Bosley Crowther - New York Times
The centerpiece is a one-room, nine-minute war of attrition, as a tutor (Anne Bancroft) imposes table manners on her feral charge (Patty Duke). It's a heaving, shin-cracking donnybrook, done with complete commitment.
Nick Pinkerton - Village Voice
Anne Bancroft is superb as Annie Sullivan, the teacher who finally reached into Helen Keller's darkness, and Patty Duke is chillingly real as the young Helen.
Don Druker - Chicago Reader
Where the picture really excels, outside of its inherent story values, is in the realm of photographic technique.
Two well-deserved Oscars grace this unflinching portrait of selfishness in direct resistance to selflessness.
Wesley Lovell - Cinema Sight
Outstanding movie based on life of Helen Keller.
Nell Minow - Common Sense Media
Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke give intense, powerful Oscar-winning performances in Arthur Penn's successful screen version of the Helen Keller story, based on William Gibson's play.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
It's a stunningly impressive piece of work, typically (for Penn) deriving much of its power from the performances.
Derek Adams - Time Out
Beautiful black-and-white cinematography, startling performances, and harrowing physicality… the cathartic final scene is nothing short of transcendent.
Steven D. Greydanus - Decent Films Guide
Jules Brenner - Cinema Signals
Jake Euker - F5 (Wichita, KS)
Philip Martin - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Notable not just for its earnestness and two outstanding performances (both won Oscars) -- it's also got one of the longest catfights in cinema history.
Christopher Null - Filmcritic.com
Portrays a literal war for a girl's soul, making that war so ugly that it's impossibly beautiful.
Scott Renshaw - Apollo Guide
Potentially soft material is handled with just the right severity; marvelously acted.
Nick Davis - Nick's Flick Picks
The eight-minute sequence featuring a physical fight between Bancroft and Duke as the teacher attempts to teach the pupil some manners stands as one of the most electrifying and honest ever committed to film.
- TV Guide's Movie Guide
Much aided by its magnificent central performances, Penn's adaptation works like a dream as a film...Despite the subject matter, Penn manages to resist the temptation to manipulate our emotions.
Rob Vaux - Flipside Movie Emporium
Nell Minow - Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies