If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Dr. Robert Richardson (Lew Ayres) has just recently taken over for a doctor in a small town in Nova Scotia when he meets a young deaf woman named Belinda (Jane Wyman). He bring it upon himself to teach her how to communicate with people, but when the girl is one night attacked by a man and later turns out to be pregnant, the townsfolk begin to think the doctor is taking advantage of the handicapped girl.
Jane Wyman is fantastic in this movie. She plays Belinda as an intelligent young woman whose only problem is that she can't hear. She never has a single line in the entire film but she's still able to bring forth a ton of emotions. You can tell that things are harder for her but she's a strong enough character to push through, even after really terrible things start happening to her. I like that even before the doctor begins teaching her, her father has developed his own way for her to as least get chores done around the farm. They do a great job developing the relationship between Belinda and her father, although something happens later in the film that undermines that a bit.
Stephen McNally plays Locky McCormick, the man who attacks Belinda, and while he's not exactly a developed villain, he serves his purpose extremely well. From the moment this guy first showed up on screen I began despising him. He's such a sleazy, evil jerk, and the things he does in this movie are just despicable. Unfortunately the payoff in the end isn't as satisfying as I was hoping, but there is a payoff that could have been made better. The thing is, there's one thing he does that it is absolutely inexcusable, but I feel like he just sort of got away with it in the end and it's still bugging me.
If you've seen Johnny Belinda, I'd be curious to know what you think of this, but near the end of the movie I started thinking that I really want to see this remade by somebody like the Coen Brothers. I know it's not exactly their normal type of film but there are a lot of things about it that I'd love to see them do in their own way. This movie itself though is really great and I highly recommend it.