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For Love Of Ivy
cast: Sidney Poitier, Abbey Lincoln, Beau Bridges, Leon Bibb, and Nan Martin

director: Daniel Mann

98 minutes (PG) 1968 widescreen 1.85:1
Film Collection DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 4/10
reviewed by Gary Couzens

When Ivy (Abbey Lincoln), the maid to a well-heeled white family, announces that she wants to leave, the family search for a boyfriend for her, to persuade her to stay. Enter Jack Parkes (Sidney Poitier)...
   The year a film was made is very much a historical accident. For Love Of Ivy must have seemed pretty bland and retro in 1968. That was a year after Bonnie And Clyde had come out, and ushered in one of the richest decades in Hollywood history. Even at the time Guess Who's Coming To Dinner? seemed hardly cutting-edge, but at least that film had Tracy and Hepburn in their last film together, not to mention Poitier. Now, For Love Of Ivy looks like it comes from another planet. It's the cinematic equivalent of easy-listening music, unchallenging and very dull. It's hardly an undiscovered masterpiece, so why PT Video are releasing it I've no idea - presumably there is an audience out there somewhere. It's not a terrible film: it has a major studio surface gloss and competence to it and it's too innocuous to be offensive, but it's distinctly irrelevant nonetheless. Quincy Jones wrote the music for the title song, which won an Oscar, but also note B.B. King's presence on the soundtrack, singing words written by Maya Angelou no less!
   The DVD is not widescreen enhanced, though the picture is mostly in good condition, apart from some damage over the opening credits. The soundtrack is the original mono and none the worse for it: like everything else it's at least a professional job. The extras are biographies of Poitier, Beau Bridges (who plays the family's son, also attracted to Ivy) and Jones, plus a stills gallery.

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