A Patch of Blue Reviews
An amazing movie about tolerance and love.
It is amazing that Selena experiences so many new and wonderful things that we all take for granted. I understand the conflict with her friendship with Gordon because in that time period it really was frowned upon. (This movie came out during an era of intense racial unease, and so was probably very daring for its time.) Shelley Winters, of course, steals the show as the racist mother who horribly abuses her young daughter. Her character is loathsome, but she's the only one not dripping in goodness, thus giving the film a realistic touch. The subtle score works well with the relationship development and the black and white cinematography is great.
Call me sentimental but watching this film brought tears to my eyes. I`ve always been a great admirer of Sidney Poiter having seen him in Guess Who's Coming To Dinner and To sir with Love and this movie is heartfelt and wonderful to watch. The world is a cold place, but Gordon offers his friendship and compassion as a small patch of blue in Selena's otherwise dark world (My interpretation). The ending might not have been one that I cared for but I think it adds to the greatness of the movie.
This picture has a lot of Machismo dialogue as when Hartman and Shelly Winters start a hammer blow of an argument then followed by Wallace Ford. It is probably the scene everyone remembers but for me it is the tender scenes between Poitier and Hartman that brings the movie to justice.
Sadly Beautiful, Turbulent, & Important "Must See" of a Poignant Film that tackles Social Injustice,Racism, Abuse,& Blindness & the Confines Involved,with such an impact that you will never forget it.This is a 2 Box Tearjerker from the start if you are a sensitive person, be warned.A Beautiful Blind Girl(a then unknown, Elizabeth Hartman)as Selina, blinded by her Mother,, is abused in every way by her morally questionable Mother(Shelly Winters).The Abuse is tolerated by her Drunken "Ole Pa"(Wallace Ford).Selina decides she needs to get some Fresh Air, & starts going to the Park, after her extensive Home Chores are done. There she befriends a man who changes her life & teaches her to be independent in her Challenge with her blindness, as she clearly has had no education whatsoever.The Interracial Issue, which she is oblivious to, becomes a large part of the story because of the times, but seems so silly today.Their Love is Color Blind. He gets her that badly needed Patch of Blue Sky in her Cloudy World of Repression(Education & Freedom from her Oppressors), but the Film leaves you hanging, I HATE that when that happens!!!
Shelly Winters deservedly wins an Academy Award for playing this Reprehensible Mother.I believe Sydney Poitier, & Esp. the Newcomer who gave a performance of any actors lifetime,Elizabeth Hartman, deserved one even more!
By the mid-sixties, Sidney Poitier must have been wondering whether he would ever get a movie part in which the colour of his skin wasn't a major issue in the film (After 15 years in movies, THE BEDFORD INCIDENT, released in the same year as this flick, was to be his first in which his colour wasn't an issue). However, if he was getting tired of this it certainly doesn't show, as he gives a truly excellent performance as the object of blind girl Selina's affections. The manner in which their increasingly serious relationship develops is believably handled without ever veering towards overt melodrama or sentimentality, and serves to make the rather downbeat ending all the more poignant.
All the major parts in this movie are a joy to watch, from Elizabeth Hartman in her debut role as Selina, to veteran character actor Wallace Ford (for who this would be one of his final roles) as her drunken grandfather. Shelley Winters is also superb as Selina's mother, a role for which she received a well-deserved academy award.
The late Elizabeth Hartman really deserved her academy award nomination as the blind Selina in this classic.
To John and Selena, Love is blind.