Learning Difficulty





Recommended by Title

Recommended by Disability

Blind: Major Films  
TitleButterflies Are Free (1972)
Alternative/Original Title
DirectorMilton Katselas
CastGoldie Hawn Edward Albert Eileen Heckart Mike Warren
NotesAnother film in which someone who is disabled is romantically matched with someone who is able bodied but considered different. Here a blind boy finds romance with his next door neighbour who happens to be Goldie Hawn. You can figure out the logic there. Thanks to Yvonne who has sent the following review: Synopsis Set in the hippie era of free love. Donny (Edward Albert) plays a young blind man living in a rundown apartment in L.A... Jill (Goldie Hawn) a free-spirited, giggly hippie, has just moved in next door. They meet and she does not at first realise that he is blind and is then really impressed with how well he copes. She helps him to update his image. They become lovers. It becomes clear from their conversations that he is trying to be independent from his wealthy, overprotective mother and become a successful singer/songwriter. He comes from a privileged, sheltered background. She, at only 19, has left school early, married, divorced, lived with various lovers and has aspirations to be an actress. His mother (Oscar winner, Eileen Heckart) turns up, uninvited and shocked at his living conditions, tries to make him come home. He refuses. The mother tries to put Jill off the relationship by pointing out that when Jill leaves him, he will be hurt. Jill points out that it is the mother's lack of nurturing confidence that has caused him problems. The mother keeps Donny company while he awaits Jill's promised return from an audition. She turns up very late and with the play's director (Paul Michael Glazer) who was previously her lover. She announces that she is going to move back in with the director, which really upsets Donny. When she leaves the room, he is very dispirited and tells his mother that he is returning home with her. However she has taken to heart what Jill told her and persuades him to stay on, offering to support his independence. Before Jill leaves, Donny points out to Jill that she is emotionally crippled because her life is driven by her fear of commitment. She leaves but at the last minute returns to him. Comments This film suffers from 2 main problems, firstly it is very much of its time and is dated now. Also it is clearly taken from a stage play and is almost entirely played out in the apartment set. However on the plus side, the dialogue and situations are very humorous. Edward Albert plays the vulnerable yet independently spirited young man very well. His character's struggles are not in relation to rehabilitation but with other people's attitudes. He punctures other's misconceptions about blind people with gentle humour. He is shown as an appealing, attractive and gifted character. Goldie Hawn and Eileen Heckart are perfectly cast.

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