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.
A wealthy San Francisco socialite pursues a potential boyfriend to a small Northern California town that slowly takes a turn for the bizarre when birds of all kinds suddenly begin to attack people there in increasing numbers and with increasing viciousness.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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. See more »
While talking to the Mendozas before they leave for their picnic, in the first shot Juanita is leaning over a map with both hands on the table. In the very next shot she is standing straight with her hands in her pockets. See more »
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 »
Unfortunately, I'd only come across the weak ending version. Despite of that, it's a truly Hitchcockian film. The memorable scenes are pure and exclusively visual: the intriguing start, the stealing of the documents, the death of Juanita, the torturing of the cuban spies, the discovery of the body at Jarre's apartment, the meal of the french officers...
Hitchcock used to take technical challenges in every one of his films, I assume that here he committed to deliver the most complicated information concerning the plot without using dialogue, and he succeed.
There's a lot of subtle humor and some clever twists. The cuban officers are just great, absolutely surreal. I loved the atmosphere in that hotel room, with people doing paperwork, smoking cigars and drinking, and the detail of the hamburger wrapped in the document. I think the very broad differences in tone between the three main sections of the film affects the pace and the appreciation of the story as a whole.
It's amazing how Hitchcock managed to survive in it in the light of the multitude of trouble this film went through.
Watching the video version edited in Norway had its extra. Amazingly, all subtitles were delayed a good five, six minutes throughout the entire film, so you actually had text during the silent scenes and incongruities such as love words during killings.
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