Topkapi (1964)

Unrated  |   |  Adventure, Comedy, Crime  |  2 September 1964 (France)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 6,063 users  
Reviews: 74 user | 28 critic

Caper film about the theft of a jeweled dagger from an Istanbul museum.



(screenplay), (based on the novel "The Light of Day")
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Jess Hahn ...
Hans Fisher
Gilles Ségal ...
Giulio the Human Fly
Titos Vandis ...
Harback (as Titos Wandis)
Ege Ernart ...
Maj. Ali Tufan
Senih Orkan ...
First Shadow
Ahmet Danyal Topatan ...
Second Shadow
Joe Dassin ...
Josef (as Joseph Dassin)
Despo Diamantidou ...


A small-time con-man with passport problems gets mixed up with a gang of world-class jewelry thieves plotting to rob the Topkapi museum in Istanbul. Turkish intelligence, suspecting arms smuggling, gets involved, and under pressure the con-man rises to heights he'd never dreamed of. Written by David Carroll <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

heist | museum | smuggling | caper | dagger | See All (63) »


Come on--you're cut in on the theft of the century! See more »


Unrated | See all certifications »


Official Sites:



| | | | |

Release Date:

2 September 1964 (France)  »

Also Known As:

A Topkapi kincse  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The title of the film refers to the Topkapi palace built by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II in 1459, after the fall of the Byzantine Empire.The Ottoman sultans made their main residence in the Topkapi palace for 400 years. It became a museum in 1924 and its hundreds of rooms contain numerous collections of historical and religious relics, treasures and jewelry. Topkapi means Cannon Gate in the Turkish language. See more »


When the agent (in glasses) is marking a photograph with red texter, several extra lines appear on the photograph without him having drawn them. See more »


[first lines]
Elizabeth Lipp: It can be done! That's the way it can be done! Aaah... oh, excuse me; I've just had a great idea - something I've been looking for a long time... a very long time.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the beginning, the title and the technical credits are shown, but no credit is given to the actors or to the producer-director. However, at the end, (spoiler) we suddenly see the words "There they go again!", and all of the leading actors appear in a snowbound setting, together with their names. Then the names of all of the other actors, together with the name of the producer-director, appear on the screen. See more »


The Stars and Stripes Forever
(uncredited) (1896)
Written by John Philip Sousa
Played when Elizabeth steps on Cedric's mock-up of the security platform
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Hard-to-beat in the big caper category. A fun film.
13 January 2001 | by (Peoria, Illinois) – See all my reviews

Before "Mission Impossible" made every big heist a challenge for technology, there were movie efforts like "Topkapi" which played the human element in the big scam.

A wonderful and truly international cast is assembled here for this 60's effort that showcases Istanbul. Melina Mercouri is marvelous, blending humor and sensuality with her hard side. Maximillian Schell is excellent as the leading man with all the answers while Peter Ustinov is the classic bumbler. Akim Tamiroff adds additional levity as the irascible cook.

Not sure I was totally satisfied with the outcome but it's such a rollicking and colorful ride, give director Jules Dassin top marks anyway.

21 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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