In 1967, director Stanley Kramer made a film entitled Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. In more recent years, it was loosely remade as Guess Who, that stupid-looking thing with Ashton Kutcher and Bernie Mac. I'll be honest, I didn't see it. It seemed a tad sacrilegious, considering the importance and timely significance of the original film, which tells the story of a white woman and a black man who fall in love and plan to be married. This kind of thing was a big deal back in 1967 – in the film, even the woman's parents, who are described as “forward and liberal” and very much like her fiance (played by Sidney Poitier), oppose the marriage, not for skewed “moral” reasons, but on practical grounds.
I'm reminded of this because today's topic also deals with interracial relations in the 1960s, with Mr. Poitier as the star. The film is A Patch of Blue, and it is presented by the American Printing House for the Blind as the final installment in its series, “How Hollywood Has Depicted Blindness.” Elizabeth Hartman plays Selina, a girl who has been blind from the age of five. One day she meets Gordon (Poitier) and the two become friends, after which romance follows – but not without opposition. It is an exploration of the theme “love is blind,” utilizing the racial tensions of the day as the catalyst.
A Patch of Blue will screen tomorrow, Saturday, at 12:30 at the APH, located at 1839 Frankfort Avenue. Audio commentary will be provided for the blind. Admission is free, but registration is required. To do so, call 899-2213, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image: Internet Movie Database