Known for light comedies and her partnership with Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers stepped off the dance floor and into 1940's Oscar spotlight with her Best Actress turn as Kitty, an indomitable working-class girl who endures the rejection of Philadelphia society, makes her own way as a single woman and ultimately chooses between an unmarried arrangement with Main Line scion Wynnewood Strafford VI (Dennis Morgan) or marriage to a struggling physician (James Craig). Rogers' deserved Academy Award confirmed she was more than a dance star - a fact humorously underscored when she returned to the studio and was greeted by staffers and actors in top hats and tails. Jane Wyman won the Best Actress Academy Award for her sensitive portrayal of Belinda, capturing the girl's affecting isolation, awakening desire to learn and ultimate triumph. Directed by Jean Negulesco and co-starring Lew Ayres, Charles Bickford and Agnes Moorehead (all four Oscar nominees* for their fine work), Johnny Belinda (nominated for a total 11 Oscars including Best Picture) blends atmosphere, nuance and high drama into a heartbreaking classic.
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