Taglines: I could love you if you’d let me.
In the San Francisco of the 1970s, Don Baker (Edward Albert), who was born blind, has lived all his life with his mother (Eileen Heckart). Don moves out into an apartment on his own, but Don finds himself all alone. He has made a contract that his mother will not come to see him for at least two months.
One month has passed. This is when Jill Tanner (Goldie Hawn) moves into an apartment next door to Don. She listens to Don talking to his mother over the phone and turns on the radio. When Don asks her to turn the volume down, she invites herself over for a cup of coffee. They start talking and find each other friendly. Jill does not realize that Don is blind until she sees him dropping his cigarette ash on the table.
Jill has never met a blind man before, so she asks all sorts of questions about how Don manages everyday chores. She tells Don that her favorite quote is: “I only ask to be free. The butterflies are free. Mankind will surely not deny to Harold Skimpole what it concedes to the butterflies.” (From Dickens’ “Bleak House”). Don makes up a song and starts to sing “Butterflies are free” on his guitar.
Surprising Don with a visit, Mrs. Baker sees that Don has attached himself to Jill. She fears that Jill will break Don’s heart. She takes Jill out for a lunch and tries to talk her out of Don’s life. Jill has strong feelings for Don and tells Mrs. Baker that if there is someone who should get out of Don’s life, it is she.
Butterflies Are Free is a 1972 American comedy-drama film based on the play by Leonard Gershe. The 1972 film was produced by M.J. Frankovich, released by Columbia Pictures, directed by Milton Katselas and adapted for the screen by Gershe. It was released on 6 July 1972 in the USA.
Goldie Hawn and Edward Albert starred. Eileen Heckart received an Academy Award for her performance. While the original play was set in Manhattan, New York, the screenplay written for the 1972 film was set in an unknown location in San Francisco.
Butterflies Are Free (1972)
Directed by: Milton Katselas
Starring: Goldie Hawn, Edward Albert, Eileen Heckart, Paul Michael Glaser, Michael Warren, Debralee Scott, Charlene Jones
Screenplay by: Leonard Gershe
Production Design by: Robert Clatworthy
Cinematography by: Charles Lang
Film Editing by: David E. Blewitt
Costume Design by: Moss Mabry
Set Decoration by: Marvin March
Music by: Bob Alcivar
Distributed by: Columbia Pictures
Release Date: July 6, 1972