Study of interracial marriage in the 1960's. A white divorcée falls in love with and marries an African-American man. When her ex-husband sues for custody of her child, arguing that a mixed...
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Study of interracial marriage in the 1960's. A white divorcée falls in love with and marries an African-American man. When her ex-husband sues for custody of her child, arguing that a mixed household is an improper place to raise the girl, the new husband fights for his parental rights in court, fighting against a judge who represents the prejudices of the era.Written by
Toni Van Buskirk
Sad and frustrating to watch--but that WAS the way it was.
"One Potato, Two Potato" is a very low budget production that made a bit of commotion back when it debuted in 1964. Despite its lowly pedigree (it was filmed in the Cleveland area and the actors were mostly unknowns at the time), the lead actress (Barbara Barrie) received the Best Actress award at Cannes and the film was nominated for an Oscar (Best Writing, Story and Screenplay - Written Directly for the Screen). Sadly today, it's a pretty obscure picture.
Julie (Barrie) is a divorced mother of a young girl. The father abandoned them years ago and Julie works at the company where Frank (Bernie Hamilton) works. The meet and through the course of spending time together, they find that there is an attraction. Eventually, they decide to get married--even though they realize it might cause a few heads to turn. After all, she is white and he is black. Despite a bumpy start, things work out and the young family prospers and grows. Things look pretty good, right? Well, they do until the child's biological father shows up unexpectedly. Now the man (?) wants his daughter--mostly because his ego cannot stand that his ex- is with a black man.
This is a well made film but I must warn you that it will rip your heart out. This is NOT a complaint. Heck, back in 'the good old days', it was STILL illegal for blacks and whites to marry in many southern states and in others it was quite possible to lose custody of a child simply because you married someone of another race. Crazy...and pretty stupid. So, it's great that the movie draws attention to it. My only complaint is that the film, while very interesting, is way underplayed--too underplayed. Some more emotion in the acting and relationship between Frank and Julie would have made the movie better overall.
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