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Sapphire is a 1959 British crime drama. It focuses on racism in London toward immigrants from the West Indies and explores the "underlying insecurities and fears of ordinary people" that exist towards another race.[1] The film was directed by Basil Dearden and stars Nigel Patrick, Earl Cameron and Yvonne Mitchell. It received the BAFTA Award for Best Film and screenwriter Janet Green won a 1960 Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for Best Foreign Film Screenplay.[2] It was considered a progressive movie for its time.[3]

Sapphire
Sapphireposter.jpg
UK release poster
Directed byBasil Dearden
Produced byMichael Relph
Earl St. John (executive producer)
Written byJanet Green
StarringNigel Patrick
Yvonne Mitchell
Michael Craig
Paul Massie
Earl Cameron
Bernard Miles
Music byPhilip Green
CinematographyHarry Waxman
Edited byJohn D. Guthridge
Release date
  • 21 April 1959 (1959-04-21) (United Kingdom)
Running time
92 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish

Earl Cameron, who played the part of Sapphire's brother,[1] would appear two years later in another English film dealing with racial issues, the 1961 film Flame in the Streets.[4]

Contents

PlotEdit

The body of a pregnant young woman is found stabbed on Hampstead Heath. Although she appears to be white, when her brother (Earl Cameron) arrives at the police station to give evidence, the investigating police officers see that he is black. He confirms that he and Sapphire were both the children of a white father and a black mother, but Sapphire has recently been passing for white.[5] Sapphire's white boyfriend, a student, immediately becomes the chief suspect, but, as the investigation proceeds, other aspects of Sapphire's life in London bring to light other possible suspects.

CastEdit


Critical receptionEdit

The New York Times wrote, "If "Sapphire" is not entirely in a class by itself, the combination of murder mystery and racial issues puts it several interesting cuts above standard movie melodrama."[6]

Paperback novelizationEdit

In April 1959, Panther Books of London issued a screenplay novelization by prolific mystery and thriller novelist E.G. Cousins.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b screenonline Sapphire (1959)
  2. ^ Awards for Sapphire on IMDb
  3. ^ "Britmovie.co.uk".
  4. ^ Britmovie.co.uk Flame in the Streets Archived 21 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ Britmovie.co.uk Features, Sapphire (1959) by David Cairns
  6. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9D01E2D7133CE63BBC4B53DFB7678382649EDE

External linksEdit