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A conman gets mixed up with a group of thieves who plan to rob an Istanbul museum to retrieve a jeweled dagger.

Director:

Jules Dassin

Writers:

Monja Danischewsky (screenplay), Eric Ambler (based on the novel "The Light of Day")
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Melina Mercouri ... Elizabeth Lipp
Peter Ustinov ... Arthur Simon Simpson
Maximilian Schell ... Walter Harper
Robert Morley ... Cedric Page
Jess Hahn ... Hans Fisher
Gilles Ségal Gilles Ségal ... Giulio the Human Fly
Akim Tamiroff ... Gerven - the Cook
Titos Vandis ... Harback (as Titos Wandis)
Ege Ernart Ege Ernart ... Maj. Ali Tufan
Senih Orkan ... First Shadow
Ahmet Danyal Topatan Ahmet Danyal Topatan ... Second Shadow
Joe Dassin Joe Dassin ... Josef (as Joseph Dassin)
Despo Diamantidou ... Voula
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Storyline

A small-time con-man with passport problems gets mixed up with a gang of world-class jewelry thieves plotting to rob the Topkapi museum in Istanbul. Turkish intelligence, suspecting arms smuggling, gets involved, and under pressure the con-man rises to heights he'd never dreamed of. Written by David Carroll <davidc@atom.ansto.gov.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Come on--you're cut in on the theft of the century! See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Turkish | German | Greek | Italian

Release Date:

2 September 1964 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

A Topkapi kincse See more »

Filming Locations:

Turkey See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$7,000,000, 31 December 1964
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Filmways Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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. See more »

Goofs

At runtime 00:57 when Arthur pulls the couch by a rope Elizabeth sits and lays in three different positions depending on which camera shows the scene. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Elizabeth Lipp: It can be done! That's the way it can be done! Aaah... oh, excuse me; I've just had a great idea - something I've been looking for a long time... a very long time.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the beginning, the title and the technical credits are shown, but no credit is given to the actors or to the producer-director. However, at the end, (spoiler) we suddenly see the words "There they go again!", and all of the leading actors appear in a snowbound setting, together with their names. Then the names of all of the other actors, together with the name of the producer-director, appear on the screen. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mission: Impossible: Pilot (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

The Stars and Stripes Forever
(uncredited) (1896)
Written by John Philip Sousa
Played when Elizabeth steps on Cedric's mock-up of the security platform
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Candy-colored heist flick...amusing, even if dissatisfaction clouds the final returns
28 March 2013 | by moonspinner55See all my reviews

Jules Dassin's film version of Eric Ambler's book "The Light of Day" seems more like a light-hearted variation of his French heist-drama "Rififi" from 1955. A glamorous Greek thief and her Swiss lover concoct an ingenious plan to rob an emerald-studded dagger from the Topkapi Museum in Istanbul with help from a disparate group of wily characters. Peter Ustinov (wonderful) received the Supporting Actor Oscar as a British con-artist in Turkey who is initially recruited by Turkish security to keep an eye on this raffish team. The picture works mostly on a visual level, with a bravura use of color coupled with spiky editing to propel the story. If only the screenplay had been wittier, Dassin and company might have turned out a masterpiece of the genre. The movie simply isn't as sharp or funny as one might hope. The heist sequence is breathlessly intricate, and the sardonic finale is also a dandy...and yet there is a puzzling feeling of dissatisfaction which hangs over the end results. **1/2 from ****


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