A Patch Of Blue, Accidentally blinded by her prostitute mother Rose-Ann at the age of five, Selina D’Arcey spends the next 13 years confined in the tiny Los Angeles apartment that they share with “Ole Pa”, Selina’s grandfather. One afternoon at the local park, Selina meets Gordon Ralfe, a thoughtful young office worker whose kind-hearted treatment of her results in her falling in love with him, unaware that he is black. They continue to meet in the park every afternoon and he teaches her how to get along in the city. But when the cruel, domineering Rose-Ann learns of their relationship, she forbids her to have anything more to do with him because he is black. Selina continues to meet Gordon despite Rose-Ann’s fury, who is determined to end the relationship for good.
A Blind Girl From a Trashy Family Finds Love….
A Patch Of Blue, Selina (Elizabeth Hartman) is a blind girl from a very trashy family. Her mother (Shelly Winters) turns tricks and her father (Wallace Ford) is a drunk. As a result of this impoverished environment, Selina hasn’t seen much of the outside world and has no idea how to cope with the basics of everyday life. Her parents also didn’t bother to give her any education! Not surprisingly, she’s starved to experience the outside world and is a very sad young lady. Eventually, she gets a neighbor to take her to a nearby park and leave her there for the day. She loves her new experiences and soon meets a very nice and understanding man, Gordon (Sidney Poitier). They soon become friends and eventually fall in love…which is a serious problem because her trashy family are, among other things, total bigots. Another problem is Gordon’s roommate (Ivan Dixon) as he, too, is a bigot. And, finally, she has no idea he’s black…nor does she really care.
This is a terrific film but I have one bit of warning….it’s very tough watching some of the scenes between Selina and her evil mother. I can see why Winters received an Oscar for her supporting role…she was vile and vicious. Seeing her slapping the blind girl about and screaming at her is tough to watch and you might want to keep some Kleenex handy. The acting, in addition to Winters, is also terrific–and it’s a truly amazing film to watch with a lot to say. Well worth seeing and it’s nice to see the ugliness of prejudice is in no way mitigated or softened. As a result, it hits you like a ton of bricks and is a great counter-point to the love between the two leads.