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Helen Keller

Film | Accession Number: 2002.545.1 | RG Number: RG-60.3453 | Film ID: 2565

BIOGRAPHY, with Mike Wallace. MS of Helen Keller, in her twilight years, being awarded at a ceremony. Helen reading braille while seated at a desk in her home. Opening credits and introduction, BIOGRAPHY with Mike Wallace. CUs and MSs of Helen surrounded by friends and being interviewed (no audio). Stills of Helen as a young child, then stills of her family home in Alabama, then stills of her mother. Excerpts from a silent film about Helen's life: shots of a young "Helen" walking, stumbling, thrashing, and crawling through the woods; her teacher and mentor arrives via horse and buggy but "Helen" initially resists love; MS of the two hugging; CUs of the teacher showing "Helen" the meaning of words like "water" and "doll" and "ball" and "leaves" and so on via direct contact with such objects. Stills of "Helen" as a young girl and the as a young woman. CU of a letter Helen wrote. CU of a still of Helen and Mark Twain, portrait-style. MS of Helen typing in a book-walled den. MS and CU of Helen in a graduation cap and gown. Stills of Helen, her teacher and her husband basking in the rest of their New England home and grounds. Public relations MSs and CUs of Helen attending formal parties or picking flowers in a field or playing a harp or conducting a violinist or dancing the waltz with a young man or riding a horse. Excerpts from her feature film debut, "Deliverance" (1918). MS of Helen, wearing an aviator helmet, boarding a single engine propeller plane; tight LS of the plane taking off; tight LS of the plane landing. Vaudeville montage: MS of a man directing a bear and a dog into doing a conga line (excellent), MS of two men dancing loosely on a shifty stage, MS of a man wearing a checker-patterned suit juggling large metal rings while on stage. Cut to a CU of a newspaper announcement regarding Helen's vaudeville engagement..... MS of Helen and her teacher describing for the camera the methods they used for learning (real audio, mostly of the teacher); some CUs of their hands and faces as well. MS of Terry Hawkins and Helen Keller, in a public service announcement regarding a WPA program. More stills of Helen and her first teacher, then stills of Helen and her new teacher, Polly. Montage of Helen and Polly at various public events; good crowd shots; good CUs of Polly signing into Helen's hand (Helen is in her 70's). MS of Helen being led down an airport step ladder runway; MS of her, still on the runway, talking into a microphone while Polly translates (real audio)..... MS of Helen talking to a classroom of deaf children; good CUs and MSs of kids "listening", headphones over their ears. MS of Polly and Helen at home, sorting through mail and packages. Great high angle CU of Helen typing on a typewriter. Stills of Helen and Polly in New York City, window shopping at Tiffany's and Saks, etc. MS of Helen, in her 80s, walking from a funeral home (Polly's passed on). Tight LSs and MSs of Helen at her Connecticut home, walking around the grounds. Closing comments, final credits.

Production:  1963
New York, NY, United States
Connecticut, United States
Accessed at US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of WPA Film Library
Record last modified: 2020-02-04 10:39:59
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