A Patch of Blue

The Disability in Film Blogathon review of A Patch of Blue.

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The following is my entry in The Disability in Film Blogathon, being hosted May 13-15, 2016 by Robin at the blog Pop Culture Reverie. Which is about movies depicting a wide variety of persons living with disabilities! so this review of patch of blue is done for The Disability in Film Blogathon. Be sure to check out other entries. 

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patch of blue review

When Selina D’Arcey (Elizabeth Hartman), a blind young white woman, befriends Gordon Ralfe (Sidney Poitier), a black office worker, their budding relationship eventually leads to romance. However, once Salina’s insensitive and abusive mother, Rose-Ann (Shelley Winters), finds out about Gordon, she becomes determined to keep the couple apart. With its stirring story of interracial love, this thoughtful film fittingly reflects the civil rights movement of the era.

Elizabeth Hartman plays Selina a blind girl that has no idea of color or race as she is blind. She truly has no idea of many things yet she is so friendly and kind hearted. She befriends a black man that is kind as ever. Her Hateful mother played by Shelley Winters truly is something of a different class by playing Roseanne D’arcy a mean mother that is racist as ever. It reflects the civil rights movement of the era and racism in that era. Sidney Poitier is wonderful as always, as Gordon as this kind guy that truly shines in his role. Veteran actor Wallace Ford is excellent in the pathetic role of Winters’ drunken father, a man who obviously hates his daughter so much yet has little compassion for the granddaughter who adores him. The director is presented with a real problem when deciding how to film an actor playing a blind person. Tight shots on the eyes are what makes acting for the camera so special. Unfortunately the unfocused eyes of a blind person cannot convey much emotion. What makes this movie’s role very tragic is that Elizabeth Hartman was a very broken soul suffering depression which makes this sweet role very much a sadder role. Elizabeth Hartman’s Selina is so fragile that she looks as though she will break any moment. I have a hunch that much of her excellent performance is mined from her real-life depression. Its acting is truly wonderful as ever in this movie.

Sidney Poitier admits that of all his films, “A Patch of Blue” holds a unique and special place in his heart. It touched him that much, and it will do the same for you. Please have some Kleenex handy and let yourself see “A Patch of Blue as it is a movie that will stay with you for ages.  Thank you to also the wonderful Sidney Poitier breaking down all the barriers.  A small triubte to you too sir. You truly are right that this movie is a gem for the ages.

The Ruth rating:five bette's

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6 thoughts on “A Patch of Blue

  1. Thanks for participating!

    I agree with your assessment of Hartman’s performance. She’s so moving and delicate here.

      1. It’s a big change from the first live-action role I saw of hers in YOU’RE A BIG BOY NOW. I remember her strutting down the hall with her sexually abusive therapists prosthetic leg wrapped around her shoulders like a stole. It’s an empowering moment.

        I didn’t realize at the time that she had provided the key voice in THE SECRET OF NIMH, the actual first performance of hers that I saw. And it, like PATCH OF BLUE, allows her gentleness and melancholy to shine through.

        It’s terrible that she was never able to get adequate treatment for her disease.

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