Warner Brothers produced A Patch of Blue in 1965, which was a black and white dramatic film set in California, starring such greats as Sidney Poitier, Shelley Winters, Elizabeth Hartman, and Wallace Ford. This film was quite racy for its time, as the movie's plot was centered on a budding relationship between a black man and a white teenage woman, which in those days was unheard of.
Selina D'Arcy (Hartman), an 18-year old blind white girl, lives an isolated, Cinderella-like existence with her foul-mouthed mother Roseanne (Winters) and drunken grandfather, "Ol' Pa" (Ford). Selina wants nothing more than to listen to the radio and occasionally string beads in the park. It is there that she meets handsome black businessman Gordon Ralfe (Poitier) who sizes up her plight. As Gordon conveniently continues to run into Selina at the park and their relationship grows. He is delighted that he can teach Selina such everyday things as relying on her sense of smell, calling the pay phone operator, and pushing "Walk" just to listen to the traffic stop.
It is easy to see why Shelly Winters won an Oscar for her portrayal of Selina's drunken and abusive prostitute mother. As a viewer, I cringed with Selina every time her mother went on one of her tirades. I still wonder why Elizabeth Hartman only received an Oscar nomination for her performance, because she truly portrayed the essence of her character.
I give this film a four-star rating because I felt that the film accurately portrayed a 1965 interracial romance and addressed the subject of significant age differences between two people clearly drawn romantically to one another. The film could be disturbing at times because it showed just how bleak life can be for a blind girl living in poverty with a truly dysfunctional family.