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The final nominee from our look at 1948's Best Picture contenders is...
Irma von Cube and Allen Vincent
(based on the play by Elmer Harris)
Jane Wyman, Lew Ayres, Charles Bickford, Agnes Moorehead, Stephen McNally, Jan Sterling
1 win, for Best Actress (Wyman)
A deaf-mute since she was a baby, Belinda McDonald (Wyman) seems content performing menial tasks for her father Black (Bickford) and aunt Aggie (Moorehead) on the family farm in Nova Scotia. Known as "The Dummy" by the less polite members of the community, Belinda is not considered to ever be able to contribute intelligently to society. Not even her own family gives her any credit... Until the new town physician, Dr. Richardson (Ayres), takes it upon himself to teach the outcast sign language. As Belinda learns to communicate with those around her, she and the kindly doctor must deal with the ugly rumour mill and the town bully, Locky McCormick (McNally).
Johnny Belinda is a relatively simple story well told. With its straightforward and engaging narrative, the picture is a generally pleasant movie experience. A solid script with solid performances, it is genuinely difficult to find much fault here beyond a questionable legal precedent and a ridiculously fake performance by the town violinist (repeatedly tapping the bow on the strings is not how you play the violin).
Along with Wyman's Best Actress win, three other cast members received nominations, allowing Johnny Belinda to join an elite group of pictures boasting a nomination in each of the four acting categories. Lew Ayres rightly received a Best Actor nod for his affable turn as the compassionate doctor. And both Charles Bickford and Agnes Moorehead (known to TV audiences as Endora from Bewitched) collected Supporting nominations.