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Marianne

Topaz (1969) **spoilers**

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Topaz was a little long, but it held my interest. The different European locations and the fact that it didn’t include any stars are sometimes mentioned as reasons not to like the film, but fewer distractions allowed me to focus on the story, which was a great mix of character details and international espionage. I thought it worked really well.

 

I especially liked the overhead shot of Juanita de Cordoba falling, after being shot by Rico Parra, with her beautiful purple dress spreading out around her, as though it were a stand-in for her blood. And there are plenty of other shots/reasons to watch Topaz.

 

Topaz reminded me of Hitchcock’s spy thrillers from the 1930s. They also didn’t have big Hollywood stars, but I enjoyed them, too. One of my favorites is Sabotage. If you enjoyed the earlier spy thrillers, I think Topaz is worth a look.

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I agree with you -- I've always liked "Topaz."  I remember seeing it at the theater when I was about 12 and the purple dress scene always stuck with me!  Years later when it was on TV, I'd forgotten the title, but I started watching it because I liked John Forsythe.  It seemed familiar and when they got to Cuba, I knew it was the movie I remembered with the purple dress!  I still always watch it when its on TV and I agree that it is similar to Hitchcock's earlier spy thrillers.  I particularly like "The 39 Steps," "Sabateur," "The Man Who Knew Too Much" (both versions), and "The Lady Vanishes."  I also like "Torn Curtain," but now that I've heard some of Bernard Herrmann's score for it, I think it would have been much better if Hitchcock had used that score.

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