A French intelligence agent becomes embroiled in the Cold War politics first with uncovering the events leading up to the 1962 Cuban Missile 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 <email@example.com>
After Leon Uris left the film, Alfred Hitchcock asked Arthur Laurents if he was interested in working with Hitchcock on the script of Topaz. But Arthur Laurents refused. So Hitchcock called Samuel A. Taylor to work on the script. One of the difficulties Hitchcock and Samuel Taylor faced was they didn't have enough time to work on the script. According to the book "The A-Z of Hitchcock", Samuel Taylor had to continue writing throughout the shooting. See more »
In the scene with the Soviet military parade, the archival footage of Lenin's mausoleum is reversed, with his name appearing backwards. 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 »
Based on Leon Uris' novel of the same name about the tense days of the Cuban missile crisis, Alfred Hitchcock's `Topaz' is an underrated cold-war thriller - - underrated by English-speaking audiences and critics probably because the chief protagonist is a Frenchman! The first half of the movie is especially exciting, starting as it does with the defection (very realistically filmed) of a top Soviet official to the U.S, who hints at the existence of Soviet missiles in Cuba.. Frederick Stafford very adequately plays Andre Deveraux, the French trade official with Cuban connections whose help is requested by the Americans. Karin Dor is excellent as his beautiful Cuban paramour. Hitchcock's initial portrayal of Castro's Cuba is that of a rather benign place, but quickly changes to a frightening place later in the movie when the director clearly delineates the full brutality of his terrible regime. Deveraux's allies in Cuba are tortured and killed. The last third of the film, set in France, is not as exciting. The movie takes it own time exposing the members of the Topaz spy ring. The transition of the action from Cuba to France is abrupt and is another weakness of this flick. Maybe, `Topaz' should have been filmed in 2 parts, one about the Cuban missile crisis and another about French fellow-travellers! This is, perhaps, the only movie in which Hitchcock seems to show some sympathy towards those who get murdered, as evidenced by the final scene, which shows the ironical contrast between the superficial newspaper headline about the Cuban missile crisis ending and the grim fates of the unsung secret agents who helped end it. `Topaz' is one of the best cold-war movies ever made. Critics should re-evaluate it. But it is only a good Hitchcock movie, not his best.
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