A French intelligence agent becomes embroiled in the Cold War politics first with uncovering the events leading up to the 1962 Cuban Missle Crisis, and then back to France to break up an international Russian spy ring.

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(from the novel by), (screenplay) (as Samuel Taylor)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Frederick Stafford ...
Dany Robin ...
...
...
...
...
Claude Jade ...
...
Per-Axel Arosenius ...
...
Edmon Ryan ...
Sonja Kolthoff ...
Tina Hedström ...
Tamara Kusenov (as Tina Hedstrom)
John Van Dreelen ...
Donald Randolph ...
Luis Uribe (as Don Randolph)
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Storyline

A high ranking Russian official defects to the United States, where he is interviewed by US agent Michael Nordstrom. The defector reveals that a French spy ring codenamed "Topaz" has been passing NATO secrets to the Russians. Michael calls in his French friend and counterpart Andre Devereaux to expose the spies. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

1960s | cuba | agent | spy | intelligence | See All (94) »

Taglines:

Hitchcock takes you behind the actual headlines to expose the most explosive spy scandal of the century!

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

M | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

19 December 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alfred Hitchcock's Topaz  »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (edited)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Leon Uris wrote the first draft of the screenplay, but Alfred Hitchcock declared it unshootable at the last minute and called in Samuel A. Taylor (writer of Vertigo (1958)) to rewrite it from scratch. Some scenes were written just hours before they were shot. See more »

Goofs

After Juanita de Cordoba falls to the ground dead having just been shot with a .45 semi automatic, we see the hammer of the pistol down and not cocked. The slide would re-cock the hammer to be ready for the next shot or stay locked back if there were no more bullets in the clip. See more »

Quotes

Francois Picard: I've been shot...Just a little.
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Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: Somewhere in this crowd is a high Russian official who disagrees with his government's display of force and what it threatens. Very soon his conscience will force him to attempt an escape while apparently on a vacation with his family. Copenhagen, Denmark Nineteen Hundred Sixty-two See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Psycho Legacy (2010) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Suspenseful film from maestro Hitchcock with a confusing plot , thriller , intrigue , twists and turns
23 December 2012 | by See all my reviews

Good but no great Hitch film that maintains suspense level , including constant shift of scenarios keeps spectators on their toes . A French intelligence agent named Andre Deveraux (Frederick Stafford) befriends American official called Michael Nordstrom (John Forsythe) and both of whom become involved in the Cold War politics to dig out info , first with uncovering the events leading up to the 1962 Cuban Missle Crisis, and then back to France to discover a secret conspiracy . Andre travels to La Habana to obtain evidences of the Missiles , there meets his lover named Juanita Cordoba (Karin Dor who wears marvelous gowns by Edith Head and dubbed her own voice in the German Version) who is secretly embroiled with a local underground resistance whilst also being entangled in another way with Parra (John Vernon) . Meanwhile, an ex-KGB official defector flees to USA where he is interviewed and tells him about Topaz, the codename for a group of French officials in high circles who work for the Soviet Union , as the protagonists attempt to break up an international Russian spy ring (Philippe Noiret , Michel Piccoli) infiltrated in French government .

This suspenseful Hitchcock film contains cloak-and-dagger intrigue , whirlwind plot , thrills , twists and results to be pretty entertaining . Hitchcock takes you behind the actual headlines to expose the most explosive spy scandal of the century, though this was reportedly one of his most unhappy directing jobs , being Alfred's biggest failure , as it cost approximately $4,000,000 to make and received only $1,000,000 at the box office. According to Donald Spoto's book "The Art of Alfred Hitchcock: Fifty Years Of His Motion Pictures", Universal Pictures executives forced this project on Alfred Hitchcock. Overlong film as a running at 143 minutes, this is Alfred Hitchcock's longest film . The first draft of the script was hired Leon Uris to adapt his own novel , but Uris didn't care for Hitchcock's eccentric sense of humor, nor did he appreciate the director's habit of monopolizing all of his time as they worked through a script. Hitchcock was disappointed that Uris seemed to ignore his requests to humanize the story's villains , in his opinion the novel painted them as cardboard monsters , with only a partial draft completed, Uris left the film. Alfred declared it unshootable at the last minute and called in Samuel A. Taylor , writer of Vertigo , to rewrite it from scratch , as some scenes were written just hours before they were shot. According to Alfred Hitchcock, this was another of his experimental movies ; in addition to the dialogue, the plot is revealed through the use of colors, predominantly red, yellow and white , he admits that this did not work out. Good support cast mostly formed by European actors who give nice interpretations such as : Dany Robin as Nicole Devereaux , Vernon as Rico Parra , gorgeous Karin Dor as Juanita Cordoba , Michel Piccoli a Jacques Granville , Philippe Noiret as Henri Jarre , Claude Jade as Michèle Picard and Roscoe Lee Browne as Philippe Dubois . Of course , habitual Director Cameo , as Alfred Hitchcock appears about 30 minutes in at the airport getting out of a wheelchair . Emotive and sensitive score by Maurice Jarre , Jean Michel Jarre's father ; knowing that he had no ear for music, Alfred Hitchcock didn't even bother listening to Maurice Jarre's completed score for the film, slotting it onto the images without a quibble . Colorful and bright cinematography by excellent cameraman Jack Hildyard who photographed 'Bridge on the river Kai' and David Lean's usual . Appropriate production design by Henry Bumstead , Hitch's ordinary . This is a medium-to-rare Hitchcock picture in which was shot three versions with completely different endings , all are included in the Laserdisc , video , DVD and BluRays reissues.

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