"A Patch of Blue"- Does anyone else love this movie?

“A Patch of Blue” was on TCM last night, and I was amazed at how quickly my 11-year-old daughter was completely hooked. Normally, she’s very hard to please, and black and white is normally something that causes her to leave the room. Last night, however, within five minutes of my turning it on, she had pulled up a pillow next to me and was completely engrossed. I hadn’t seen the movie since I was in high school, and I was amazed at how much I still love it.

Did anyone else catch it? Are there any other fans out there of this near-perfect film?

It’s a case of the movie being better than the book (which does not have a happy ending). Shelley Winters was fantastically evil. Only the late Elizabeth Hartley’s voice ever got on my nerves.

Shelly Winters scares the hell out of me in the movie! I used to think she was a bit over the top, but now I know that there are really people like that in this world.

How does the book end?

I think about “A Patch of Blue” every time I’m in a grocery store and have a problem controlling the oranges. I first saw this movie on T.V. when I was seven years old and had an inattentive babysitter. I found it fascinating but disturbing. I’ve seen it many times since, and it has certainly stayed with me. I’m sure it also contributed to my lifelong interest in and work with the blind.

Gordon is beaten by a mob who thinks he’s attacking Selina [I don’t remember if he lives or dies] and Selina is basically handed over to her mom and her friend.

Sampiro - Are you sure? I’ll have to reread it.


Sampiro, I remember it that way, too.

I’ve only seen part of the movie, once. It came on and I recognized it almost immediately from the book. That book, by the way, was the only one my mother ever tried to stop me reading. I think she thought it was too old for me, too adult a subject, and maybe it was, because I didn’t really get all of it. (I was about 12.) What she didn’t know, and I never told her, was that I knew where she hid it so I went and got it. It took a couple of times but I just kept putting it back until I finished it. I didn’t really understand it until I was older, but it stayed with me. I did understand enough of it to be horrified, especially at the end. I cried.

A fella named Howlett Smith tried to turn it into a musical about twenty-five years ago. It never got any serious traction, aside from a read-and-sing-through for some potential backers. There might have also been difficulties with the author of the book; I’m not sure I ever learned how those shook out.

Coupla nice songs, though.
Edit: BTW, count me as one who loved this movie.

I can’t find my copy. It was used and battered. I might’ve thrown it out.


Unfortunately the actress playing Selina was a method actress and kept tripping in the ballet numbers.

A scene from the movie that always stuck with me, partly because of its perverse humor, is when Ole Pa and [Shelley] start screaming at each other and then physically fighting, then the neighbors storm in demanding they shut up and trying to help whoever’s being abused, whereupon Ole Pa and Shelley join forces to drive out the neighbors and even laugh and congratulate each other when they’re gone! That united front thing is indicative of so many families (including my own): “we might not can stand each other but by-God an outsider who wants to fight with one is gonna fight with all!”

I wondered when watching this: even in the 1950s/1960s when Selina was growing up, wouldn’t a social agency or the state have required Selina to attend school? It takes place in L.A. after all, where there have been schools for the blind for over a century, and you’d think her less than wonderful family would want her out of their hair anyway.

Another fan here, too :slight_smile:


I saw that movie about the same age and I wept.

Was that the movie with,

“You two-bit whore!”

“You change that two-bit to two-dollar”?

Oh, I don’t like that at all. I much prefer the movie ending. Not to saccharine sweet, not too depressing.

OK, now I’m curious. Can someone tell me what the movie is about without spoilering the plot? I’ve never even heard of it, but I do find some real gems on TCM.

Excellent movie. Shelley Winters had a gift for playing booze-soaked slatterns, didn’t she?

Here’s the one-line synopsis from imdb:

And remember, this was in the early 1960s.

Elizabeth Hartman was great in that role. She had this fragility about her. She committed suicide in 1987.

I saw it when I was in my teens and liked it a lot but since then I’ve never run across it again on TV.

Sampiro - I think Selina was blinded before she was school-aged. So she sort of flew under the radar. There was no mention of anyone getting a disability payment for her, and she spent her days sorting and stringing beads for the old foreign guy who was nice to her. Since this was before the days when computers could cross reference things, she might not have had a SSN. Totally off the grid.


Yes, love the movie. I saw it first at about 9 or 10 and loved it. Watch it whenever I see it on, which isn’t often. It also started me on Sidney Poitier movies, which was an excellent path.

My daughter usually prefers things of the Hanna Montana genre, so I was amazed to see her so into this film. In the scene in the grocery store, I turned to Harborkid and asked, “Do you like this movie?” She nodded towards Sidney Poitier on the screen and said, “I like him.
Wow. The kid’s got good taste sometimes.

I saw it shortly after it first came out, and I was still quite young. It reminds me of a lot of the Young Adult novels I read at the high school library where I work now. Really well done, but a little simplistic.

Anyway, when I was growing up in the 60s/70s in Kentucky, there was a blind girl who lived across the street from us. She never went to school either, though she was quite smart. Social services have indeed really improved over the years. We may have to fight about the correct amount of handicapped access, but slowly but surely change happens.