Mandy (1952 film)

Mandy is a 1952 British black and white film about a family's struggle to give their deaf daughter a better life. It was directed by Alexander Mackendrick and is based on the novel The Day Is Ours by Hilda Lewis. It stars Phyllis Calvert, Jack Hawkins and Terence Morgan, and features the first film appearance by Jane Asher. In the US the film was released as The Story of Mandy,[1] and later was sold to television as Crash of Silence.[2]

1952 UK film poster for Mandy.jpg
Original UK cinema poster
Directed byAlexander Mackendrick
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based onThe Day Is Ours
by Hilda Lewis
Music byWilliam Alwyn
CinematographyDouglas Slocombe
Edited bySeth Holt
Distributed byGeneral Film Distributors
Release date
  • 29 July 1952 (1952-07-29) (UK)
Running time
93 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

A high proportion of the film looks at educational methods for the deaf in the 1950s and is very instructional in this context. It also cleverly manages to see the world from the deaf child's eyes.


Christine Garland has a young deaf daughter, Mandy. Her husband Harry is away from home.

As they realise their daughter's situation, the parents enroll Mandy in special education classes to try to get her to speak. They quarrel in the process and their marriage comes under strain. There are also hints of a possible affair between Christine and Dick Searle, the headmaster of the school for the deaf where Mandy is enrolled. Mandy's first speech is achieved by using a balloon. She is able to feel the vibrations of sound onto the balloon and know she had made a sound.

Harry Garland returns to Christine and Mandy and wants Mandy taken out of the school and sent to a private school. Christine strongly resists.

Searle perseveres and eventually, the training succeeds to the point where Mandy says "Mama". Searle's boss Ackland is unhappy about the relationship between Searle and Christine and word of this reaches Searle. Word also reaches Harry Garland who is staying with his parents in a large London townhouse. Harry goes to speak to Ackland. Then he confronts Christine.

He takes Mandy out of the school and takes her to his parent's house. Mandy is sad. The back garden looks onto a bomb-site where children are playing. The children ask her to play and ask her name. With her parents behind she says "Mandy" for the first time.



The film's screenplay was written by Nigel Balchin and Jack Whittingham. The film was shot at the Ealing Studios in west London, and also at the Royal Schools for the Deaf outside Manchester.[3]


Box officeEdit

Mandy premiered in London on 29 July 1952, and was the fifth most popular at the British box office that year.[4][5]


The film was nominated for six BAFTA awards at the 1953 British Academy Film Awards ceremony, but didn't win any. Alexander Mackendrick was awarded the Special Jury Prize at the 1952 Venice Film Festival for his direction, and the film was nominated for the Golden Lion at the same festival.[6]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ New York Times, 24 February 1953: 'The Story of Mandy', a British Drama at Sutton, Tells Tale of Deaf-Mute's Training Linked 2007-12-08
  2. ^ IMDb: Mandy (1952) - Also knowns as Linked 2015-04-18
  3. ^ IMDb: Mandy (1952) - Filming Locations Linked 2015-04-18
  4. ^ The Sunday Herald (Sydney), 28 December 1952:Comedian Tops Film Poll Linked 2012-04-24
  5. ^ Thumim, Janet. "The popular cash and culture in the postwar British cinema industry". Screen. Vol. 32 no. 3. p. 259.
  6. ^ IMDb: Mandy (1952) - Awards Linked 2015-04-18

External linksEdit