Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Patch of Blue(1965).

A Patch of Blue (1965). Drama directed by Guy Green. Cast: Sidney Poitier, Elizabeth Hartman, Shelley Winters, who won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her work in this film. Scenes of Poitier and Hartman kissing were left out of the film when it was shown in film theaters in the Southern United States.

A Patch of Blue is filmed in black-and-white, even though color was available. In the 1980s, Turner Entertainment Co. colorized the movie for broadcast on the Turner-owned cable station TNT.

The film was adapted by Guy Green from the 1961 book Be Ready with Bells and Drums by the Australian author Elizabeth Kata. The book later won a Writers Guild of America award. The plot differs slightly from the film in that it has a less optimistic ending.

In addition to the Best Supporting Actress win for Winters, the film was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Elizabeth Hartman), Best Art Direction-Set Decoration (Black-and-White) (George Davis, Urie McCleary, Henry Grace, Charles S. Thompson), Best Cinematography (Black-and-White) and Best Music (Original Music Score).

The story begins with Selina D'Arcey, an 18-year-old girl, who accidentally blinded by her prostitute mother, Rose-Ann, in a family fight many years ago. She and her mother live in a shabby apartment along with her alcoholic grandfather, Ole Pa.

She spends her days cleaning, cooking and making a living by stringing beads . Feeling sorry for her Ole Pa, offers to take her to the park one morning and pick her up on his way home from work, Selina agrees.

In the park she becomes frightened when a caterpillar falls on her and a black man named Gordon Ralfe, quickly comes to her aide and they become friends and spend many happy times together.

When Gordon introduces Selina to his brother Mark, he says he does not think that their friendship it is a good idea. Things take a bad turn when Sadie, an aging prostitute neighbor, sees the two together and tells Rose-Ann, who beats Selina. Gordon arranges to have Selina, admitted to a school for the blind, which upsets Rose-Ann and Sadie, who have made plans to start a whorehouse.

Selina shares with Gordon, the last thing she remembers seeing, "a patch of blue sky" and tells him that one of her mother's customers raped her when she was 5 years old. Will Gordon be able to save her from her from her life as a prostitute?


Shelley Winters hated her role as "Rose-Ann" and was actually overwhelmed and speechless the night she won an Oscar for Best Supporting actress.

Hayley Mills was considered for the lead role but cost considerations led to the unknown Elizabeth Hartman being cast.

This heartbreaking film tells the story of true love, which leaves you hopeful at the end for Selina and Gordon future together. You will need plenty of Kleenex, maybe even the whole box.

In 1964, Hartman was screen-tested by MGM and Warner Brothers. In the early autumn of 1964, she was offered a leading role in A Patch of Blue, opposite Sidney Poitier and Shelley Winters. The role won Hartman widespread critical acclaim, a fact proudly noted by the news media in her hometown. The role also won Hartman an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. At the time of her nomination in 1966, Elizabeth Hartman (who was 22 years old) was the youngest nominee ever in the Best Actress category.

That same year, Hartman received an achievement award from the National Association of Theater Owners. She went on to star in three well-received films, The Group, You're a Big Boy Now and The Beguiled.

 A role as wife of former Sheriff Buford Pusser in Walking Tall (1973) was followed a decade later by voice work in 1982's The Secret of NIMH, wherein she voiced mouse-heroine Mrs. Brisby. This was her last Hollywood film role.


  1. Great film and nice tribute to Hartman. I always wished she had done more.

  2. This film looks to be absolutely amazing! Am headed directly to Netflix to see if it's available!

  3. Classicfilmboy, I agree... I also thought she gave a good performance in the movie, The Beguiled.

    yogaduchess1982, A Patch of Blue, is one of my favorite, Sidney Poitier performances. I hope you can find it on Netflix.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.