Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
USA, 1965. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Screenplay by Guy Green, based on the novel Be Ready With Bells And Drums by Elizabeth Kata. Cinematography by Robert Burks. Produced by Pandro S. Berman. Music by Jerry Goldsmith. Production Design by George W. Davis, Urie McCleary. Film Editing by Rita Roland.
Sidney Poitier plays a well-to-do businessman who comes across a blind girl (Elizabeth Hartman) sewing coloured beads together for a living in a public park. They become friends, and she tells him about her life with her alcoholic mother (Shelley Winters) who accidentally blinded her as a child, while he helps her around the city that she was never taught to properly navigate. The relationship that develops between these two eventually threatens Winters, who suspects that this strange black man only wants her daughter for his own devious purposes. With both of these characters having their own challenges to face, it makes for satisfying viewing to watch them help each other into a place where they can improve the quality of their lives through shared experiences.
Academy Award: Best Supporting Actress (Shelley Winters)
Nominations: Best Actress (Elizabeth Hartman); Best Cinematography-BW; Best Art Direction-BW; Best Music Score-Substantially Original
Golden Globe Award Nominations: Best Picture-Drama; Best Actor-Drama (Sidney Poitier); Best Actress-Drama (Elizabeth Hartman); Best Director (Guy Green); Best Screenplay