For Love of Ivy (1968)

Cinerama (American Broadcasting Companies-Palomar Pictures Production)

 

Daniel Mann’s disappointing romantic comedy is based on a story by star Sidney Poitier, adapted to the screen by Robert Alan Aurthur.  A wealthy white family hires Sidney Poitier to court their housekeeper (played by Abby Lincoln), when she threatens to kill.

 

The supporting cast, including Carol O’Connor and Beau Bridges, add some color and the Oscar-nominated song is melodic, but as one of Hollywood’s first romances about two black protagonists, the movie is poorly directed and artistically disappointing.

 

The only reason “For Love of Ivy” was made was the clout that Sidney Poitier had in 1968, as the most popular box-office star in Hollywood, a result of appearing in a number of commercial hits such as the Oscar-winning “In the Heat of the Night,” and “To Sir With Love,” which also benefited from its score.  

 

Oscar Nominations: 1

 

Song, “For Love of Ivy,” music by Quincy Jones, lyrics by Bob Russell

 

Oscar Awards:  None

 

Oscar Context

 

The winner was the popular tune, “The Windmills of Your Mind,” music written by Michel Legrand and lyrics by the team of Alan and Marilyn Bergman, from Steve McQueen sexy adventure, “The Thomas Crown Affair.”

 

The other nominees were “Citty Chitty Bang Bang,” from the movie of the same title, “Funny Girl,” from the Streisand picture, and “Star!” from the Fox musical, composed by Jimmy Van Heusen with lyrics from Sammy Cahn.

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