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Music Conducted By
Jerry Goldsmith

Orchestrations By
Arthur Morton

Recorded By

Performed By

Album Produced By
Jerry Goldsmith

Intrada MAF 7076

Previous Release(s)
Mainstream/Citadel LPs/SLC & Tsunami CD (album re-issues)

Year Of CD/Film Release

Running Time

Normal Release

Reviewed By
Brandon Moore

Cues & Timings

1. Main Title (1:56)
2. The Park (2:05)
3. Acid Bath (0:43)
4. The Gift (1:06)
5. Alone (2:14)
6. Chores (2:03)
7. That away (0:40)
8. Bead Party (1:43)
9. Gordon's Place --radio music (1:34)
10. Friends (outtake) (1:44)
11. Grand mom's Music Box (1:08)
12. Discovery (2:43)
13. Waiting (1:03)
14. Just the Radio (1:26)
15. Help Me (1:41)
16. Happy Selina (0:31)
17. Gordon (1:03)
18. Selina's Walk (2:00)
19. Finale (3:23)

Soundtrack Ratings







A Patch Of Blue


Jerry Goldsmith's Oscar nominated music to A Patch of Blue (1965) remains a classic film score of the 60's and one of the composer's pivotal works. The film is based on Elizabeth Kata's acclaimed novel 'With Bells and Drums'. Even though the comparison to Elmer Bernstein's To Kill A Mockingbird is noted (the opening titles of the film are designed somewhat similar) Goldsmith's music is of a far more mature nature. The composer's beautiful, intimate and melancholy score follows a young blind woman's awakening to the world around her with the help of a kind and educated African American man.

The film opens on shots of Selina D'Arcy (Elizabeth Hartman) threading beads accompanied by a piano triplet motif, a device the whole score is structured around (Main Title). Over harp and soft strings is a two chord harmonica idea that book-ends the main ideas. The main theme is stated in the violins, a melancholy tune supported with a counter-melody of the triplet piano motif.

In The Park a beautiful waltz for harmonica, harp and piano is introduced as Selina dreams of being able to see and enjoy her surroundings. The triplet motif is ever present and the two chord idea is transposed to warm strings. Soon Selina meets a young man named Gordon Ralfe (Sidney Poitier) who becomes her only friend and able to bring joy to her daily visits to the park. He soon realises Selina is blind and in Acid Bath she relates to him the story of how she lost her sight at five years old when her abusive prostitute mother; Rose Ann (an Oscar nominated performance by Shelley Winters) threw a bottle of acid during a fight with one of her 'clients'. In this cue, dissonant strings play against a plucking string, harp and woodwind motif.

A new theme develops for the violins in The Gift as Gordon buys Selina sunglasses and the two chord idea returns. It's followed by a small woodwind idea with strings on Gordon's way back to visit the park. Alone features the theme on harmonica and later a sad saxophone solo with the two chord idea as Rose Ann discovers the sunglasses. Some unique orchestration is used in the score with music for low flute, vibraphone, celesta, guitar, muted strings and piano.

At home Selina works at her Chores, with harp, harmonica, strings and guitar used as the happy theme, with Goldsmith passing the two chord idea back and forth between the harmonica and woodwinds. In That away Gordon encourages Selina to learn her way around the city streets with Goldsmith utilising some interesting electric guitar with guiro writing. While in Bead Party, clarinet and strings perform a vintage Goldsmith cue with wood blocks and sliding bass. The editing joins the music beautifully with variations on the triplet motif.

In Friends, which was not used in the final version of the film, the harmonica opens on the two chord idea and passes it to the strings and woodwinds. A beautiful violin solo is stated with a short colouring of the happy theme in the piano between phrases. Grand mom's Music Box is one of the most moving cues in the score. Opening with the happy theme in the strings, it moves to a memorable statement of the triplet motif in piano over flute then followed by a painful oboe with vibes.

Selina bravely attempt to go to the park alone when her drunken Grandfather refuses to take her. In Help Me, the orchestra cries out a dissonant use of the triplet motif in the strings with punctuating timpani and the harmonica states a rare, rising version of the two chord idea. This dissonance returns in Selina's Walk when she escapes Rose Ann's wrath for her friendship with Gordon. The ticking harp returns from Acid Bath and Goldsmith uses heavy bass with pizzicato violins. The triplet idea rounds out the cue as Selina makes it to the park and meets Gordon. Gordon's confrontation with Rose Ann, where she and Selina's grandfather are left alone in the park, is un-scored.

In the Finale, Gordon helps Selina by getting her into a school for the blind and almost immediately sees a confident independent woman begin to blossom. The main theme is stated in a touching recapitulation on piano, vibes, and transparent strings with harp as they say their goodbyes. When Gordon suddenly remembers Selina has left without the music box, pizzicato strings return with a busy statement of the two chord idea in the harmonica as he dashes to catch her. Gordon is too late of course and stands alone on the sidewalk, the triplet motif returning delicately on the piano. Goldsmith resolves the score on the happy theme as Selina's bus takes her to a new life.