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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

Leon Uris wrote the first draft of the screenplay, but Sir Alfred Hitchcock declared it unshootable at the last minute, and called in Samuel A. Taylor (writer of Vertigo (1958)) to re-write it from scratch. Some scenes were written just a few hours before they were shot. See more »

Goofs

The Kusenovs arrive in the US in a USAF C-135 marked "Military Airlift Command". The movie is set in 1962 but that organization did not come into existence until 1966. The aircraft should have been marked "Military Air Transport Service". See more »

Quotes

Philippe Dubois: I think I'll go as a reporter. I'm loaded with press cards. Ebony, Playboy, Newsweek...
Andre Devereaux: Ebony.
Philippe Dubois: I think Playboy is more my style.
Andre Devereaux: [shakes head] Ebony.
Philippe Dubois: Man, you're square!
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

In an earlier version Andre' Deveraux and Granville, the Russian spy, agree to have an old fashioned duel with pistols in an empty stadium. But before the duel begins, Granville is shot in the back by a Russian sniper to silence him. This finale was deleted and a new one shot, because early audiences didn't like it. These scenes were considered lost for many years, until director Richard Franklin discovered that they had been lying for years in a can in Hitchcock's garage and were given by his daughter to the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences after her father's death. See more »

Connections

Referenced in 500 Questions: Episode #2.5 (2016) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The French Connection
2 April 2004 | by ecarleSee all my reviews

One aspect of "Topaz" that should be kept in mind is that while American and British critics were belittling Hitchcock as a "mere entertainer," the French New Wave critics, led by Francois Truffaut, were lionizing him and Truffaut even published a book-long interview with Hitchcock published in 1967.

Hitchcock hadn't worked in years and was desperately trying to get another movie going when Universal showed him the book "Topaz" -- about spies in the French government, with a French protagonist and climactic scenes in Paris. I think that Hitchcock may have -- unwisely -- decided to do "Topaz" so he could do a "French picture."

There are some great individual scenes in Topaz -- the opening defection in Copenhagen, the suspenseful mission to get secrets from the Cubans in Harlem's Hotel Theresa (Hitchcock in Harlem?!); the hero's dangerous mission into Cuba and the death of his key contact there.

But Hitchcock really didn't like making "Topaz," he was bored and ill and resentful (Universal had killed a project called "Frenzy" -- not to be confused with the 1972 film he made of that name -- and Hitchcock was bitter about it.)

So we end up with a very half-hearted Hitchcock movie with a few good scenes, no real stars, THREE failed endings (all available to see on the DVD), and an attempt to "make nice with my French friends."


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