Pssst, want to check out Sapphire in our new look?
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I'd never heard of this. Very good, had me guessing until the end.
Basil Dearden isn't a flash director, but he must have had his finger on the pulse of the social change happening in the UK (and elsewhere) in the late '50s/early 60s, judging by the run of movies TCM recently aired in a row. Not knowing they were all from the same director, I DVRed the lot just based on synopses, and almost immediately, got the sense that within well-worn genre pieces, Dearden made films that were very topical. Sapphire, a procedural murder mystery, is particularly precise in its historical placement, on the border between the repressed, racist 50s, and the more liberal 60s, its murder victim a young girl of mixed race who passed for white, and thus might have drawn the ire of members of both communities. Some characters are stuck in the past, holding on to ancient prejudice, while others (including the head investigator played by Nigel Patrick) are more open-minded (and yet, one black character finds liberal whites sanctimonious and patronizing, it's not at all simple). I think one telling moment is when, after the girl's brother tells his story of a white boy making a particularly racist remark when he was young, he's almost run over by a kid on a bike who immediately apologizes and calls him sir. Things are changing, but in the resistance to change lies a murder. Lots of suspects, strong procedural elements, drama... but if you're C.S.I., full trigger warning: They sure didn't know how to handle evidence in the '50s!
to see which of your friends have seen this movie!