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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
I recently saw "A Patch of Blue" and simply had to comment on it. This beautiful, intelligent, heartbreaking film tells the story of Selina (Elizabeth Hartman), a young blind woman who is isolated from the outside world by her vulgar, abusive mother (Shelley Winters, who won her second Oscar for this role). Selina is naive and rather complacent about her dark, lonely world, until she meets a compassionate businessman named Gordon (the always magnificent Sidney Poitier). Gordon shows Selina exciting experiences in the real world which we normally take for granted, such as pineapple juice and a fun trip to the supermarket. Selina sees Gordon as smart, kind, caring, and tolerant (an important word in the movie), but sadly, all others can see is the fact that Gordon is black. Can love conquer all, or will cold, hard reality plummet these two back to earth? I don't think I've ever seen actors so effortlessly handle material that is normally seen as sentimental and sappy, even though it can and WILL make you cry. What makes the film more tragic today is that Elizabeth Hartman took her own life at the age of just 43. The ending is a true heartbreaker, but it also leaves you with an optimistic feeling for Selina and Gordon's futures. In his autobiography, Sidney Poitier admits that of all his films, "A Patch of Blue" holds a unique and special place in his heart. It touched him that much, and it will do the same for you. Please have some Kleenex handy and let yourself see "A Patch of Blue".
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