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Mandy PG rating

Alexander Mackendrick's drama about a deaf girl and her unstable family life is remarkably unsentimental while still packing an emotional punch.

Drama 1952 93 mins

Director: Alexander Mackendrick



Mandy is diagnosed profoundly deaf at the age of two. Her parents struggle to come to terms with her condition, but when her mother decides to send her away to a school for the deaf, the family begins to splinter.

The only 'serious' film Alexander Mackendrick made for Ealing Studios amid a run of comedies, Mandy is remarkably free of the sentimentality which might so easily have weakened its impact, while still packing an emotional punch. Much of Mandy's impact is due to the extraordinary performance of its seven year-old star, Mandy Garland. Mackendrick had already decided against casting a truly deaf child in the lead role: "deaf-mute children can be extraordinarily intelligent and perceptive; but they have this terrible desire to make you feel they've understood you when they haven't really," he later explained. Mandy Miller had made a brief but memorable appearance in The Man in the White Suit, but even Mackendrick was surprised at the intensity of the young girl's performance.