6.3/10
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101 user 49 critic

Topaz (1969)

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.

Director:

Alfred Hitchcock

Writers:

Leon Uris (from the novel by), Samuel A. Taylor (screenplay) (as Samuel Taylor)
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3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Frederick Stafford ... Andre Devereaux
Dany Robin ... Nicole Devereaux
John Vernon ... Rico Parra
Karin Dor ... Juanita de Cordoba
Michel Piccoli ... Jacques Granville
Philippe Noiret ... Henri Jarre
Claude Jade ... Michele Picard
Michel Subor ... Francois Picard
Per-Axel Arosenius Per-Axel Arosenius ... Boris Kusenov
Roscoe Lee Browne ... Philippe Dubois
Edmon Ryan ... McKittreck
Sonja Kolthoff Sonja Kolthoff ... Mrs. Kusenov
Tina Hedström Tina Hedström ... Tamara Kusenov (as Tina Hedstrom)
John Van Dreelen ... Claude Martin
Donald Randolph Donald Randolph ... Luis Uribe (as Don Randolph)
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Storyline

A high ranking Russian official defects to the U.S., where he is interviewed by U.S. Agent Michael Nordstrom. The defector reveals that a French spy ring codenamed "Topaz" has been passing N.A.T.O. secrets to the Russians. Michael calls in his French friend and counterpart Andre Devereaux to expose the spies. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Hitchcock takes you behind the actual headlines to expose the most explosive spy scandal of the century! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish | French | Russian

Release Date:

19 December 1969 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alfred Hitchcock's Topaz See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (edited)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Yves Montand and his wife Simone Signoret were offered the roles of Andre and Nicole Devereaux, but declined them. See more »

Goofs

The position and numbers of the pencils in the mug on Jarré's desk, when Picard interviews him, varies between shots. See more »

Quotes

Michele Picard: Oh, the Cubans. I love the Cubans. They are so wild!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »

Alternate Versions

Three alternative endings:
  • The Duel
  • The Airport
  • The Suicide
See more »

Connections

Featured in 78/52: Hitchcock's Shower Scene (2017) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Atypical Hitchcock
10 August 2000 | by patrick.hunterSee all my reviews

Like so many Hollywood talents, Hitchcock was stereotyped. Also like so many Hollywood talents, whenever he tried to escape stereotyping, he would get criticized. That certainly was the case with TOPAZ. Although not as humorous, nor as romantic, nor even as exciting as the director's best films, the movie is nonetheless an intelligent and intriguing spy drama, one that compares more to a motion picture like DAY OF THE JACKYL than usual Hitchcock fare.

His other spy dramas, like NORTH BY NORTHWEST, may be more fun, but none of them are as realistic. In fact, very few spy films have the authenticity as TOPAZ. The story is based on fact. In 1962, a Russian top-level KGB defector informed the U.S. that some very high-level French diplomats, in a group called "Sapphire", were selling secrets to the Soviet Union. TIME Magazine printed this story in April 26, 1968, and did so using the same source that Leon Uris did: the U.S. sympathizing (and exiled) former Chief of French Intelligence, Philippe Thyraud de Vosjoli.

Incidentally, a viewer needs to know the chronology and key events surrounding the 1962 Cuban Missile Crises as background, or else the film will be confusing. I suspect many critics condemn it because it's easier for them to dismiss the film rather than confront their own ignorance.

Not that this movie is without weaknesses. Hitchcock was no realist, and the grim world of films like THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD is probably the type of ambiance it should have presented, but doesn't. However, I definitely join the camp of those who consider it underrated. I read writers on Hitchcock who unthinkingly rank TOPAZ with his worst stuff, and yet many of us prefer it over THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY, MR. AND MRS. SMITH, and other Hitchcock works that don't get castigated as nearly as much. I can't help but suspect they receive less criticism because they are more typical Hitchcock. This film is atypical Hitchcock, so readjust your expectations accordingly.


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