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|Index||14 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Sidney Poitier made some films that have become largely forgotten over
the course of his career. When you've made over 40 films in your
initial run, pre-first retirement, then there's naturally going to be
some that slip through the cracks. And today it seems hardly anyone
talks about Brother John, The Lost Man, Good-bye My Lady or Virgin
Island. But what could perhaps be surprising is that the film he made
right off the back of his biggest commercial success should be so
In 1967 Sidney Poitier was the most successful box office star in the world with three big hits in cinemas. Just one year later and he's only got one release, this stagily-directed semi-farce based on Poitier's own storyline. The main theme sees Poitier play possibly his most dislikeable character, arrogant businessman Jack Parks, match-made against his will with a black maid seeking some form of personal empowerment. The film concludes with a title song, informing us that what that empowerment amounts to is the need for love. That's right... although the film touches on themes of emancipation and black pride over the course of its runtime, it turns out all the titular Ivy needed all along was a good shag.
Chief matchmaker Beau Bridges does the best with what he's got as a representative of the 60s counterculture, but his stoner fixations seem today, like the main subtext of the movie, somewhat quaint and parochial; patronising rather than groundbreaking. Look out also for Parks' angered expression when Bridges' characters asks if he's gay, or the confused and confusing monologue from Bridges at the end.
However, such flaws are perhaps not always that of the movie; this was the first depiction of a romantic relationship between a black man and woman in mainstream Hollywood, and was quite groundbreaking for its time. It was just four years after this movie that Poitier had a go at directing himself... you do wonder if this was more than a coincidence, as the TV Movie style framing here makes the direction of Guess Who's Coming To Dinner look like the work of Scorcese. Ultimately it's a film that hasn't aged well, and a poor follow-up to his three '67 vehicles... though it may not have been so at the time.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A family tires to match a maid to a trucking company president.
The first 15 minutes of the film is painful to watch. But maybe that's the point. I was about to through this disc out of the truck Then I found out Sidney Portier is a trucking company president. So I watched the rest of the movie,painful parts and all. It ended up being a pretty cool movie.Mr Portier ends up with the girl at the end. The racket he came up with was pretty ingenious. The wrighting and acting in this film are pretty good.
Hugh Hurd drives the White big rig.
Hugh Hurd was a permanent A list actor.
Abbey Lincoln and Nan Martin was hot!!
Lauri Peters is hot!!
---One Truck Drivers Opinion---
I do understand the social importance of this film. It is refreshing to see this period of film-making tell a novel story where the lead characters are black and involved in a romantic plot line. I get it. That being said, the screenplay is over the top and heavy-handed; clubbing us over the head with the sentiment of "See, blacks are cool, suave, and sophisticated." As a result, the plot is flimsy, awkward, and often confusing. We are expected to follow the story without ever really getting to know any of the characters, again with way too much emphasis on the situation. And, sorry to say, the acting is somewhat tragic. A weak performance by the BRILLIANT Poitier and Abbey Lincoln is beautiful but boring and flat. Weird direction also accompanies the players; odd angles and points of view that only distract. Beau Bridges turns in the most interesting performance and does the best he can do with what he is given; specifically the nonsensical monologue he is given at the end of the film. The most interesting thing about the film is that it does give us a peek into the somewhat decadent and experimental social aspects of 60's nightlife. The scene in the club is very intriguing!
Most of the other reviews of this film paint it as whimsical and
charming family fare. I didn't see it that way at all. Almost from the
opening scene, I was fighting the urge to turn it off. Had it not been
a Sidney Poitier, I'd have done just that. The paternalistic attitude
of the Lincoln family, especially Abbey Lincoln, is what galls me the
most. Even when Ivy tells them what she wants to do, they seem
incapable of comprehending that her pursuit of happiness doesn't
involve scrubbing their floors for the rest of her life. The
preposterous scheme that Tim Lincoln hatches in order to keep her
busting up chifferobes down on the Lincoln Plantation for the rest of
her life is not merely imbecilic. It's down right malevolent. It brings
to mind Matthew McConaughey's closing statements in the movie, "A Time
to Kill." Think of what these cretins are really trying to do to Ivy.
Consider that they would deny her everything that they themselves
cherish. Now, imagine that she's white.
Another thing that irked me about this movie was that Abbey Lincoln was, and looked every of, at least 10 years too old to play the part of Ivy, a hard 10 years. Additionally, she had a hard snarling visage that seem to run counter to the ostensible sweetness of the character. At times I half expected her to tell someone that she would cut them. A younger, i.e. age appropriate, actress with a less hard bitten visage would helped me muster up something approximating a suspension of disbelief. And, with the absurd dialog bandied about in this film, especially by Beau Bridges, the suspension of can use all of the help it can get.
I'm giving this film a 6 solely on the basis of Sidney Poitier's performance and elegant mien.
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