended by the new doctor, Dr. Robert Richardson, who comes to Cape Breton Island on the east coast of Canada. The doctor realizes that, although she cannot hear or speak, Belinda is very intelligent. She lives on a farm with her father, Black McDonald, and her aunt, Aggie McDonald, and rarely goes into town. The family sells farm goods to the nearby town, mainly flour. Her father and aunt resent Belinda because her mother died giving birth to her. Dr. Richardson teaches Belinda sign language and what things are. Over time, his affection for her grows.

The doctor’s secretary, Stella, tries to get the doctor to court her. But the doctor does not see Stella in that way at all. After she figures out that he is becoming attracted to Belinda, she starts to resent both the doctor and Belinda.

One of the family's customers, Locky McCormick, goes to the farm when Belinda is alone and rapes her. She becomes pregnant. When the people in town find out that she is pregnant, they suspect Dr. Richardson because he has spent a lot of time with her. As time goes by, the pressure of the rumors finally cause the doctor to look for a new practice. He decides to marry Belinda and take her and the baby with him. He goes on ahead to find both a new place to practice and a new home for them.

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