A conman gets mixed up with a group of thieves who plan to rob an Istanbul museum to retrieve a jeweled dagger.

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(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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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
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 ...
Voula
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Storyline

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 <davidc@atom.ansto.gov.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

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Release Date:

2 September 1964 (France)  »

Also Known As:

A Topkapi kincse  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Cited by Mission: Impossible (1966) TV series creator Bruce Geller as the inspiration for his own series. See more »

Goofs

On the roof where the heist takes place, the cameras shadow is cast on one of the actors. See more »

Quotes

[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.
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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 »

Connections

Referenced in Thick as Thieves (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
Sophisticated thieves attempt to pull off the perfect crime
22 December 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film involves a collection of rogues who set out to steal a fabulous jewel encrusted dagger from an Istanbul museum, protected by an "Indiana Jones" style nest of security features and traps, not knowing they are being watched by Turkish undercover agents mistakenly believing them to be terrorists.

Filmed on location in Turkey and Paris, this film is a droll sparkling delight, a skillful blending of humor and suspense, with a touch of the exotic, making, at times, magnificent use of Istanbul for its scenic backdrop. Unlike the same director's most famous heist film, the legendary Rififi, Topkapi is light hearted in tone, but its big heist sequence is genuinely ingenious and suspenseful.

Aside from the film's physical attractiveness with its color photography, much of its appeal lies with its cast of players, headed by Maximilian Schell as the mastermind behind the robbery, Melina Mercouri, Robert Morley, a spectacularly bizarre and slovenly Akim Tamiroff and, above all, Peter Ustinov as a small time hustler who becomes involved in the scheme. Ustinov's delightfully bumbling everyman (called a "schmo" by Schell when first spotting him) won him his second Academy Award as best supporting actor.


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