Topaz (1969)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

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Movie Info

This Alfred Hitchcock film is based on a novel by Leon Uris. Frederick Stafford plays Andre Devereaux, a French agent assigned to snoop around Cuba in the months prior to the 1962 missile crisis. Someone is supplying Castro with NATO secrets; it is up to Devereaux to liquidate the "mole."

Rating: PG (violence)
Genre: Action & Adventure , Mystery & Suspense , Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Samuel A. Taylor, Samuel Taylor, Samuel A.Taylor
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 6, 2001
Runtime:
Universal Pictures

Cast


as Andre Devereaux

as Michael Nordstrom

as Nicole Devereaux

as Rico Parra

as Juanita De Cordoba

as Jacques Granville

as Henri Jarre

as Michele Picard

as Francois Picard

as Philippe Dubois

as Boris Kusenov

as McKittreck

as Mrs. Kusenov

as Tamara Kusenov

as Claude Martin

as Luis Uribe

as Hernandez

as Mr. Mendoza

as Mrs. Mendoza

as Thomas

as Rene d'Arcy

as Emile Redon

as Jean Chabrier

as Man in Wheelchair

as Luis Uribe

as American Official
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Critic Reviews for Topaz

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (3)

Topaz is not only most entertaining. It is, like so many Hitchcock films, a cautionary fable by one of the most moral cynics of our time.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Variety
Top Critic

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

One of Hitchcock's weaker films, this Cold War espionage tale lacks tension and suspense but it bears some artistic merits, including color scheme.

Full Review… | March 7, 2013
EmanuelLevy.Com

The muddled Samuel Taylor screenplay smelled so bad I wouldn't wrap fish in it.

Full Review… | January 10, 2008
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Not Hitchcock's best work, but Hitchcock nevertheless.

October 5, 2006
ColeSmithey.com

Audience Reviews for Topaz

½

I had heard that, among the lesser films of Hitchcock's filmography, this was basically the bottom of the barrel, and you know what? That's not completely wrong.

Now, it's not a terrible film per se, but it certainly doesn't have a lot going for it. The plot is the old Cold War spy intrigue/mole hunt sort of thing, with emphasis on a French operative diving into Soviet and Cuban dealings around the time of the Cuban Missle Crisis. The storyline is heavily fact based, and as a result, is pretty cut and dried, and not really as compelling as it should be.

It doesn't help that Hitch made a lot of films like this already, most of them better, and ones I saw before this one. Even though it has ties to reality, the film is dull, not engaging, and kind of a bore. I really didn't care what was happening most of the time, and that's really not a good sign considering the film's long running time.

The film's not all bad though. It has a lot of merit from a technical standpoint, with some good locations, sets, and camerawork. Maurice Jarre's score is also really good, and probably the film's highlight, aside from the film scene Karin Dor is in. Speaking of actors, this could probably have benefited from some serious star power. That wouldn't be a guarantee that it would've helped, but you never know. I do think the highlight as far as acting goes to John Vernon, and his portrayal of a Cuban revolutionary is both bewildering and awesome. I t probably wouldn't fly today, and, while I'm not sure why they got a Canadian to play a Cuban, I won't complain either, as I think Vernon was a solid character actor.

All in all, the film is just kinda 'meh'. I mostly just think the film falls because it all feels very routine and phoned in. Of course, when you're Hitchcock, I guess it's okay to not be on the top of your game all the time...even though it happened to him a few times, especially during the latter years. See it if you want, but just know that its reputation is pretty true.

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cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

½

Hitchcock most European film is very interesting look at the Cold War.

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Graham Jones
Graham Jones

Super Reviewer

Topaz isn't all bad but it's certainly not one of Hitchcock's best. I liked the way the agent with a double life was portrayed in the film and unlike a lot of the critics at the time, I'm glad it starred reasonably unknown actors for a change. The lunch scene towards the end of the film was quite good as was the 'florist' scene but these are all just echos from a director who just wasn't as great towards his later films.

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SirPant
Anthony Lawrie

Super Reviewer

Topaz Quotes

– Submitted by George P (16 months ago)
– Submitted by George P (16 months ago)
– Submitted by George P (16 months ago)
– Submitted by George P (16 months ago)

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