AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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A Patch of Blue
Director: Guy Green (Dir)
Release Date:   1965
Premiere Information:   Los Angeles opening: 10 Dec 1965
Duration (in mins):   105
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Cast:   Sidney Poitier (Gordon Ralfe)  
    Shelley Winters (Rose-Ann D'Arcey)  
    Elizabeth Hartman (Selina D'Arcey)  
    Wallace Ford (Ole Pa)  
    Ivan Dixon (Mark Ralfe)  
    Elisabeth Fraser (Sadie)  
    John Qualen (Mr. Faber)  
    Kelly Flynn (Yanek Faber)  
    Debi Storm (Selina, age 5)  
    Renata Vanni (Mrs. Favaloro)  
    Saverio LoMedico (Mr. Favaloro)  

Summary: Selina D'Arcey, an 18-year-old girl accidentally blinded by her mother, Rose-Ann, in a family quarrel 13 years ago, lives in a shabby tenement with her prostitute mother and alcoholic grandfather, Ole Pa. She never leaves the apartment, has never attended school, knows nothing about braille, and spends her days cleaning, cooking, and stringing beads. When Ole Pa offers to take her to the park one morning and pick her up on his way home from work, Selina eagerly agrees. In the park she screams when a caterpillar lands on her shoulder, and Gordon Ralfe, a friendly young black man comes to her aid. They become friends, and Selina persuades Ole Pa to take her to the park every day. When Gordon introduces Selina to his brother Mark, Mark tries to discourage the couple's friendship. Then Sadie, an aging prostitute neighbor, sees the two together and tells Rose-Ann. Rose-Ann starts to beat Selina and tries to explain Gordon's racial difference, but Selina is unmoved. Gordon arranges to have Selina admitted to a school for the blind, a plan that interferes with Rose-Ann and Sadie's plan to start a whorehouse with Selina as a special attraction. Selina recalls to Gordon the last image 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. Gordon insists upon removing her from the tenement into the school but will not marry her until she experiences other people and knows her mind more fully. Though Selina wants to marry Gordon, she heeds his advice and enters the school. 

Production Company: Pandro S. Berman Productions  
Production Text: A Pandro S. Berman-Guy Green Production
Distribution Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.  
Director: Guy Green (Dir)
  Hank Moonjean (Asst dir)
  Herb Hirst (Asst dir)
  William R. Finnegan (Asst dir)
Producer: Pandro S. Berman (Prod)
  Kathryn Hereford (Assoc prod)
Writer: Guy Green (Scr)
Photography: Robert Burks (Dir of photog)
  Leonard South (Cam op)
  George Hollister (Asst cam)
Art Direction: George W. Davis (Art dir)
  Urie McCleary (Art dir)
Film Editor: Rita Roland (Film ed)
  Hal Davis (Film ed)
Set Decoration: Henry Grace (Art dir)
  Charles S. Thompson (Sets)
Music: Jerry Goldsmith (Mus)
Sound: Franklin Milton (Rec supv)
  Larry Jost (Mix)
  Bruce Wright (Rec)
  Larry Hadsell (Boom op)
Special Effects: Robert R. Hoag (Spec visual eff)
Make Up: William Tuttle (Makeup)
Production Misc: Dorothy Aldrin (Scr supv)
  Ken Bell (Stills)
  Wesley Shanks (Gaffer)
  Lloyd Isbell (Grip)
  Bob Murdock (Prop)
  Bill Graham (Prop)
Country: United States
Language: English

Source Text: Based on the novel Be Ready With Bells and Drums by Elizabeth Kata (New York, 1961).
Authors: Elizabeth Kata

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Pandro S. Berman Productions 24/11/1965 dd/mm/yyyy LP32176

PCA NO: 20966
Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd: Westrex
  Widescreen/ratio: Panavision

 
Genre: Melodrama
 
Subjects (Major): Adolescence
  Alcoholism
  Schools for the blind
  Blindness
  Brothers
  Family relationships
  Grandfathers
  African Americans
  Neighbors
  Prostitutes
  Racism
  Rape
  Tenement-houses
  Brothels

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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