The Miracle Worker (1962) Script

She'll live.

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

I brought up two of them. This is my wife's first.

She isn't battle scarred yet.

Doctor, will my girl be all right?

By morning she'll be knocking down Captain Keller's fences again.

Is there nothing we should do?

Put up stronger fencing, huh?

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.

The main thing is, the fever's gone.

-I never saw a baby with more vitality. -That's the truth.


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 'cause 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...



Captain! Will you come?

Katie! What is it? What's happened?

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!

She can't hear you!

I told you to let her be!

Arthur, something ought to be done for that child.

A refreshing suggestion. What?

Why, this very famous Perkins School in Boston.

Why, they're just supposed to do wonders.

Child's been to specialists everywhere.

They couldn't help her in Baltimore or Washington, could they?

I think the Captain will write to the Perkins School soon.

Katie, how many times can you let them break your heart?

Any number of times, as long as there's the least chance for her to see or to hear.

-What, child? -There isn't! Now I must finish here.

With your permission, Captain, I would like to write to the Perkins School.

-I said no, Katie. -Writing does no harm, Arthur.

Only a little, bitty letter to see if they can help her.

-They can't. -We won't know till after you write.

They can't.

I might as well try to work in a hen yard as this house.

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 even 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 morning and night over the child.

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

One way we won't have it is rushing around to see each new quack.

-I'm as sensible to this affliction... -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 any way to reach that mind of hers.

You're not to do such things! How can I make you understand?

How can I get it into your head, my darling?

Some way of teaching her an iota of discipline has to be found.

How can you discipline an afflicted child? Is it her fault?

-I didn't say it was her fault. -Then whose? I don't know what to do.

How can I teach her? Beat her till she's black and blue?

It's not safe to let her run around loose. We must confine her.

Where? In a cage? She's a growing child. She has to be able to live.

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've 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.

It will no doubt be difficult for you there.

This is my last time to counsel you, Annie.

You do lack some, and by some, I mean all...

What? Tact.

Or talent to bend to others.

And what has saved you on more than one occasion at Perkins is that there was nowhere to expel you to.

-Your eyes hurt? -My ears, Mr. Anagnos.

Nowhere but back 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?

-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-bye. Good-bye.

I won't give them any trouble.

I'll be so ladylike, they won't notice I've come.

Where are we goin', Annie?

-Jimmy. -Where are we goin'?

-I said, I'm taking care of you. -Where are we goin'?

Annie Sullivan, aged nine, virtually blind.

James Sullivan, aged seven.

What's the matter with your leg, sonny?

It's his hip, mister. He was born that way.

Can't he walk without that crutch?

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

Annie! Don't let them take me!


-Miss Sullivan? -Here!

At last. I've been on trains for so many days, I thought they 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 a brother.

-You're to be her governess? -Well, try.

You look like half a governess. You have a trunk?


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 Ivy Green, Miss Sullivan. -My husband Captain Keller.

-Captain, how do you? -Pleasure to see you.

-I trust you had an agreeable journey. -I had several.

-Where would you like the trunk? -Where Miss Sullivan can get at it.

-Yes, please. Where's Helen? -And the suitcase.

I'll take the suitcase, thanks. I've got something for Helen.

-When do I see her? -There. There's Helen.

She's very rough, Katie.

I like her, Captain.

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.

-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.

Here a houseful of grownups can't cope with the child.

How can an inexperienced, half-blind Yankee schoolgirl manage?

Great improvement. Now we have two of them to look after.

-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!

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.

-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.

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.

It 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.





You do as my fingers do. Never mind what it means.






Think it over.

Imitate now. Understand later. End of the first lesson.

You little wretch. Nobody's taught you any manners.

Helen, let me out!

Don't worry, they'll find you. You're not lost, only out of place.


-Where's Miss Sullivan? -She's locked in her room.

-Locked in her... -What on Earth?

Helen locked her in and made off with 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.


-Miss Sullivan! -Yes, Captain Keller.

-Is there no key on your side? -If there were, I wouldn't be in here.

Helen took it. The only thing on my side is me.

Not in the house 10 minutes. I don't see how you managed it.

And even I'm not on my side.

-Viney! -Yes, Captain Keller.

Put that meat back in the oven!

She has no key.

Nonsense! She must have the key. You search in her pockets?

-Yes. She doesn't have it. -She must have the key!

-Take that ladder back! -Certainly.

-She could've hidden the key. -Where?

Anywhere. Under a stone, in the flower beds...

I can't plough up the entire grounds to find a missing key!

-Jimmy! -Sir?

-Bring me a ladder! -Certainly.

-What's the baby doing up? -Captain woke her with his hollering.

Get back to your work!

Miss Sullivan!

Yes, Captain Keller?

-Come out of your window onto the roof. -You have a ladder. How thoughtful.

Come down.

-I don't see how I can. -I intend to carry you.

That's chivalrous of you, but I prefer to...

Follow instructions! I will not have you tumbling out of our windows.

I hope this is not a sample of what we may expect from you in the way of simplifying the work of looking after Helen.

I'm perfectly able to go down a ladder under my own steam.

I doubt it. Simply hold onto my neck.

My neck, Miss Sullivan!

-I'm sorry to inconvenience you. -No inconvenience.

I'll have that door taken down, the lock replaced in case we can't find that key.

-I'll look everywhere. -Thank you.

Do not look in any rooms that can be locked.


Go! What are you lookin' at here? Nothing here for you to look at!

Now, would it be possible for us to have dinner like other people?

Viney, serve dinner. I'll put the baby to sleep.

You might as well leave the L-A-D-D-E-R.

You devil.

You think I am 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.

Discipline her without breaking...



It has a name.

Down, under, up.

And be careful of the needle.

Fine. You keep out of the ink, and perhaps I can keep out the soup.

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

Bad girl.

Good girl.

Very good girl.

What are you saying to her?

I was just making conversation.

Saying it was a sewing card.

Does that mean that to her?

No. She won't spelling is till she knows what a word is.

The Captain says it's like spelling 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.

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 a half a million each.

It's her bedtime.

I'm sorry!

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.

No, but 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 only strength as a soldier was numbers.

Led them to slaughter with no more regard than for so many sheep.

But even if in that sense 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?

-The drunkenness or the butchery? -Neither, Father.

-Only the fact that he beat us. -He didn't!

-Is it your contention we won the war? -He didn't beat us at Vicksburg!

We lost Vicksburg by stupidity verging on treason.

We lost Vicksburg because Grant was one thing no Yankee general was before him.

-Drunk? I doubt it! -Obstinate.

Obstinate! Could any of them compare to old Stonewall?

He'd been there, we'd still have Vicksburg.

The butcher wouldn't give up. He tried four ways of getting around Vicksburg.

He wouldn't have got around if we'd had a Southerner in command instead of a half-breed Yankee traitor like Pemberton!

If only we didn't have... What's the matter there?

She's accustomed to helping herself from our plates.

-I'm not accustomed to it. -Of course not. Viney!

-Give her something to quiet her. -Her table manners are the best she has.

Let her this time. It's the only way we get any adult conversation.

-I'll get you another plate. -I have a plate, thank you.

Viney! I'm afraid what Captain Keller says is true.

-She'll persist in this till... -Nothing's wrong with the plate.

-I intend to keep it. -You see why they took Vicksburg?

One plate or another is hardly a matter to struggle with a deprived child about.

I'd sooner have a more heroic issue myself.

I really must insist that you... Now she's hurt herself.

-No, she hasn't. -Will you please let her hands go?

You don't know the child well enough.

I know an ordinary tantrum well enough when I see one and a badly spoiled child.

Here, here.

You'd have more understanding of your pupil if you had some pity in you.

Pity! For this tyrant? The whole house turns on her whims.

Is there anything she wants she doesn't get? I'll tell you what I pity.

That the sun won't rise and set for her all her life, and every day you're telling her it will!

What good will your pity do when you're under the strawberries?

-For the love of heaven, will you... -I don't think it serves to lose our...

It's less trouble to feel sorry for her than it is to teach her anything.

-You haven't taught her anything yet. -I'll begin if you'll leave the room.

-Leave? -Everyone, please.

You're here as a paid teacher, nothing more.

I can't un-teach her six years of pity if you can't stand up to one tantrum.

Old Stonewall, indeed!

-Mrs. Keller, you promised me help. -Indeed, I...

-Then leave me alone with her now! -Katie, come outside at once, please!

-Heaven's sakes! -Out, please.

If it takes all summer, General!

I've got a half-mind to ship her back to Boston before the week is out.

-You can inform her so for me. -Aye, Captain.

She's a hireling. Unless there's an apology and complete change of manner, she goes back on the next train.

-Will you make that quite clear? -Where will you be while I am making it quite clear?

At the office.

Will you? I thought what she said was exceptionally intelligent.

-I've been saying it for years. -To his face?

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

Good girl.

I don't see how you can wait out here a minute longer, Kate.

This could go on all afternoon too.

I'll tell the Captain you called.

Give me her, Miss Kate. I'll sneak her in back to her crib.

-This child never gives me any 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.

There is too! There is too!

-There is not! -There is too!

What kind of lies are you tellin' the ignorant girl?

There's a school that teaches blind that's worse than her!

To what? See with her nose?

-To read and write! -How can they if they can't see?

You crazy old loon!

You're not going to school, are ya, 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 forever 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?

"A whole neighborhood would rush to save this woman

"if she were buried alive by the caving in of a pit

"and labor with zeal until she were dug out.

"Now, if there were one who had as much patience as zeal, "he might awaken her."

-They're all here. -Talk to them.

-You can get out. -Talk to them.

They're the ones. All the investigators is here.

-That's Mr. Sanborn. -He's the commissioner, honey.

-Talk to him. -You might get out.

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've dug desperately

"for her in the pit.

"Is the life of the soul less important than that of the body?"

Let alone the person who's to pay for the broken dishware.

From the moment she stepped off the train, she's been nothing but a burden.

Incompetent, impertinent, ineffectual, immodest and...

-She folded her napkin, Captain. -She what?

Not ineffectual. Helen did fold her napkin.

What in heaven's name is so extraordinary about folding a napkin?

It's more than you did, Captain.

Today she scuttled any chance she had of getting along with the child.

If you can see any point or purpose in her staying on, 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.

-Miss Sullivan. -Captain Keller.

I thought we should have a talk.

Yes, I... Well, come in.

Miss Sullivan, I've decided... I've decided I'm not satisfied.

-In fact, am deeply dissatisfied. -Excuse me?

Is that house by the bridge ever used?

In hunting season.

If you give me your attention, Miss Sullivan.

I've tried to make allowances because you come from a part of the country where people...

Women, I should say, come from, for whom allowances must be made.

I have decided nevertheless...

I find it difficult to talk through those glasses.

Why do you wear them?

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 accustomed to rudeness.

If you want to stay, there must be a radical change of manner.

-Whose? -Yours, young lady. Isn't it obvious?

You must persuade me that the slightest hope of your teaching a child who flees from you like the plague to anyone she can find.

There isn't. 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."

But not really. "Wa-wa."

But she meant "water."

She knew what it meant, and at only six months old.

I never saw a child so bright or outgoing.

It's still in her somewhere.

Please, Annie, put up with her, and with 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.

You're so sorry for her, you've kept her like a pet.

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 have we to do if you give up?

Give up?

-You said it was hopeless. -Here.

Give up. Why I only today saw what was to be done to begin.

-I want complete charge of her. -You already have that.

No, I mean day and night.

-She has to be dependent on me. -For what?


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.

It's the only way.

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 packed half my things already. -Miss Sullivan...

It meets your conditions.

It's the one way I can get back in touch with Helen.

I don't see how I can be rude to you if you're not around to interfere.

And what is your intention if I say no?

Pack the other half for home and abandon your charge 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 there not on visiting days.

One ward was full of the old women, crippled, blind, most of them dying, but even if what they had was catching, there was nowhere to move them.

That's where they put us.

There were other ones across the hall, 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 DTs.

The youngest were in another ward to have babies they didn't want.

They started at 13, 14.

They'd leave afterwards, but the babies stayed, and we played with them too.

A lot of them had sores all over from diseases you weren't to mention.

Not many lived.

The first year we had 80. 70 died.

The room where Jimmy and I played was where they kept bodies before burial.

No. It made me strong.

But I don't think you need to send Helen there.

She's strong enough.

Miss Annie.

Where would you take Helen?

-Italy. -What?

You can't have everything. How would your little house do?

Furnish it. Bring Helen there after a ride so she wouldn't recognize it.

And you can see her every day if she doesn't know.


-Is that all? -That's all.

Captain, with your permission...

That boy Percy could sleep there, run errands.

We could let Percy sleep there I think, Captain.

-And move in some furniture. -That bedstead in the barn...

I've not yet consented to Percy or to the house or to the proposal or to Miss Sullivan staying on here!

When I...

Very well. I consent to everything, for two weeks.

I'll give you two weeks in that place.

And 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 a sign for me. -Yes, I know. In two weeks.

Miss Annie, I... Please be good to her.

These two weeks, try to be very good to her.

I will.

Two weeks.

What did I get into now?



You called me?

-What are you doing here? -Taking a turn around. Everything okay?

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?

Eleven years ago this May.

-You've had no one to dream of 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 gentlemen 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?

I lost my temper, and here we are.

I'm counting on her. That little head is dying to know.

-Know what? -Anything.

Every crumb in God's creation. I'll have 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 being what she is?

If I 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.

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.

Let me go! Let me go!

She's trying to talk. She's gonna hit me.

She can talk. If she only knew.

I'll show you how she makes letters.


She's mad at me. She won't play. But she knows lots of letters.

This is A.





She spells "cake," she gets cake.

She doesn't know yet 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!



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.

You're jealous, are you?

All right.


So 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,


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 on your progress.

She's tolerating me and I'm tolerating her.

-What's wrong? -A difference of opinion.

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.

-It's almost 10:00. Why not feed her? -She knows I will when she dresses.

-She's thinking it over. -You intend to starve her into obeying?

She won't starve. She'll learn.

All's fair in love and war. You've never cut supplies?

-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.


Has a name.

Tree. It has a name.


Bird. It has a name. Yes.








Where's "discipline"?

What a dictionary. You have to know how to spell it before you can look it up.




You're not to overwork your eyes.

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?

-Next week seems so... -Spell it.

-So far off. -Spell it.

If she ever learns, you'll have a lot to tell each other. Start now.

Yes, crochet.




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 cake. Thimble.




Good girl.


"And 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?

Well, we say cleanliness is next to Godliness.

It's next to nothing.

Give me more time alone with her.


What is she spelling?


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 from her and yourself.

God may have not 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 over to help you pack.

Not until 6:00. I have her until 6:00.


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.


I wanted to teach you

everything the earth is full of, Helen, everything that's on it is ours for a wink, and it's gone.

And what we are on it.

A light we bring to it and leave behind in words.

You can see 5,000 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.

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?

This. W-O-O-L means this thing.


F-A-C-E! Face!




Let her come.

Come in.

Miss Annie, your first month's salary.

With many more to come, I trust.

It doesn't repay our debt for what you've done.

I taught her one thing, "No. Don't do this, don't do that..."

That's more than we could do...

I wanted to teach her what language is.

I know that without it, to do nothing but obey is no gift.

Obedience without understanding is a blindness too.

Is that all I wished on her?


I don't know what else to do.

Simply keep doing what I've done and have faith that inside she's...

That inside it's waiting?

Like water underground.

You can help.


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?


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." Amen.

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. -Then why ask?

I meant it is from the Good Book, and therefore a fitting grace.

Well, I don't know about that.

There's an awful lot of things in the Good Book that I don't want to hear just before eating.

Fitting in the sense that Jacob's thigh was out of joint, and so is this piggy.

-James, I declare. -Pickles, Aunt Ev?

I should say so. You know my opinion of your pickles.

This is the end of them. I didn't put up nearly enough last summer.

This year I intend to.

Reverend looked into the office today to complain his hens have stopped laying.

Poor fellow. He was out of joint. All he...

-I've always suspected those hens. -Why?

I think they're Papists.

Please. Now you're pulling my lower extremity.

The first thing you know, we'll be having another one of our...

-It's a very special day. -It will be, when I give into that.

Please, I've hardly had a chance to welcome her home.

-Captain Keller. -Katie, we had a little talk.

-She feels we indulge Helen... -It's only a napkin.

-It's nothing breakable. -And everything she's learned is.

Mrs. Keller, I don't think we ought to play tug-of-war for her.

Give her to me or keep her from kicking.

-What do you wish to do? -Let me take her from the table.

Oh, let her stay. My goodness, she's only a child.

-And ask outsiders not to interfere. -Outsiders?

I'm her aunt.

Will this once hurt so much, Miss Annie? I...

I've made all of Helen's favorite foods tonight.

It's a homecoming party, Miss Annie.

-She's testing you, you realize. -She's testing you.

Jimmy, be quiet. Now she's home, naturally she...

She wants to see what'll happen at your hands.

-I said it was my main worry. -She's not kicking now.

And not learning not to.

She'll live up to just what you demand of her, and no more.

She's testing you! I have an opinion!

-No one's interested in hearing 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 from me.

Take her out of my hands, and it all comes apart.

Be bountiful. It's at her expense.

Please pass me more of her favorite foods.

Take her.

Thank you.

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

I'll keep her to what she's learned. You're quite right here.

I don't see that we need to send her from the table.

After all, you're the guest of honor. Bring her plate back.

-If she was a seeing child, you... -But she's not.

I think some compromise is called for. Bring her plate.


Occasionally, another hand can smooth things out.


Now, should we start all over?

I think we should start over...

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 taking her? -To make her fill this pitcher again.

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.


No, she's not here. Pump.

W-A-T-E-R. Water.

It has a name. W-A-T...


Oh, my dear.





Mrs. Keller! Mrs. Keller!

Mama. Papa. She knows!