Sapphire (1959)

Not Rated   |    |  Crime, Drama, Mystery


Sapphire (1959) Poster

The murder of a young woman in London exposes deep racial tensions and prejudices inherent in the area.


7.1/10
1,360

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12 March 2007 | robertconnor
7
| Bold For Its Time
When a young woman's body is discovered on London's Hampstead Heath, the ensuing investigation quickly focuses on racial bigotry and hatred in 1950s Britain, exposing the prejudice amongst those under investigation AND those investigating.

Like so many other films from the 1940s and 1950s, Sapphire is yet another piece of groundbreaking British cinema now long forgotten. A little clunky and overly reliant on stereotyping by today's standards, but still a fascinating exploration of the fears and struggles inherent in a newly mixed-race society. Dearden has brought together an interesting cast here, cleverly giving matinée idol Craig a fairly unsympathetic role as a racist police officer, and being superbly served by Mitchell - her final scene is at once both compelling and distressing. Too many British cinema actors of the 40's and 50's have now been forgotten, and Mitchell is a prime example of why individual and collective reappraisals and retrospectives are long overdue.

Interesting companion piece to 1961's Flame In The Streets, then, and definitely worth catching if you can.

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