Shelley Winters won an Academy Award for her searing performance as Rose-Ann d'Arcy in A Patch of Blue. The star, however, is not Winters but Elizabeth Hartman, cast as d'Arcy's blind, sensitive daughter, Selina. A venomous prostitute, Rose-Ann treats both Selina and grandfather Ole Pa (Wallace Ford) like dirt.
Fortunately, Selina finds a way out via the kindly Gordon Ralfe (Sidney Poitier), who befriends Hartman and tries to open up doors for her previously closed by her selfish mother. Despite the objections of the bigoted Rose-Ann and of Gordon's brother Mark (Ivan Dixon), a bond stronger than physical love is forged between Gordon and Selina.
Brilliantly avoiding gooey sentiment throughout, A Patch of Blue was adapted for the screen by director Guy Green, from the novel Be Ready with Bells and Drums by Elizabeth Kata.