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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
An early scene is portrayed in a department store "Den Permanente". In Torn Curtain (1966), there is a poster for this same store, displayed when Julie Andrews climbs to the top of the stairs to enter the bookstore. See more »
Later in the film, as the camera pushes through the open front door into the house party, the closed door to the left of the screen can be seen to slide out of the way before it has gone out of shot (allowing the camera to continue forward). 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 »
Serviceable, workmanlike spy thriller that will never end up in anyone's "Top 10 Hitchcock films" list
"Topaz" is at its best when Alfred Hitchcock lets the camera tell the story: there are several small but brilliant moments in this film. But while his direction is still masterful, his pacing certainly isn't - the film often feels talky and plodding. The abrupt ending is another problem - one of the alternative endings, the airport one, sounds much better (unfortunately I haven't had the chance to see it yet). Frederick Stafford is no Cary Grant or even Rod Taylor, but he does the job; so do the rest of the actors, with Phillipe Noiret a standout in a brief role and Karin Dor adding a touch of sensuality to the proceedings. On the whole, "Topaz" is not even among Hitchcock's Top 10 pictures, but his fans will still have fun spotting his touches here and there. His cameo - a wheelchair-bound man who suddenly gets up and starts walking (!) - is just one of them. (**1/2)
EDIT: I finally did see the airport ending: it is undeniably better than the present one, but still a bit too abrupt.
25 of 29 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this