Format: Streaming video from TCM Watch on laptop.
A Patch of Blue is a film that is very much a product of its time. That’s true of all movies, of course, but in this case, there’d be no reason to ever remake the story. A Patch of Blue is the story of an abused and socially oppressed blind girl who is befriended by a kind office worker. That doesn’t sound like much, but in this case, the blind girl is white, the office worker is black, and this is 1965.
Selina D’Arcey (Elizabeth Hartman in her debut role) is blind and lives almost the entirety of her life within the confines of her tiny apartment. She shares this apartment with mother Rose-Ann (Shelley Winters, who won the Supporting Actress Oscar for the role) and her grandfather Ole Pa (Wallace Ford). Rose-Ann makes something like a living as a prostitute, while her hobby seems to be making life as terrible for Selina as she can. Ole Pa isn’t much better; he is similarly abusive of Selina although not to the same extent, but his alcoholism makes him an ineffectual guardian at best. Selina spends her days stuck in the apartment doing chores and stringing sets of beads for Mr. Faber (John Qualen) as a way to supplement the family income.