Love is Blind

A Patch of Blue is the cinematic embodiment of “love is blind.” It’s also the oldest Sidney Poitier movie I’ve seen since his Oscar winning turn in Lilies of the Field. After experiencing so much of his groundbreaking work, my mom recommended A Patch of Blue as the next film. Although Poitier is top-notch as dignified office worker Gordon Ralfe, the movie truly belongs to 22 year old newcomer Elizabeth Hartman. Selina D’Arcey is blind and living a Cinderella type existence with her abusive prostitute mother Rose-Ann and alcoholic grandfather Ole Pa.

Played by the legendary Shelley Winters and Wallace Ford in his fitting final performance. You truly feel for Selina’s struggle, but find hope when she meets her metaphorical Prince Charming in the park. Director Guy Green didn’t need to film the 1965 movie in black & white, but it does fit the racial theme. Gordon is a well spoken black man who teaches the uneducated Selina how to better take care of herself. Their friendship is just as beautiful as the poetic Jerry Goldsmith score that accompanies it.

As their relationship becomes more romantic, reality begins to sink in. Though I am glad they included an early interracial kiss and didn’t lean too heavily on intolerance. Despite the title, I also love that Selina doesn’t see color. A Patch of Blue was nominated for Best Actress, Art Direction, Cinematography, and Music. Winters understandably won Best Supporting Actress since she’s just so unlikeable as the mother. A Patch of Blue is a lovely story that can’t be unseen.

A Patch of Blue

Gordon leads Selina

8 thoughts on “Love is Blind

      1. Hartman effortlessly projected warmth and fragility. And I guess that fragility wasn’t an act — she committed suicide in the 1980s. Anyhow, if you liked Hartman, I recommend you to watch The Beguiled (1971) and Walking Tall (1973).

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