A PATCH OF BLUE – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

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I clearly remember seeing this intimate drama when I was in grade school in the mid-‘60s at the height of the civil rights movement. It taught me a lesson about what the saying “Love is blind” really means as an 18-year-old sightless illiterate white girl named Selina, who has been sheltered and abused all her life by her trashy witch of a mother, encounters a kind office worker named Gordon in a New York City park. He gives her joy and confidence. She gives him a purpose beyond his night job.

They form a beautiful bond as they open up each other’s world while symbolizing the meaning of tolerance. Rather than being preachy or soapy, Elizabeth Hartman in her Oscar-nominated screen debut and Sidney Poitier make us root for both of them despite the odds. Also, you can’t beat Shelley Winters at her blowsiest. She handily won a second supporting Oscar as mama Rose-Ann, who makes a living as a prostitute.

Interestingly enough, the director of the film, Guy Green, was British. He could have made the film in color but wisely decided it would be more appropriate in black and white. The scenes of the two leads kissing were originally cut when the film was shown in the South but were intact in the DVD version.

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Susan Wloszczyna

In her nearly 30 years at USA Today, Susan Wloszczyna interviewed everyone from Vincent Price and Shirley Temple to Julia Roberts and Will Smith. Her coverage specialties include animation, musicals, comedies and any film starring Hayley Mills, Sandy Dennis or hobbits. Her crowning career achievements so far, besides having Terence Stamp place his bare feet in her lap during an interview for The Limey, is convincing the paper to send her to New Zealand twice for set visits, once for The Return of the King and the other for The Chronicles of Narnia and King Kong, and getting to be a zombie extra and interview George Romero in makeup on the set for Land of the Dead. Though not impressive enough for Pulitzer consideration, she also can be blamed for coining the moniker "Frat Pack," often used to describe the comedy clique that includes Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Will Ferrell. Her positions have included Life section copy desk chief for four years and a film reviewer for 12 years. She is currently a contributor for the online awards site Gold Derby and is an Oscar expert for RogerEbert.com. Previously, she has been a freelance film reporter and critic, contributing regularly to RogerEbert.com, MPAA’s The Credits, the Washington Post, AARP The Magazine online and Indiewire as well as being a book reviewer for The Buffalo News. She previously worked as a feature editor at the Niagara Gazette in Niagara Falls, N.Y. A Buffalo native, she earned her bachelor's degree in English at Canisius College and a master's degree in journalism from Syracuse University.