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.
Dean Essner - Variety
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.
Dean Essner - 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.
Dean Essner - Film4
Rob Vaux - Flipside Movie Emporium
Nell Minow - Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies