Johnny Belinda

Johnny Belinda

Johnny Belinda is a 1948 American drama film based on the 1940 Broadway stage hit of the same name, by Elmer Blaney Harris. The play was adapted for the screen by writers Allen Vincent and Irma von Cube, and directed by Jean Negulesco.


Belinda MacDonald is a deaf-mute young woman living on Cape Breton Island on the east coast of Canada. Belinda is befriended by Dr. Robert Richardson, the new physician who recently moved to town. The doctor realizes that, although she cannot hear or speak, Belinda is very intelligent. She lives on a farm with her father, Black MacDonald, and her aunt, Aggie MacDonald. She wears plain work clothes, rarely goes into town, and only once to church. The family sells farm goods to the nearby town, mainly flour. Her father and aunt called Belinda "Dummy" and resent her because her mother died giving birth to her. Dr. Richardson teaches Belinda sign language and the signs for many common things and ideas. Over time, his affection for her grows. He buys her a pretty dress and encourages her father to take her to town and church.