7.1/10
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32 user 19 critic

Sapphire (1959)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 2 November 1959 (USA)
The murder of a young woman in London exposes deep racial tensions and prejudices inherent in the area.

Director:

Basil Dearden

Writers:

Janet Green (original screenplay), Lukas Heller (additional dialogue)
Reviews

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Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Nigel Patrick ... Hazard
Yvonne Mitchell ... Mildred
Michael Craig ... Learoyd
Paul Massie ... David
Bernard Miles ... Mr. Harris
Olga Lindo Olga Lindo ... Mrs. Harris
Earl Cameron ... Dr. Robbins
Gordon Heath Gordon Heath ... Paul Slade
Jocelyn Britton Jocelyn Britton ... Patsy
Harry Baird ... Johnnie Fiddle
Orlando Martins ... Barman
Rupert Davies ... Ferris
Freda Bamford ... Sgt. Cook
Robert Adams Robert Adams ... Horace Big Cigar
Yvonne Buckingham Yvonne Buckingham ... Sapphire
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Storyline

In 1950s London racial hostility to Commonweath immigrants is openly paraded. A pregnant girl, initially assumed to be white, is murdered. As two detectives start to investigate, and discover her racial origins were much more mixed, public prejudices and those of the officers themselves are exposed. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The sensational story of a girl who didn't belong! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 November 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Safira See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Opening credits: All characters and events in this film are fictitious.Any similarity to actual events or persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. See more »

Quotes

Sapphire's Landlady: You've got the wrong address. I take only white students.
See more »

Connections

Featured in London: The Modern Babylon (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Sapphire
Music by Philip Green
Lyrics by Sonny Miller
Sung by Jimmy Lloyd (I)'
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Bold For Its Time
12 March 2007 | by robertconnorSee all my reviews

When a young woman's body is discovered on London's Hampstead Heath, the ensuing investigation quickly focuses on racial bigotry and hatred in 1950s Britain, exposing the prejudice amongst those under investigation AND those investigating.

Like so many other films from the 1940s and 1950s, Sapphire is yet another piece of groundbreaking British cinema now long forgotten. A little clunky and overly reliant on stereotyping by today's standards, but still a fascinating exploration of the fears and struggles inherent in a newly mixed-race society. Dearden has brought together an interesting cast here, cleverly giving matinée idol Craig a fairly unsympathetic role as a racist police officer, and being superbly served by Mitchell - her final scene is at once both compelling and distressing. Too many British cinema actors of the 40's and 50's have now been forgotten, and Mitchell is a prime example of why individual and collective reappraisals and retrospectives are long overdue.

Interesting companion piece to 1961's Flame In The Streets, then, and definitely worth catching if you can.


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