Watched: June 28 2018
Director: Basil Dearden
Starring: Nigel Patrick, Michael Craig, Yvonne Mitchell, Paul Massie, Bernard Miles, Earl Cameron, Olga Lindo
Runtime: 1h 32min
A young woman is found murdered in Hampstead Heath with nothing to identify her but a monogrammed handkerchief. Investigators Hazard (Patrick) and Learoyd (Craig) identify her as Sapphire Robbins and start trying to find the truth behind her death.
They track down her devastated boyfriend, David Harris (Massie), and her big brother Dr Robbins (Cameron), but surprises keep coming. First off, the autopsy reveals that Sapphire was pregnant at the time of her death, and the investigators are then baffled when her brother comes in as he is black and Sapphire appeared to be white.
These new revelations lead to an investigation which encounters racism and prejudice, both from the white and black communities and even from within as not all investigators manage to stay neutral. But was her ethnic background motivation for murder? And if so, who was enraged enough by her “transition” from black to white to murder the young girl?
We love a good murder mystery, and we love it even more when it deals with real political and social issues. Sapphire may be from 1959 and deal with racism and prejudice in the wake of the first waves of Commonwealth immigration in Britain, but there are parallels to be drawn to recent debates considering Brexit.
We were also reminded of Sarah Jane although her and Sapphire’s stories are different and so are their societies. A great mystery movie with real social and political commentary, we can definitely recommend this.
What we learned: School teachers are very respectable and a bit above the rest. Thank you! Also, racism sucks and we need to stop this shit already!
Next time: Some Like it Hot (1959)