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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Sidney Poitier Collection (A Patch of Blue/Something of Value/Edge of the City/A Warm December/Warner DVD)

Sidney Poitier Collection (A Patch of Blue/Something of Value/Edge of the City/A Warm December/Warner DVD)

 

Picture: B-††† Sound: B- †††††Extras: C††† Film:

 

A Patch of Blue B

Something of Value B-

Edge of the City B+

A Warm December C+

 

 

Long before the days of Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman there was another African American actor of great importance, who would help shape cinema and pave the way for a new generation of talented black actors, who other than Sidney Poitier.

 

Poitierís contribution to cinema is astonishing with incredibly strong performances in They Call Me Mister Tibbs!, In the Heat of the Night, and his dynamic performance in Guess Whoís Coming to Dinner is legendary, not just for the cinematic importance, but itís societal impact on interracial couples and marriages.There is no doubt that Poitierís body of work is significant and Warner has now issued four of his films in a box set including Martin Rittís 1957 film Edge of the City, 1957ís Something of Value, 1965ís A Patch of Blue, and 1973ís A Warm December, which Poitier would direct himself.††

 

While it might be fair to say that these are not his most memorable or well-known films, it does give the viewer a decent variety of his work beyond just the usual roles and is a good set to own for Poitier fans in general simply because they are all available together in one set.Guy Greenís A Patch of Blue is the strongest contender here as Poitier plays a man who befriends a blind white girl and helps her escape the abusive and poverty-stricken home life with a prostitute mother played wonderfully by Shelly Winters.Itís an emotional film with depth of character and extremely strong performances across the board.

 

Edge of the City marks Martin Rittís debut film and is another solid film in this set as a young Poitier and John Cassavetes deal with a local punk played by Jack Warden.Itís a very tense film that shows the barriers between races being broken down between friends even during a time when blacks were still being highly persecuted.A Warm December the weakest entry as Poitier demonstrates why he needs to remain in front of the camera, he attempts to weave together a love story with some doom as he meets a London woman while visiting, but suddenly a strange stalker enters the picture.The film is far too problematic despite the performances, the storyline is too weak and would make a good episode for a TV show, but stretches to thin for a feature film.

 

Richard Brooks directs Poitier in Something of Value alongside Rock Hudson in this dramatic tale between two friends whose companionship is put on the line during the Mau uprising, which might be enough to overthrow their longstanding friendship.Hudson and Poitier truly make the film work, itís a bit clichťd here and there, but overall a solid film despite minor moments of scenes that donít seem to work.

 

Picture quality is fairly consistent title to title, all four films were shot widescreen with a 1.78 X 1 framing with the exception of A Patch of Blue, which was shot in scope and framed at 2.35 X 1.The transfers demonstrate some age with color being unbalanced at times, but the overall resolution is fairly good and depth is adequate.The biggest problem with newer standards set by Blu-ray is the excessive grain here and there and overall sharpness is average at best.That being said, just having these four films together in a set makes them valuable and they are still superior to any version yet released on Home Video.

 

The Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono soundtracks are as expected very dated overall, but given that all four films are highly dialogue based itís not a huge issue.There are trailers included as well for the films, the only title to get Ďrealí supplements though is A Patch of Blue, which includes commentary by Guy Green that is very good along with an essay on Poitier and s a stills gallery.Nothing too amazing here, it would have been nice to at least have a retrospective on Poitier since this collection is dedicated to him, but maybe that will come one day with the Blu-ray set.

 

 

-†† Nate Goss


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