While perhaps too consciously schematic in its pairing of a black man and a blind white girl during an era of heightened racial awareness, this small film is a tender and moving story of friendship. Sidney Poitier stars as a man who befriends a blind girl (Elizabeth Hartman) he often sees in the park, and as he comes to understand the harshness of her family life, encourages her to reach out for a better life. Although the film strains credibility in suggesting the possibility of so public a relationship between a black man and a white girl during that time, the character of Poitier's skeptical brother (Ivan Dixon) does introduce a note of reality. The heart of the film are a trio of tour de force performances by the two stars and Shelley Winters, as the girl's monstrous mother, a hooker with a heart of ice. For those familiar with the life of the immensely gifted Hartman, a woman whose career was limited by emotional problems and who took her own life at the age of 46, her few film appearances have added significance.