Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke are Anne Sullivan and Helen Keller
The Real People: Partially-blind Anne Sullivan was assigned in 1887 to tutor Helen Keller, a troubled blind/deaf girl - she successfully taught Keller to read and speak, and Keller successfully studied for a degree.
The Actors: Anne Bancroft and teenager Patty Duke were regulars on TV and in film but it was 1959 Broadway play The Miracle Worker, about Sullivan and Keller, that got both noticed, especially for their characters' extraordinary on-stage fights. Arthur Penn cast both in the 1962 film version, and both actresses won Oscars.
Most Stunning Element: United Artists slashed the budget after Penn refused to cast A-listers (Elizabeth Taylor or Audrey Hepburn were fancied to play Sullivan) in favour of Bancroft and Duke, who had played their roles on Broadway.