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 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>
A shot during the May Day parade sequence at the beginning of the film clearly reveals the parade to be taking place during the 50th anniversary of the October revolution (around the 1:29 mark), putting it in 1967 as opposed to 1961-63 when the story is supposed to have taken place. Therefore a person watching this parade could not have possibly defected to the USA and warned them of the Soviet missile deployment in Cuba (as is claimed in the beginning of the film). 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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