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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:

It's for Thursday, darling, in Istanbul...we've got a leather vest, a surgeon's lamp, a suction cup and a boy-scout knot, also a mastermind, an electronics genius - and a schmo. 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

After working with him on "Dr. Strangelove", Peter Sellers suggested Peter Bull for the role of Cedric Page. Jules Dassin instead gave the part to Bull's closest friend, Robert Morley. See more »

Goofs

When the team members are watching the wrestling matches before the heist, Mercouri's hairstyle changes from shot to shot (pulled back, loose) 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 Sliders: To Catch a Slider (1999) 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
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Lots of fun and thrills in this colourful tongue in cheek heist adventure.
23 October 2003 | by InfofreakSee all my reviews

Jules Dassin directed the classic hard-boiled 'Rififi' in the mid-50s. Ten years later he's at the heist genre again, but 'Topkapi' is a very different kind of movie. Gone is the realism and darkness of 'Rififi', which influenced many subsequent crime thrillers. Instead we have a good old fashioned adventure, which is quite tongue in cheek and very colourful and fun. The eclectic ensemble cast are all very good - Dassin's wife Melina Mercouri, Maximilian Schell, Robert Morley, and especially a knockout performance from Peter Ustinov, an actor I usually have little time for. The robbery sequence was "borrowed" thirty years later by Brian De Palma for 'Mission Impossible', but 'Topkapi' is the better of the two movies by far.


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