5.4/10
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3 user 3 critic

Ballad in Blue (1965)

Not Rated | | Drama, Music | 18 September 1965 (Japan)
Ray Charles attempts to help a down-on-their-luck boozing family whose son is blind. He wants to finance the recovery of his eye-sight, but the family is afraid what might happen if something goes wrong.

Director:

Paul Henreid

Writers:

Paul Henreid (story), Burton Wohl
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Cast

Credited cast:
Ray Charles ... Himself
Tom Bell ... Steve Collins
Mary Peach ... Peggy Harrison
Dawn Addams ... Gina Graham
Piers Bishop Piers Bishop ... David
Betty McDowall ... Mrs. Babbidge
Lucy Appleby Lucy Appleby ... Margaret
Joe Adams Joe Adams ... Fred
Robert Lee Ross Robert Lee Ross ... Duke Wade
Anne Padwick Anne Padwick ... Bus Conductress
Monika Henreid Monika Henreid ... Antonia
Brendan Agnew Brendan Agnew ... Antonia's protector
Vernon Hayden Vernon Hayden ... Headmaster
Leo McCabe Leo McCabe ... Doctor Leger
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
The Raelettes The Raelettes ... Themselves
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Storyline

Ray Charles attempts to help a down-on-their-luck boozing family whose son is blind. He wants to finance the recovery of his eye-sight, but the family is afraid what might happen if something goes wrong.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Music

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 September 1965 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Blues for Lovers See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Piers Bishop receives an "introducing" credit. See more »

Soundtracks

Carnival
(uncredited)
Music by Else van Epen-de Groot
De Wolfe Music Ltd
See more »

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User Reviews

A Curio For The Converted
8 August 2000 | by Mr LooeySee all my reviews

Ray Charles gets top-billing as himself in this Paul Henreid (Casablanca) directed slice of swinging 60s London cheesecake. The film opens with the first of many very staged-looking live song performances - Ray doesn't break sweat throughout - and moves 'seamlessly' into a school classroom for sightless children, where Ray plays call-and-response with the kiddies on "Hit The Road Jack". He strikes up a relationship with a small blind boy, and plans for the child to see a top eye specialist in Paris. Through the boy's smothering mum, Ray meets her gruff, overly-casual musician lover, played by Tom Bell, who accepts an invitation to be the American performer's arranger on a European tour including on the itinerary - you guessed - Paris.

While the movie tackles blindness head-on, and has a certain grim charm where it might have gone for sentimentality, it's still little more than a vehicle for Ray Charles - and staged or not, you can't complain - Ray belts out his hits with gusto. The scene with the blind children recalls Sam Fuller's "Naked Kiss", specifically the way Fuller staged the crippled kids' Bluebird" song, and is almost as weirdly haunting in its way. But the little lad himself delivers his lines so mechanically - Ray Charles is "as blind as a bat", he observes drily, before being admonished by mother - that you can't help laughing out loud at choice moments.

Not only do they not make them like this anymore, they didn't even back then - this was just one that slipped through the net while Ray Charles star was still somewhat in the ascendancy. Quite bizarre.


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