Butterflies Are Free (1972)


“[arguing to Mrs. Baker] You’re always dwelling on the negative. Always what he needs, never what he wants. Always what he can’t do, never what he can. What about his music? Have you heard the songs he wrote? I’ll bet you didn’t even know he could write songs. Well, you might be dead right about me. I’m not the ideal girl for Don. But I know one thing: neither are you! And if I’m going to tell anybody to go home, it’s gonna be you, Mrs. Baker! You go home!” – Jill

Number of Times Seen – 1 (12 May 2019)

Brief Synopsis – In order to try and find his own freedom in life, a blind man moves out of the house of his over-protective mother and takes an apartment by himself in the city where he meets a young women who is very different from him.

My Take on it – This is yet another film that I knew absolutely nothing about before coming across it while seeking films for my quest to watch all films with Oscar nominated performances.

This is such an enjoyable film and that has much to do with the dialogue which helps develop these characters so well a swell as make us get a better understanding of the situations they find themselves in..

This film looks at the idea of finding one’s place in the world while also seeking a freedom from needing or seeking the protection of others.

Edward Albert is excellent in the lead and plays his character so convincingly in order for us to believe everything he says and does along the way.

He is helped along by Goldie Hawn who is perfectly cast as his free spirited and free thinking neighbor who teaches him about, life, love and the ways of the world.

Eileen Heckart is also superb as his overbearing mother who does all she can to try and help him survive in a world which isn’t the most sympathetic to a blind man.

She was deservingly nominated for and won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her work here.

Bottom Line – Really enjoyable film about the ideas of finding one’s place in the world while also seeking to be free of the protection of others. Albert is amazing in the lead role and is helped by Hawn who is perfectly cast as his very free-thinking new neighbor who wants to teach him about life and the ways of the real world. Heckart is superb as his over protecting mother who does all she can to keep her son safe in an uncertain world. The dialogue is superbly written and does wonders to help develop the characters and the situations that they now find themselves in. Heckart deservingly was nominated for and won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role here. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The picture’s source stage play was loosely based on the life of attorney and former Harvard law student Harold Krents who was blind. Lawyer Krents, whose struggle to overcome blindness and become independent, was the inspiration for this film’s source Broadway play “Butterflies Are Free” (1969). Krents also acted as a technical advisor for the movie’s production. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10)

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4 thoughts on “Butterflies Are Free (1972)

  1. I remember this film quite fondly. I don’t think I ever saw it again in its entirety after the original theatrical release. Goldie Hawn was perfect. Always wondered why SHE didn’t get an Oscar nomination for this. Edward Albert was terrific as well – and Eileen Heckart was, as Rob said, well deserving of her Oscar win. I had the pleasure of telling her that years later when I sat near her during a play at the Westport Playhouse in Connecticut.

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