The Olympics has the gold medal. The county fair has the blue ribbon. International film festivals have Golden Palms, Golden Lions and Silver Bears (yes, really). All of those represent the very best (at least in the opinion of someone or some body of people). However, the Olympics also has silver and bronze medals. Fairs give out red, yellow and white ribbons for various degrees of excellence. Festivals bestow silver awards and some cleverly disguised designations (at Cannes the Grand Prix is actually the second place award).
The point of all of this is that winning the less than top prizes doesn’t make something bad, it’s just not the very best (in theory, anyway). The following films may be looked upon as the ones with the lesser prizes, so to speak. However, they all are interesting works, several from major artists, which can boast having a number of fine qualities and containing a variety of worthy elements. They, too, are worth a look.
1. Sapphire (1959)
Basil Dearden was a longtime staple of the British film industry, gamely directing whatever films came his way, such as the 1956 comedy “The Smallest Show on Earth” (a lovely small film). However, he had his auteur moments, if not career. Looking back over his work now, the thrillers he directed in the late 50s/early 60s which contained social undercurrents stand as his best and most heartfelt work.
Though his 1960 crime caper film ‘The League of Gentlemen” is a classic of its sub-genre, and 1961’s suspense film “Victim” was a landmark in its use of homosexuality in the then ultra-strict British society as a key plot point (and a turning point in the career of the great Dirk Bogarde), there was another finely made film which should also be remembered.
“Sapphire” is → continue…
From:: Taste Of Cinema