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For Love of Ivy

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For Love of Ivy
Theatrical poster
Directed byDaniel Mann
Produced byEdgar J. Scherick
Jay Weston
Screenplay byRobert Alan Arthur
Story bySidney Poitier
StarringSidney Poitier
Abbey Lincoln
Beau Bridges
Nan Martin
Lauri Peters
Carroll O'Connor
Music byQuincy Jones
Distributed byCinerama Releasing Corporation
Release date
  • July 17, 1968 (1968-07-17)
Running time
101 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$7,270,000[1]

For Love of Ivy is a 1968 romantic comedy film directed by Daniel Mann. The film stars Sidney Poitier, Abbey Lincoln, Beau Bridges, Nan Martin, Lauri Peters, and Carroll O'Connor. The story was written by Poitier with screenwriter Robert Alan Arthur. The musical score was composed by Quincy Jones. The theme song "For Love of Ivy", written by Quincy Jones and Bob Russell, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song. The film received Golden Globe supporting-acting nominations for Beau Bridges and Abbey Lincoln.


Ivy Moore, a 26-year-old African-American woman, has worked as a maid for the white, upper-middle-class Austin family of Long Island, New York, for nine years, since arriving from Florida, where she was raised by her grandmother. Despite being treated as a part of the family, she announces her decision to leave her job and go to secretarial school to improve her situation.

The Austins are desperate to keep her, and the teenagers, Gena and Tim, hatch a scheme to do so. Tim Austin sets up Ivy with Jack Parks, a trucking company executive, to wine and dine Ivy. Tim hopes that the introduction of excitement in her life will dissuade her from leaving the family.

Tim persuades a reluctant Parks to date Ivy, and applies pressure by threatening to reveal his illegal gambling casino, which operates at night in the back of a large, long-distance truck.

Their initial meetings are awkward for the cosmopolitan Parks and the less sophisticated Moore, as they go to a Japanese restaurant and a bohemian nightclub in Manhattan. Eventually, however, romance blossoms, but when Moore learns that Parks was coerced into initially dating her, she breaks up with him.

Parks overcomes his attachment to swinging bachelorhood and asks Moore to leave with him for New York City. She accepts. As they do so, they witness the illegal casino, which Parks had handed over to his partner, being pulled over by police and the operators arrested.



The film opened to positive reviews and was liked by both black and white audiences. Many applauded the performances of Sidney Poitier and Abbey Lincoln, and they were popular romantic leads. Even Ebony gave the two a cover story. Also applauded were Bridges and O'Connor; later, both actors appeared in films and TV shows, some dealing with racial issues. Bridges did the urban comedy-drama The Landlord and other films, and O'Connor landed other roles as he made his way to TV as Archie Bunker on All in the Family.

Box Office

The movie earned box-office rentals of $5,570,000 in North America[2] with $1.7 million coming from the rest of the world. After distribution fees, prints and advertising, and the negative cost were taken away, the film recorded a profit of $390,000.[1]

Musical score and soundtrack

For Love of Ivy
Soundtrack album by
RecordedMarch 1968
GenreFilm score
ProducerPhil Ramone
Quincy Jones chronology
In Cold Blood
For Love of Ivy
MacKenna's Gold

The film score was composed, arranged, and conducted by Quincy Jones, and the soundtrack album was released on the ABC Records label in 1968.[3][4] The title song performed by Shirley Horn, composed by Jones, with lyrics by Russell, was released as a single by ABC Records.

Track listing

All compositions by Quincy Jones

  1. "Main Title — For Love of Ivy" − 2:50
  2. "Wheelin' and Dealin'" − 2:45
  3. "Little Hippy Dippy" − 4:25
  4. "Soul Motion" − 3:45
  5. "Somethin' Strange" − 2:59
  6. "Black Pearl" − 4:15
  7. "For Love of Ivy" − 2:57
  8. "You Put It On Me" (Lyrics by Maya Angelou) − 2:45
  9. "The B. B. Jones" (Lyrics by Maya Angelou) − 2:25
  10. "Messy But Good" − 2:35
  11. "My Side of the Sky" (Lyrics by Cashman, Pistilli & West) − 2:43
  12. "Don't You Believe It" (Lyrics by Cashman, Pistilli & West) − 2:29
  13. "End Title — For Love of Ivy" (Lyrics by Bob Russell) − 2:54



While it is not a race movie, or primarily about race, Jack Parks (Sidney Poitier) enjoys playing on the Austin children's racial stereotypes.

The film was released on Region 1 DVD by MGM Home Video January 20, 2004.

See also


  1. ^ a b c "ABC's 5 Years of Film Production Profits & Losses", Variety, 31 May 1973 p 3
  2. ^ "Big Rental Films of 1968", Variety, 8 January 1969 p 15. Please note this figure is a rental accruing to distributors.
  3. ^ Soundtrack Collector: album entry accessed January 19, 2018
  4. ^ Edwards, D. Eyries, P. & Callahan, M. ABC-Paramount Album Discography, Part 14: Soundtrack Series (1964-1970), accessed January 19, 2018
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