UK release poster
|Directed by||Basil Dearden|
Earl St. John (executive producer)
|Written by||Janet Green|
|Music by||Philip Green|
|Edited by||John D. Guthridge|
Sapphire is a 1959 British crime drama. It focused on racism in London toward immigrants from the West Indies. 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. It was a progressive movie for its time.
Earl Cameron who played the part of Dr Robbins, Sapphire's brother, would appear two years later in another English film dealing with racial issues, the 1961 film Flame in the Streets.
Dearden and Green later also collaborated on another "social problem" film, Victim, although this one was focused on blackmail of gay men before the passage of the Sexual Offences Act 1967 provided limited decriminalisation of male homosexuality.
The film is about a pregnant girl found stabbed on Hampstead Heath. Although she appears to be white, her brother (Earl Cameron) arrives at the police station to give evidence and he is black. It becomes evident to the police officers the girl has been passing for white. This film reveals the underlying insecurities and fears of ordinary people that exist towards another race.
- Nigel Patrick as Superintendent Robert Hazard
- Michael Craig as Inspector Phil Learoyd
- Yvonne Mitchell as Mildred
- Paul Massie as David Harris
- Bernard Miles as Ted Harris
- Olga Lindo as Mrs. Harris
- Earl Cameron as Dr. Robbins
- Gordon Heath as Paul Slade
- Jocelyn Britton as Patsy
- Harry Baird as Johnnie Fiddle
- Orlando Martins as Barman
- Rupert Davies as Jack Ferris
- Yvonne Buckingham as Sapphire Robbins
- Robert Adams as Horace Big Cigar
- Freda Bamford as Sergeant Cook
- Philip Lowrie as Student
- Boscoe Holder as Dancer in Nightclub (uncredited)
- Basil Dignam as Doctor Burgess (uncredited)
- Fenella Fielding as Lingerie Shop Manageress (uncredited)
- Lloyd Reckord (uncredited)
In April 1959, Panther Books of London issued a screenplay novelization by prolific mystery and thriller novelist E.G. Cousins.
- Sapphire at the Internet Movie Database
- Sapphire at Rotten Tomatoes
- A. H. Weiler, "The Screen: 'Sapphire'; British Crime Story Opens at Sutton" (review), The New York Times, 3 November 1959.