The Sidney Poitier Collection could have easily been called Sophistication in a Box: Sidney Poitier, or Awesomeness Redefined: Sidney Poitier or my personal favorite: Sidney Poitier Therapy, . They could have just put Sidney Poitier's likeness on the box and had no text at all, and people would know they were in for a treat.
Released during this year's Black History Month, The Sidney Poitier collection highlights this legendary actor in all his glory. Poitier is classy and sophisticated and shines in any role he is given. It is very possible that they could have thrown his worst films in this set and it still would have worked. Instead they assembled a set of 4 gems. This box set contains 4 of his films, 3 of which are new to DVD and all of which are exclusive to the set.
Edge of the City (1957) - Gripping drama about the meaning of friendship. Sidney Poitier plays Tommy, a dock manager who befriends wayward newcomer Axel (John Cassavetes). Axel has a lot of baggage and is trying to get his life back on track by lying about his past. Tommy senses something's wrong and takes Axel under his wing. Their interracial friendship angers increasingly volatile dock manager Charles (Jack Warden). Their friendship is put to the test when it becomes clear Charles wants revenge. This film gets poor reviews, but I thought it was excellent. It's very moving and the final scene is raw and vivid.
A Patch of Blue (1965) - One of my all-time favorite films. Poitier plays journalist Gordon Ralfe, who befriends a young blind woman Selina D'Arcy (Elizabeth Hartmann in her first role). Selina comes from the most dire of circumstances. She has no proper education, no father and her blindness was caused by a cruel accident. She lives in a hovel with her drunk grandfather and hateful mother, Rose (Shelley Winters) who dabbles in prostituion. With Gordon's help, Selina learns the joys of life and becomes more independent, threatening the hold her mother has over her. This one movie is worth the purchase of box set!
Something of Value (1957) - Two young men, of different races, grow up together in 1940's Nigeria. Soon they both learn, that even their close bond could not prevent the inevitable divide that race, society and religion creates between them. Insulted by a white settler, Kimani (Sidney Poitier) becomes vengeful against the settler and his white friend Peter (Rock Hudson). The final straw comes when Kimani's father is put in prison for performing a tribal ritual. Kimani becomes a member of a violent tribe, Mau Mau and Peter finds himself fighting a war against his friend. This is the first classic film I've seen which actually criticizes white, Christian presence in Africa. The film is violent and difficult to watch, but absolutely necessary!
A Warm December (1973) - Melancholy love story of foreigners abroad. Poitier plays widower Dr. Matt Younger, who takes his daughter Stacey on an extended vacation to England. There he sees Catherine (Esther Anderson), a mysterious and elusive beauty who is being chased along the streets of London by mysterious men. Intrigued by her, he helps her out only to have her slip away. Appearances are deceiving and Dr. Younger gets into more than he's bargained for. This is such a sweet movie yet very sad. I recommend it to anyone who likes a good weepy romance.
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