A Patch of Blue (1965) - Plot Summary Poster

Plot 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 alfiehitchie
  • Eighteen year old Caucasian Selina D'Arcey lives with her part-time prostitute mother, Rose-Ann D'Arcey, in the one room tenement apartment of Selina's drunkard grandfather, who she calls Ole Pa. Selina has been blind since age five, the result of an accident caused by Rose-Ann. Selina has never attended school and on Rose-Ann's direction lives as a shut-in, only cleaning the apartment and cooking, the dinner which has to be on the table by the time Rose-Ann gets home or else. The only other thing Selina does is string beads for Mr. Faber to supplement what little income comes into their household. Ole Pa and Rose-Ann are always griping at each other with Ole Pa only helping Selina when he knows it irks Rose-Ann. Rose-Ann is abusive toward Selina, who has no reason to doubt whatever abuse is thrown her way from her mother is not the truth, especially the implications that she is not pretty. As such, Selina doesn't even really know that she has a miserable life because of her family. One day, Mr. Faber takes Selina to the park, which starts to open her eyes to life outside the apartment. As such, she is able to convince Ole Pa routinely to take her to the park first thing in the morning, the park where she will string more beads than she has ever done in one day, with him picking her up on his way home after work. It is on that first trip to the park that Selina meets Gordon Ralfe, an educated young man who slowly learns of Selina's situation. The more Gordon learns about Selina, the more he wants to help her become more self-sufficient and independent. The issue that he and most of the world can see but that she can't is that he is a black man, that assistance which many would construe as him trying to take advantage purely because he's black. Gordon has no ulterior motives beyond being Selina's friend and wanting her to have a good life. But he also knows that problems can and will ensue due to public scrutiny, and even more so if Rose-Ann or Ole Pa find out about him. The situation gets even more complicated as Selina falls in love with him, she perhaps not knowing the difference between romantic love and other types of human connection. Gordon's choice of what to do may be easier for him to decide but no less difficult to achieve if he knew that Rose-Ann, based on her prostitute friend Sadie's scheme, believes that Selina is now old enough to get into the business herself to add even more income to Rose-Ann's pocket.

    - Written by Huggo
  • The story of a chance encounter beneath a tree in a city park and the friendship that ensues. Accidentally blinded by her mother when she was five, Selina knows very little of the world beyond the dirty walls of her grandfather's tenement apartment. Enduring a life of servitude to her prostitute mother, Roseanne, and "Ole' Pa," her drunkard grandfather, Selina spends her days cleaning the apartment, washing and ironing her mother's and grandfather's clothes, and preparing their supper. Her only companionship is the radio until Mr. Faber (for whom she strings beads to bring in money) one day offers to take her to the park. "The sky's blue, ain't it?" she asks. "I remember blue." When she meets Gordon who becomes her only friend, the park is quickly transformed into the center of her universe. Knowing Gordon only as the kind and caring person that he is, Selina's feelings for him deepen. Only after Roseanne catches sight of Gordon escorting her daughter back to the apartment, one day, does Selina discover that Gordon is black. Her blindness has given Selina perspective which is sorely lacking in Roseanne and Ole Pa. To get her away from Gordon, Roseanne makes plans to move into an apartment with her friend Sadie. They will start their own "business" where Selina might provide yet another source of income. How will Selina escape the future that Roseanne has planned for her? Will she ever see Gordon again?

    - Written by Mark Fleetwood <mfleetwo@mail.coin.missouri.edu>
  • A blind, uneducated white girl is befriended by a black man, who becomes determined to help her escape her impoverished and abusive home life.

    - Written by Shannon Patrick Sullivan <shannon@mun.ca>


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