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
On March 7, 1965, a civil rights march, planned from Selma to Alabama's capital in Montgomery, turned violent as police with nightsticks and tear gas met the demonstrators as they tried to cross the Edmond Pettus Bridge. Contrary to reports at the time, Dr. Martin Luther King was not in the march; however, the attack was televised showing horrifying images of marchers being bloodied and severely injured. Seventeen demonstrators were hospitalized, leading to the naming the event "Bloody Sunday". This film was released eight months later. See more »
Throughout the movie, you can see the crew members and the boom mic reflected on Selina's glasses. See more »
What the hell is the matter here? What are you trying to do to Selina?
You stay out of this one, you stupid, old drunk!
Who're you calling stupid? Why, you three-buck broad, you...
Okay, you black-hearted bitch...
If you wanna fight...
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Shelley Winters's platinum-haired, overweight, foul-mouthed Roseanne D'arcy is as much fun to watch as her pouty, midwestern Charlotte Haze in Lolita. As sharp and horrible as a root canal, she marches around the tiny apartment she shares with her daughter and father, ordering Selina about like an indentured servant: "Where's my dinner?" she bellows like a foghorn. Classic. The fight scene between she and her father is not to be missed, as the one-liners fly back and forth like knives. When the neighbors try to intervene, Shelley launches into them like the assault on Normandy, gleefully turning husband against wife.
Sidney Poitier is wonderful as always, as Gordon. As an actor, Poitier can do no wrong; he glides into the room with that curious mixture of animal magnetism and precise diction, sizing up a situation with the efficiency of an accountant. His Gordon Ralfe is realistic and fatherly toward Selina, even as he tries to ignore the underlying romantic tension between Selina and himself.
Elizabeth Hartman's Selina is so fragile that she looks as though she will break any moment. I have a hunch that much of her excellent performance is mined from her real-life depression, if her IMDb biography is accurate.
This is an excellent film, and highly recommended.
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