A French intelligence agent becomes embroiled in the Cold War politics first with uncovering the events leading up to the 1962 Cuban Missle Crisis, and then back to France to break up an international Russian spy ring.
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Some flickers of interest, to be fair, but a lifeless cast, over-complicated script and a fatal lack of tension in the final third sink the film.
Surprising that Hitchcock would settle for such lackluster results -- only Roscoe Lee Browne brings any spark to the proceedings.
On the other hand, Eastwood won Oscars for films only slightly more effervescent.
A lot of stupid minded characters in this one. Topaz made me think of how awesome it would have been if Hitchcock directed a similar veined (and, in my opinion, a far more engaging one) novel adaptation, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. I believe it would have been delightful. Instead, we have Topaz, which certainly isn't terrible, just a standard Cold War spy film. I liked it enough.
Some felt Hitchcock was losing his way come the late sixties, however I feel this is a very well put together film and hasn't been given its due credit. It's different for Hitchcock for sure, yet it has a grittiness to it, and a political edge that should be given kudos, no matter the director. He also refused to go with star power for this film, and so instead had faith and belief in the film's message alone.
>>> Certainement un des films les plus passables du grand metteur en scène britannique, avec "Le rideau déchiré" et "Pas de printemps pour Marnie", qui s'étire dans d'incroyables invraisemblances et de tortueuses justifications pseudo-politiques, d'une lourdeur pachydermiques. A voir toutefois par curiosité, mais c'est quelquefois d'un remarquable inintérêt et d'une pénible prétention... www.cinefiches.com
Uno degli Hitchcock che mi ha meno coinvolto;sembra sempre trascinarsi stancamente,non ha il ritmo e le scene che funzionano a perfezione nei suoi film,e i piani in interno sono eccessivamente velati,con un filtro che tende a patinare troppo il tutto. Il finale poi sembra davvero arrangiato,e non dà mai l'idea di fornire risposte esaurienti.Bello solo il pezzo del finto fioraio che ruba la valigetta.Film non riuscito
Despite its many flaws, this is still an engaging film because of Hitchcock's craftsmanship. It's actually pretty amazing that this mess of a story somehow ends up being coherent using his usual narrative tricks. The scene in which "François" interviews a Hitchcock-look-alike Philippe Noiret must be an inside joke.
Not a Hitchcock classic, but a thoroughly entertaining British spy movie, if one likes those kinds of things from this period. A strong central character never quite develops, but the middle Cuba section with John Vernon as a Castro-like figure has some particularly tense scenarios.