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 ... See full summary »
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 <email@example.com>
Sapphire greatly conveys the prejudices of Great Britain as well as solves a mystery
So far during this year's Black History Month, I've been reviewing American films. What I'm commenting on now took place and was filmed in Britain. In this one, a Sapphire Robbins (Yvonne Buckingham) is found dead at Hampstead Heath. Superintendent Robert Hazard (Nigel Patrick) and partner Inspector Phil Learoyd (Michael Craig) investigate who done it. Her boyfriend David Harris (Paul Massie) and brother, a Dr. Robbins (Earl Cameron) are also interested though the former has his own secrets to hide along with his sister Mildred (Yvonne Mitchell) and possibly their parents (Bernard Miles and Olga Lindo). By the way, since the doctor has dark skin and his late sister is light, there's also a racial aspect involved...When I first watched this on American Movie Classics back in the mid '80s (by the way, this was the first I actually watched on that channel), it was intriguing enough for me that I would have loved to have seen it again much sooner than just now on YouTube if I had the chance. Now that I indeed have, it's even more compelling as both a mystery and pretty intense drama on the social tensions that I'm sure were very prevalent during that time in England. Especially considering the way characters of both races reveal their prejudices in both subtle and blatant ways. And besides Cameron, other people of color worth noting that appeared here include Gordon Heath as Paul Slade, Harry Gaird as Johnnie Fiddle (who is identified among other Johnnys at a bar), Orlando Martins as a barman, and Robert Adams as Horace Big Cigar. Really, this was a fine British drama that greatly tackled the way prejudices of most kinds were displayed there. P.S. I didn't know about the stereotype of cops having big feet there. Sure beats the one about donuts here!
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