Watch Story of Esther Costello, The
- 1 hr 43 min
The Story of Esther Costello is a 1957 drama film directed by David Miller and starring Joan Crawford, Heather Sears, and Rossano Brazzi. The story follows young Esther Costello, a deaf and blind girl who is rescued from neglectful guardians by philanthropist Margaret Landi (Joan Crawford). The film opens with Margaret Landi arriving at a hospital in Dublin, Ireland, where she meets Esther, a young girl who has been severely neglected by her guardians. Esther is both deaf and blind, and unable to communicate with anyone. Moved by her plight, Margaret takes Esther under her wing and brings her to London to receive the best education and medical attention.
With the help of a dedicated teacher, Maurice (Ronald Squire), Esther learns to communicate through touch and sound. She also develops a love for music, which becomes a way for her to express herself. As Esther grows older, she becomes an accomplished pianist and a stunningly beautiful young woman.
Margaret's efforts to help Esther are admirable, but also stem from her own personal demons. Margaret, a wealthy and successful businesswoman, is haunted by the loss of her own child, who died at a young age. Esther becomes a surrogate daughter for Margaret, but their relationship is complicated by Margaret's guilt and grief.
Meanwhile, Esther's newfound independence leads to conflicts with Margaret. Esther falls in love with Carlo (Rossano Brazzi), an Italian journalist, and dreams of a life beyond the sheltered world Margaret has created for her. Margaret, fearing that Esther will be hurt or exploited, tries to prevent her from leaving her care.
The Story of Esther Costello explores themes of disability, class, and love. The film portrays Esther as an intelligent and capable young woman despite her physical limitations. Heather Sears delivers a powerful performance as Esther, conveying both her vulnerability and her strength. Joan Crawford, in one of her later roles, gives a nuanced portrayal of Margaret's complex emotions.
The film received mixed reviews upon release, with some praising its performances and message of hope, while others criticized it for its sentimentality and melodrama. Nonetheless, it remains a significant work in disability representation in cinema.
Overall, The Story of Esther Costello is a moving and thought-provoking film that examines the human capacity for compassion and resilience in the face of adversity. Its themes of love, loss, and sacrifice continue to resonate with audiences today.
Story of Esther Costello, The is a 1957 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 43 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.4.