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The Sapphires (2012)

PG-13  |   |  Biography, Comedy, Drama  |  9 August 2012 (Australia)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 9,778 users   Metascore: 67/100
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It's 1968, and four young, talented Australian Aboriginal girls learn about love, friendship and war when their all-girl group The Sapphires entertain the US troops in Vietnam.



(adapted from the stage play by), , 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tanika Lonesborough ...
Nioka Brennan ...
Lynette Narkle ...
Nanny Theresa
Kylie Belling ...
Tammy Anderson ...
Ava Jean Miller-Porter ...
Carlin Briggs ...
Gregory J. Fryer ...
Koby Murray ...
Baby Hartley
Stevie Kayne


1968 was the year that changed the world. And for four young Aboriginal sisters from a remote mission this is the year that would change their lives forever. Around the globe, there was protest and revolution in the streets. Indigenous Australians finally secured the right to vote. There were drugs and the shock of a brutal assassination. And there was Vietnam. The sisters, Cynthia, Gail, Julie and Kay are discovered by Dave, a talent scout with a kind heart, very little rhythm but a great knowledge of soul music. Billed as Australia's answer to 'The Supremes', Dave secures the sisters their first true gig, and flies them to Vietnam to sing for the American troops. Based on a true story, THE SAPPHIRES is a triumphant celebration of youthful emotion, family and music. Written by Goalpost Pictures

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


One ambitious manager. Four unknown singers. The tour that put them on the charts wasn't even on a map. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexuality, a scene of war violence, some language, thematic elements and smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

9 August 2012 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Ha'avanim ha'k'houlot  »

Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$38,372 (USA) (22 March 2013)


$2,448,455 (USA) (19 July 2013)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film's North American DVD cover art caused considerable controversy and allegations of racism as the American poster shows Chris O'Dowd front and center with the Aboriginal girls as white silhouettes in the background, despite his smaller role in the film as a whole. See more »


The movie is set in 1968, but The Sapphires sing The Staple Singers' "I'll Take You There" (released in 1972) and Merle Haggard's "Today I Started Loving You Again" (released in 1970). It also features "Run Through the Jungle" (released in 1970) in the opening scene. See more »


Dave: Can you do it blacker?
See more »


Featured in At the Movies: Episode #10.1 (2013) See more »


Lonely Teardrops
Words & music by Berry Gordy, Gwen Gordy & Tyran Carlo
copywright 1957 Pearl Music Company Incorporated/Regent Music Corporation, USA.
Jewel Music Publishing Company Limited'Licensed courtesy of Campbell Connelly/Jewel
Recorded by Jackie Wilson courtesy of Brunseick Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Classy, entertaining film
2 August 2012 | by See all my reviews

It's easy to be cynical about this film -- yes the plot is a little clunky and some of the lines are cheesy. But it is a hugely enjoyable movie, with lots of good points. The four girl actors are all great and they don't over-play their parts. When the girls arrive in Vietnam you get a sense of how very young and wide-eyed they are, despite their wisecracks. Chris O'Dowd as the Irish manager is hilarious, although he doesn't venture far from his character on Bridesmaids, or TV's IT Crowd -- that is, the bumbling but endearing Irish sweetie. The music and costumes are fantastic and the cinematography is lovely. I loved how Aborigines were portrayed as being strong and loving, and how many Aborigines have white as well as black blood, and struggle to straddle both cultures. The film provides a slightly sanitised, but still worthwhile, picture of an interesting time in Australian, and world, history.

19 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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