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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

Dr. Robbins: There's no assurance for me and my kind, Superintendent. I've been black for 38 years, I know. She may have looked white, but Sapphire was colored.
Superintendent Robert Hazard: Your sister was murdered. We'll find out who killed her.
Dr. Robbins: I'm sure that is your intention.
Superintendent Robert Hazard: It is my intention. It's also my job.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood U.K.: A Very British Picture (1993) 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

 
Sapphire greatly conveys the prejudices of Great Britain as well as solves a mystery
4 February 2012 | by tavmSee all my reviews

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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