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TitleAmy (1981) (TV Film)
Alternative/Original Title
DirectorVincent McEveety
CastJenny Agutter Barry Newman Kathleen Nolan Chris Robinson Lou Fant
NotesIn the early part of this century a woman leaves her husband and works in a school for the disabled. Amy goes to work with blind and deaf children in a school where the two rarely mix. She is there as a speech teacher because as we soon learn none of the deaf children speak at all. In fact some teachers and the committee which runs the school don't think such children can speak. The tone of the film is coy and sentimental from the opening music but there's enough going on to make this film worth seeing. We see very little of the blind except for one little lad who believes all blind children will open their eyes as they grow up, just as some young animals are born blind and later open their eyes. Of course this nice little story is contradicted by all the older blind children around him. But his fate is never to know the truth since he dies from rheumatic fever before he's five years old. The speech teacher wants to teach the deaf children to lip-read as well as speak and a good portion of the film is spent in the classroom. The school which exists on poor funding cannot afford a doctor but when a child is ill (it turns out from eating green apples) the new teacher fetches a doctor. There is no mention of fees and in fact the doctor can't keep away but this is because he is the romantic interest. Barry Newman plays the doctor as a comic Irishman turning up on the first occasion drunk. For me he spoils the tone of the film and clashes with the sensitive, fragile Agutter. We're also side tracked by the husband of the teacher searching for his wife which concludes predictably. And we also discover that the teacher had a son who was deaf and also had a heart defect which killed him when he was only a few years old. Though before his death she had been taking him to a special school and working there as a voluntary assistant. A lot is unsatisfactory about this film but most of the action does take place in the school.

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