The story, set in Kansas during the 1920s, covers less than a year in the life of a black teenager, and documents the veritable deluge of events which force him into sudden manhood. The ... See full summary »
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. Written by
What a surprise. It had been a long time since I saw such an honest, sensitively-made film, and it really brings to mind that old statement "They don't make 'em like they used to." How refreshing to see a film that handles potentially mawkish, TV movie-of-the-week style material (blind white girl falls in love with sighted black man) with sophistication, grace and lack of sentimentality. These are real humans that emerge out of the script, and the central performances of Sidney Poitier and the sadly forgotten Elizabeth Hartman take the tender screenplay and deliver beautiful, deeply touching performances. It is, simply put, a joy to watch them perform together.
Credit must also be given to a young Jerry Goldsmith's sweet, delicate score, and Robert Burks' (Hitchcock's favorite DP) rich black and white cinematography. Almost impossible to find in its original widescreen format, still very worthwhile rental material.
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