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Topkapi (1964) Poster

(1964)

Trivia

Cited by Mission: Impossible (1966) TV series creator Bruce Geller as the inspiration for his own series.
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.
Six weeks after the release of this film, a real-life heist took place at a New York City museum. Although 22 gems were stolen, they were recovered within 48 hours.
One of director Christopher Nolan's favorite movies.
Eric Ambler's "The Light of Day" (1962), upon which this film 'based, is narrated by Arthur Simpson, the character played by Peter Ustinov in the film. Ambler also wrote a sequel, "Dirty Story" (1967), in which Arthur continues to relate his adventures, this time as a reluctant mercenary in Africa.
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Jules Dassin originally planned to cast Peter Sellers as Arthur Simpson and hoped to cast Orson Welles as Cedric Page. Welles refused this role and Sellers later dropped out, to be replaced by Peter Ustinov (whom Sellers had, in turn, replaced in The Pink Panther (1963).
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In the Turkish language the title is not actually 'Topkapi'. The way it's pronounced in the movie is all wrong..
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Richard Widmark, who had worked with Jules Dassin during his blacklisted period, was announced for the Maximilian Schell role in January 1963.
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Early in the film when Peter Ustinov talks to tourists, he says, "Je parle Belgique" ("I speak Belgian"). A decade later he would play legendary Belgian detective Hercule Poirot.
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After working with him on "Dr. Strangelove", Peter Sellers suggested Peter Bull for the role of Cedric Page. Jules Dassin instead gave the part to Bull's closest friend, Robert Morley.
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For his performance in this film, Peter Ustinov earned his second Oscar Awards for Best Supporting Actor. He previously won the said award four years ago in the film Spartacus (1960).
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