Announcing the Disability in Film Blogathon!

In a world of glamour and physical beauty like Hollywood, disability is not a subject that appears often. Yet, those films that do feature disabled characters, like The Miracle WorkerMy Left FootThe Theory of Everything, and Children of a Lesser God, are often greeted with accolades and awards. Harold Russell won two Oscars (Best Supporting Actor and an Honorary Oscar “For bringing hope and courage to his fellow veterans through his appearance in The Best Years of Our Lives“) for his performance as the double amputee veteran, and The Best Years of Our Lives itself garnered a host of other awards including Best Picture.


That same year, another Best Picture nominee featured one of the most famous screen villains of all time, the wheelchair-bound, embittered, and lonely Mr. Potter (Lionel Barrymore) in It’s a Wonderful Life. One film offers inspiration for the disabled; the other presents a bleaker picture. Yet, actor Lionel Barrymore’s continued career after losing his mobility is itself inspiring.


Disabled characters run the gamut from the sympathetic to the heinous, the monstrous to the victorious. Some portrayals of disabled characters are well developed and three dimensional; others, whether heroic or wicked, are sadly lacking in depth.



On May 13-15th, we’ll examine a topic that isn’t covered very often in film criticism. Join me in looking at the various aspects of disability in film.




1. Feel free to write about any topic relating to disability and the movies. Some possible topics include an individual film involving a character or characters with disabilities (such as The Best Years of Our Lives, Light in the Piazza, or The Waterdance), a performer with a disability (such as the late-career Lionel Barrymore or Marlee Matlin), a disabled character who appears in film (such as Dr. Gillespie, the Phantom of the Opera, or Captain Hook), or how a disability is treated over a number of films (such as blindness in film or disfigurement in film). The choice is yours. As long as the topic relates to disability and film (from any era), it’s more than welcome.

Caveat: I don’t want this blogathon to be about characters with a terminal illness (that’s a topic for a whole other blogathon). The focus of the film or films should be on living with a disability rather than on dying. I’d also like to distinguish between mental illness (a topic for another blogathon) and mental or developmental disability (fair game here).


2. Duplicates are welcome. While many blogathons don’t allow duplicates, I’m more than happy to have more than one person blogging about the same topic, especially with this subject as people may have radically different perspectives on the same topic.


3. To express your interest in participating in the blogathon, leave a comment on my blog, along with the name and URL of your blog, and the subject you wish to cover, or you can always register by email at: robinpruter@gmail.com. For those of you who wish to register by email, please be sure to include the name and URL of your blog, and the topic you wish to cover. Once you get confirmation, please spread the word about this blogathon by advertising the event on your blog. Below are a few banners, so grab yourself a banner, and let’s examine a subject that doesn’t come up often enough in films and film criticism.

banner children


banner kildare


banner scent


banner freaks


banner left


banner light



Pop Culture Reverie: Bright Victory (1951)

In The Good Old Days Of Classic Hollywood: Lionel Barrymore; A Child Is Waiting (1963)

wolffian classics movies digest: A Patch of Blue (1965)

The Wonderful World of Cinema: Kenneth Wilchek (Marlon Brando) in The Men (1950)

Old Hollywood Films: The Miracle Worker (1962)

Phyllis Loves Classic Movies: Eyes in the Night (1942)

Meredy.com Classic Movies/TV/Celebrities: Susan Peters and The Sign of the Ram (1948)

Crimson Kimono: Children of a Lesser God (1986)

Movie Movie Blog Blog: Freaks (1932)

28 comments on “Announcing the Disability in Film Blogathon!

  1. Hey Robin. Excellent. I would love to write about Lionel Barrymore.

  2. I would love to review A Patch of Blue

  3. That’s a great topic Robin. I’d like to write about Kenneth Wilchek (Marlon Brando) in The Men.

  4. Hi Amanda from Old Hollywood Films. I will write about The Miracle Worker if that subject isn’t taken.

  5. I finally thought of one I would like to do – “Eyes in the Night” (1942).

    I would also like to invite you to participate in my upcoming blogathon celebrating Olivia de Havilland’s 100th birthday in July! Here’s the link – http://phyllislovesclassicmovies.blogspot.com/2016/04/announcing-olivia-de-havilland.html

    My blog is Phyllis Loves Classic Movies.

    • Hi Robin, just wanted to let you know that I have updated the banners for my de Havilland blogathon as Crystal from In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood is now co-hosting it with me.

  6. Hi, Robin
    I’d like to write about Susan Peters and The Sign of the Ram (1948). Is that ok?
    Meredy of Meredy.com – http://mrsskeffington.blogspot.com/

  7. Hi Robin,
    I happened to see Children of a Lesser God (1986) at the TCM Classic Film Festival and would like to write about it. Dan from Crimson Kimono http://crimsonkimono.com

  8. I only just now happened to come across this blogathon via a link to it on Twitter. May I cover the film FREAKS for it?

  9. Would you be interested in the Darlin’ Dallasers Blogathon! Read on #moviebloggers and #DallasTVSeries fans


  10. May I join in last minute and post tomorrow? I’d like to write about the handling of gender and disability in the two versions of A Woman’s Face (1938 Sweden, and 1941 Hollywood).

  11. Too bad I didn’t see this earlier. I could have done The Elephant Man which has always held a special place in my heart because I suffer from the same disease (albeit not nearly so drastically.) Oh, well, maybe next time.

  12. Thanks for hosting the blogathon, Robin! 🙂

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