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The Sapphires (2012)

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2:17 | Trailer
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.

Director:

Wayne Blair
27 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tanika Lonesborough Tanika Lonesborough ... Young Gail
Nioka Brennan Nioka Brennan ... Young Kay
Lynette Narkle Lynette Narkle ... Nanny Theresa
Kylie Belling Kylie Belling ... Geraldine
Tammy Anderson Tammy Anderson ... Evelyn
Miah Madden ... Young Julie
Ava Jean Miller-Porter Ava Jean Miller-Porter ... Young Cynthia
Carlin Briggs Carlin Briggs ... Young Jimmy
Gregory J. Fryer Gregory J. Fryer ... Selwyn
Miranda Tapsell ... Cynthia
Deborah Mailman ... Gail
Jessica Mauboy ... Julie
Koby Murray Koby Murray ... Baby Hartley
Hunter Page-Lochard ... Stevie Kayne
Chris O'Dowd ... Dave Lovelace
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

Australia

Language:

English | Aboriginal

Release Date:

9 August 2012 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Les Saphirs See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$38,372, 24 March 2013

Gross USA:

$2,450,867

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$20,423,628
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Goalpost Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color | Black and White (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

The name tags on the U.S. soldiers' uniforms run along the slanted chest pockets. That early, they were sewn on horizontally, parallel to the bottom hem of the shirt. See more »

Quotes

Dave: Before we go than, girls when I met you you were doing all country and western thing and that's fine we all make mistakes. But here is what we learn from that mistake. Country and western music is about loss. Soul music is also about loss. But the difference is in country and western music, they've lost, they've given up and they are just all wining about it. In soul music they are struggling to get it back, they haven't given up.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Preceding the end credits is this tribute:

The women who inspired this story are sisters Laurel Robinson and Lois Peeler and their cousins Beverley Briggs and Naomi Mayers.

For over 40 years they have been active community leaders, working tirelessly to improve health and education for Aboriginal people.

Between them, they have 7 children, 10 grand children and 4 great grand children...

and they sing to them every day. See more »

Alternate Versions

The Australian version is slightly different (roughly 3 minutes longer) than the one shown in International Markets. It does not have a title card in the beginning of the movie explaining about the Aborigine people and that the film is based on a real story. On the other hand. several scenes are cut shorter by a few seconds in the International version, and the end title card is also different. While it describes in details what became of each character in real life, showing pictures of each of them individually, the Australian one briefly sums up their achievements as a whole. There's a final picture of the ladies as they look-like nowadays (shown in black and white in the International version and in color on the Australian one). See more »

Connections

Featured in Maltin on Movies: Trance (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Shouting Out Love
Written by Carl Smith (as Smith) and Lieutenant Wilkes (as Wilks)
Published by Irving Music, Inc.
Licensed by Universal Music Publishing Group Pty Limited
Performed by The Emotions
Courtesy of Concord Music Group, Inc.
Licensed courtesy of Universal Music Australia Pty Limited
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Four talents go from the fringe of Australia to the fringe of Vietnam...singing Mowtown!
13 October 2014 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

The Sapphires (2012)

Wow, can I just say, "super cute" and leave it at that? It's a total feel good story about four Aborigine Aussies who can sing! And they sing their way (via Motown and R&B) to Vietnam in front of American troops, who love it.

And so you have to love it. The music soars, the tragedy of the war is held out of view but is implied in different ways, and the abilities of these young women make it all heartwarming. And impressive. Against the odds kind of material.

The one additional actor who is key is Chris O'Dowd, playing a down on his luck musician. He sees, barely, the talent of these women and decides to "manage" them, which he really does pretty well, helping them apply to a contest. And so on, to the "top" of the short ladder they are climbing. There are no gold records here, just good music. O'Dowd is comic relief, but also at ease and stabilizing to the movie, adding a necessary second layer. A good fit.

That's the long and the short of it. The Sapphires were real (and at the end of the movie you see a tiny bit of the real women). They were a cover band, you might say, but a really sweet and talented cover band. And they chose music that had soul, that mattered to the times, the late 1960s. Good stuff. Just enjoy it.


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