TOPAZ (1969)













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Brief Movie Synopsis [courtesy of Turner Classic Movies]:

A French agent is sent to Cuba
to spy for the CIA.






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"It's perfectly apparent from its opening sequence that no one except
Alfred Hitchcock, the wise, round, supremely confident storyteller,
is in charge of Topaz. .... Topaz is not a conventional Hitchcock film. It's
rather too leisurely and the machinations of plot rather too convoluted to be
easily summed up in anything except a very loose sentence. Being pressed,
I'd say that it's about espionage as a kind of game, set in Washington,
Havana, and Paris at the time of the Cuban missile crisis, involving a number of dedicated people in acts of courage, sacrifice, and death, after which the survivors find themselves pretty much where they were when they started, except that they are older, tired, and a little less capable of being happy.
Topaz is, however, quite pure Hitchcock, a movie of beautifully composed
sequences. .... The film is so free of contemporary cinematic clich├ęs, so
reassuring in its choice of familiar espionage gadgetry (remote control cameras, geiger counters), that it tends to look extremely conservative,
politically. Topaz, however, is really above such things. It uses politics the
way Hitchcock uses actors—for its own ends, without making any real commitments to it. 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."

-- Excerpt from The New York Times; December 20, 1969











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