30 user 3 critic

Butterflies Are Free (1972)

A blind man moves into his own apartment against the wishes of his overprotective mother, and befriends the freethinking young woman next door.



(screenplay), (play)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Ralph (as Michael Glaser)
Roy Stratton (as Mike Warren)


All Don Baker wants is a place of his own away from his over-protective mother. Don's been blind since birth, but that doesn't stop him from setting up in a San Francisco apartment and making the acquaintance of his off-the-wall, liberated, actress neighbor Jill. Don learns the kind of things from Jill that his mother would never have taught him! And Jill learns from Don what growing up and being free is really all about. Written by A.L.Beneteau <albl@inforamp.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The long run hit play on the screen with all its humor and all its heart. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Music | Romance


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

22 September 1972 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Las mariposas son libres  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Ingrid Bergman, Olivia de Havilland, and Angela Lansbury were all considered for the role of Mrs. Baker which in the end was cast with actress Eileen Heckart. See more »


At 1:00:38, the way Jill holds things changes, and then reverts. See more »


Don Baker: Shh... i'm counting so I don't step in the picnic on the way back!
See more »


Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Tormented (1992) See more »


Butterflies Are Free
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz (as Steve Schwartz)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

the girl next door and the cute blind man...
18 February 2000 | by (Auckland, New Zealand.) – See all my reviews

A light drama set in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury area of the early 70's. It is the latter days of the Vietnam War, an innocent time for us here in the 90's prior to the advent of AIDS & gay liberation & Watergate. Young cute and blind Don Baker(Edward Albert) makes a concerted effort at independence from his home and his clinging over-protective mother(Eileen Heckart) by moving into his own apartment. He meets and falls for the girl next door,literally. Goldie Hawn, here in one of her more successful & effortless roles as an extrovert gregarious actress. Young Don must come to terms with his blooming relationship together with his handicap.There is also mothers apparent disapproval of her son's budding affair.(her silence on the matter is thunderous). Enough said.

There are some wonderful scenes in this movie especially those moments between Heckart & Hawn. For her role Heckart deservedly won an oscar that year. Domineering & disapproving she may be but she is not an ogre rather a contrast in femininity to Jill, the other woman in Don's life. The emotional change as she slowly accepts her son's independence gives the film some substance it would not otherwise have. Wonderful scene when mother & girlfriend first meet, in his kitchen, and Jill in her underwear !.The chill in the air is palpable but both characters size up the situation without even a hint of discomfort. The ending was surprising and very apt, a very touching moment between mother & son. Edward Albert does a convincing turn here and his circumstances are clearly the pivotal link for the other two characters coming into conflict. But it does seem superfluous at times in view of Hawn & Heckart's strong performances. A not too serious romance not to be missed by the romantics in all of us.

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