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      A Patch of Blue

      Released Dec 10, 1965 1h 45m Drama List
      89% Tomatometer 9 Reviews 91% Audience Score 5,000+ Ratings 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 Selina'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. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

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      Critics Reviews

      View All (9) Critics Reviews
      Joan Didion Vogue A modest effort only barely protoplastic. Mar 2, 2020 Full Review Sergio Benítez Espinof Goldsmith's variety of work makes 'A patch of Blue' one of those works that could be labeled as essential within the master's vast trajectory. [Full Review in Spanish] Aug 23, 2019 Full Review Matt Brunson Film Frenzy An enormously moving drama featuring a remarkable debut by 21-year-old Elizabeth Hartman. Rated: 3.5/4 Jun 22, 2019 Full Review Wesley Lovell Cinema Sight A wonderful twist on the adage that love is blind. Rated: 4/4 Aug 15, 2011 Full Review Cole Smithey ColeSmithey.com Rated: 4/5 Apr 11, 2009 Full Review Christopher Null Filmcritic.com Rated: 4/5 Oct 25, 2005 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

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      Babu Z If we all were only blind.... Absolutely love this movie. It speaks for itself. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/06/23 Full Review Audience Member An exceptional story of a young blind girl and her friendship with an older black man. Sidney Poitier and Elizabeth Hartman are excellent. Shelley Winters plays her prostitute mother. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 08/12/22 Full Review Audience Member my personal favorite sidney poitier film Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/22/23 Full Review matthew d Shockingly ahead of its time. Guy Green's romance drama A Patch of Blue (1965) is touching, tender, with strikingly modern sensibilities. I have to immediately mention that Jerry Goldsmith's score is so delicate with light piano melodies that are gorgeous and poignant. Goldsmith should have won Best Score at The Oscars as his music sounds contemporary and decades ahead of how scores were used to play at your heartstrings. Green's direction is fascinating as he tackles taboo subjects for his era of interracial relationships, racism, child abuse, sexual abuse, brothels, alcoholism, and blindness with an earnest empathy. Green's intimate style kept me enthralled in Selina's one room apartment, by a tree in a park, and at Gordon's apartment. For just three sets really, I was never bored by the environment as the romance is so tender and thoughtful, while the drama is so daring. Elisabeth Kata's novel is adapted by writer and director Guy Green beautifully. He captures all the endearing romance, shocking trauma, and racial melodrama of his Civil Rights era in a thoughtful and mature way. Kata's writing and subjects were lightyears ahead of her time too. Every word and phrase feels contemplated fully before being spoken. Elizabeth Hartman is adorable as the gentle blind girl Selina D'Arcey just trying to find some small moments of happiness in life. All the hardships of being blind and abused are apparent thanks to Hartman's tender acting. She uses her facial expressions so effectively. Hartman was quite brave to take on this role given the heavy and salacious material for the time. She was a special actress, who was phenomenal in A Patch of Blue, The Beguiled, and The Secret of NIMH. Hartman is so petite, soft spoken, and touching that I cannot imagine someone watching her outstanding performance in A Patch of Blue and not becoming moved. It's a shame Hartman was so unhappy in her real life too, but she gifted us with an all time great dramatic role here. It's nice that she was nominated for Best Actress at The Oscars, but she deserved to win for sure because of her subtle acting display and sincere realism. Hartman could be considered a precursor for Shelly Duvall or Sissy Spacek's acting style. She's just wonderful in A Patch of Blue. Shelley Winters is fantastic as the ever cruel, selfish, and abusive mother to Selina named Rose-Ann D'Arcey. She's so intense during the violent scenes that you are truly terrified of her, but Winters is so entertaining that you always love her for portraying such a monstrous mother. Winters doesn't waste a second of screen time with menacing glares and vicious insults. I love Shelley Winters as she's one of my favorite actresses of all time and A Patch of Blue demonstrates how horrifying a villain she could really delve into the worst aspects of humanity. I'm overjoyed to learn she won Best Supporting Actress for A Patch of Blue. Definitely a deserving accolade for a visceral role. Sidney Poitier gives what is his best performance, in my opinion, in A Patch of Blue as the kindly educated man Gordon Ralfe. He's dashingly handsome, very patient, effortlessly cool, and very kind. You like Gordon and Poitier made me believe his character really felt conflictions over starting a relationship with this sweet blind girl because of her trauma and her being white. It's quite a modern and nuanced role from the legendary Poitier. He could have won Best Actor, honestly. Wallace Ford is excellent as Ole Pa with his crippling alcoholism and deteriorating body due to age and neglect. Ford makes you feel like he might protect poor Selina, but you know his addiction to drink will always come before protecting his granddaughter. He's got many powerful moments here, especially with Elizabeth Hartman that feel heartfelt. Watching Shelley Winters and him throw things at each other during the big argument is hilarious and frightening, simultaneously. Elisabeth Fraser is so mean and engrossing as Winters' sister Sadie. John Qualen is pleasant as the amiable Mr. Faber, who is nice to Elizabeth Hartman's blind heroine Selina. Rita Roland's editing is sharp and faster paced, giving A Patch of Blue's 105 minutes a quick feel. Robert Burks' black and white cinematography is attention grabbing as it feels classic with an ominous atmosphere. You are right there in the face of each person or in the room with them thanks to Burks' close-ups and wide shots. Guy Green was right to complement his complex themes by shooting A Patch of Blue in stark black and white. Henry Grace and Charles S. Thompson's set decoration looks like a trashy shack for Selina's poor apartment, which is juxtaposed to the composed and modern home of Poitier's Gordon. Robert R. Hoag's visual effects for jagged transitions and the blindness contacts for Elizabeth Hartman are great. William Tuttle's make-up certainly contributes to this compelling effect as well. In all, A Patch of Blue must be seen for its groundbreaking depiction of racial dynamics and interracial romance in America. The acting is unforgettable and the filmmaking is top notch. If that doesn't convince you, then the score is absolutely breathtaking. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member A film about a blind girl and a family who mistreats her and think she is less than because she is blind and a black male to takes the time to look into her. A film where I feel sympathetic to the blind girl because the family she is with acts like she is dumb because she is blind and thinks that she can not be taught because she can not see. She is mistreated. The only character who is able to help her be more independent is a black man who most in the time would reject but the blind girl can not judge him because she can not see his skin. As far as she knows this is the best person in the world because of how helpful he is to her. I think it is interesting when she tells him how her family views black people. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 01/29/21 Full Review Audience Member Even though it was filmed some years ago. It is HIGHLY RELEVANT TODAY in this toxic environment of division and intolernce Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/03/23 Full Review Read all reviews
      A Patch of Blue

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      Cast & Crew

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis 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 Selina'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.
      Director
      Guy Green
      Producer
      Pandro S. Berman
      Screenwriter
      Guy Green
      Production Co
      Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
      Genre
      Drama
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Dec 10, 1965, Original
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Jan 9, 2009
      Runtime
      1h 45m
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