The Sapphires


The Sapphires is set in 1969 and tells the story of the McCrae sisters, four Aboriginal singers from country Victoria whose biggest dream is to become as famous as their Motown idols.

The film is an adaptation of the stage musical, when four talented singers from a remote Aboriginal mission are discovered by an unlikely talent scout. Plucked from obscurity and branded as Australia’s answer to The Supremes, The Sapphires grasp the chance of a lifetime when they’re offered their first real gig – entertaining the troops in Vietnam.

The Sapphires is a feel-good film "full of rousing soul standards" , but also more than just a story about 4 young women discovering love and tragedy in a war zone.

Within a comic framework, it talks about the obstacles they have to overcome as Aboriginal people in a country that had only just given them the right to vote.

The next journey for us now within filmmaking - within our storytelling - is to show the sense of humour that us blackfellas have in spades.

— Deborah Mailman

The Sapphires has it all – a great story with lots of love and laughter, set against the backdrop of the social upheaval of the late 1960’s, a wonderful cast and crew and an unbeatable soul music soundtrack.

— Troy Lum, managing director, Hopscotch Films

The Sapphires trailers


Deborah Mailman - Gail McCrae
Jessica Mauboy - Julie McCrae
Shari Sebbens - Kay McCrae
Miranda Tapsell - Cynthia McCrae
Chris O'Dowd - Dave
Eka Darville - Hendo
Tory Kittles - Robby
Georgina Haig - Glynnis
Don Battee - Myron Ritchie / Promoter
T.J. Power - Lt. Jenson
Rhys Muldoon - Uncle Ed
Beau Brady - Marine Sergeant
Judith Lucy - Merle
Kylie Belling - Geraldine
Amy Miller-Porter - Vera
Jackson Heywood - Hospital Marine
Release dates
2012 - Australia (Premiere at the Melbourne International Film Festival on 2/9/2012)
Video/DVD release date
PG - Parental guidance
Hopscotch Films
<a href="/resources/music/soundtracks-of-aboriginal-movies">Various artists</a>

The Sapphires is based on the popular stage play of the same name by Tony Briggs.

The film was shot on location on the Murray River at Albury, at Sydney and in Vietnam.

It took $14.47 million at the box office in 2012, putting it into 14th place of the most successful Australian films and the biggest Australian film of 2012.

Choreographed by Bangarra Dance Theatre's director Stephen Page.

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View article sources (1)

[1] [1a] 'Songbirds bare their soul', The Sun Herald 15/7/2012

Cite this page

Korff, J 2022, The Sapphires, <>, retrieved 17 June 2024

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