Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Recommended Posts

Alfred Hitchcock's "Topaz" (1969) it's an interesting but flawed film.  I always thought it was probably Hitchcok's dullest movie until I re watched on blu ray.  It's better than I remember- the blu ray has Hitcchock's original long cut with the the three different endings as extra.  The first problem is the episodic script about spies during the cold war.   We never really care about Deveraux( Fredrick Stafford) he seems send other people to do his spy work and there is never any sense that he is really in danger. The best part of the movie to me was the section set in Cuba with Karin Dor and John Vernon who give the best performances.  Dor's memorable final scene in the visual highlight of the movie.  The other major problem is the cast- after dealing with a demanding Paul Newman in "Torn Curtain" - Hitchcock cast this with good actor who lack star charisma. This is specially a problem with Stafford- I can imagine Louis Jourdan or someone less stiff in the lead.  This is specially true in the final section set in France dealing with the unmasking of "Topaz" the Russian's agent working in the French government.   The movie lacks action and seems to be made of endless conversation about stuff we don't care about.  Hitchcock's original ending was a duel that for reasons preview audiences did not like. The other endings are not very exciting either.  But even with it's weakness any film by Hitchcock is worth watching.

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I like this film very much and consider it one of Hitchcock's best from the 60s & 70s. It feels a bit more politically relevant than more lauded works like PSYCHO and THE BIRDS. 

Stafford is a very handsome man, and I think he does fine...though I can't help but think he was cast because he looks a bit like a younger Cary Grant. I wouldn't be surprised if the script was devised with the idea of luring Grant out of retirement. 

John Forsythe gives another dependable performance and of course he'd worked with Hitch previously on THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY. 

I agree that the Cuban sequence is the best part of this film, especially the graphic death scene which seems more artistic than brutal. 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, TopBilled said:

I like this film very much and consider it one of Hitchcock's best from the 60s & 70s. It feels a bit more politically relevant than more lauded works like PSYCHO and THE BIRDS. 

Stafford is a very handsome man, and I think he does fine...though I can't help but think he was cast because he looks a bit like a younger Cary Grant. I wouldn't be surprised if the script was devised with the idea of luring Grant out of retirement. 

John Forsythe gives another dependable performance and of course he'd worked with Hitch previously on THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY. 

I agree that the Cuban sequence is the best part of this film, especially the graphic death scene which seems more artistic than brutal. 

Stafford does look like Grant but he lacks Grant's star charisma.  He is closer to John Gavin.  Maybe you are right and Hitchcock might have wanted Grant. The problem I have with the Deveraux story line is that he is never in any real danger not even in Cuba- but Hitchcock seems to want to avoid any real action scene- we never see son in law's encounter with the Russian agents.  Forsythe is as usual dependable but dull. I kept hoping he turned out to be Deverauxe's lover ! I mean he keeps interrupting the relationship with the boring French wife- another role that would have benefited from a star.  The only two characters who are really alive are Juanita and Parra.  Vernon give a specially charismatic perfomance and he looks great in blu ray. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, jaragon said:

Stafford does look like Grant but he lacks Grant's star charisma.  He is closer to John Gavin.  Maybe you are right and Hitchcock might have wanted Grant. The problem I have with the Deveraux story line is that he is never in any real danger not even in Cuba- but Hitchcock seems to want to avoid any real action scene- we never see son in law's encounter with the Russian agents.  Forsythe is as usual dependable but dull. I kept hoping he turned out to be Deverauxe's lover ! I mean he keeps interrupting the relationship with the boring French wife- another role that would have benefited from a star.  The only two characters who are really alive are Juanita and Parra.  Vernon give a specially charismatic perfomance and he looks great in blu ray. 

Forsythe also gives a dependable performance in the thriller IN COLD BLOOD (1967) from the same period. Then Forsythe turns up as Jean Simmons' perfect but unloving husband in THE HAPPY ENDING (1969). Forsythe had become typecast in television roles, where he was enormously successful...but somehow he managed to keep his movie career going by landing parts in big budget "A" films with top directors (probably the roles nobody else wanted).

Of course Forsythe had the last laugh...because in the early 2000s, he was paid $5 million to do the voice-over work for the title character in the CHARLIE'S ANGELS movies.  

***

By the way, Stafford has a very sexy backside. 

Gregory Peck, who had worked with Hitch before and was far from retired in 1969, might have been a more bankable star in Stafford's place.

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, TopBilled said:

orsythe also gives a dependable performance in the thriller IN COLD BLOOD (1967) from the same period. Then Forsythe turns up as Jean Simmons' perfect but unloving husband in THE HAPPY ENDING (1969). Forsythe had become typecast in television roles, where he was enormously successful...but somehow he managed to keep his movie career going by landing parts in big budget "A" films with top directors (probably the roles nobody else wanted).

Of course Forsythe had the last laugh...because in the early 2000s, he was paid $5 million to do the voice-over work for the title character in the CHARLIE'S ANGELS movies.  

***

By the way, Stafford has a very sexy backside. 

Gregory Peck, who had worked with Hitch before and was far from retired in 1969, might have been a more bankable star in Stafford's place.

Forsythe had a long career for a reason - he was the reliable mid 20th century American male type.    Stafford is an attractive man but he seems to be sleep walking in "Topaz" he seems a bit more exciting playing the french James Bond. 

I thought Gregory Peck as the lead for "Topaz" but how was he going to play Deveraux? He is too American

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

I would have replaced actress Dany Robin with Catherine Deneuve in main female lead role. Sean Connery is my choice  to replace Fredrick Stafford in the main male role. Sean Connery  work with Hitchcock  before in the picture MARNIE (1964). Sean Connery has the added advantage, because he has worked with actress Karin Dor  in the action packed  movie YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE(1967). My other candidates for main male role are Alain Delon, Michael Caine ( THE IPCRESS FILE 1965) and Patrick McGoohan  (SECRET AGENT MAN). Sean Connery and Catherine Deneuve would be major upgrades for this picture and help bring some needed star power to this film. Alfred Hitchcock and Catherine Deneuve would have created movie magic together on the big screen. Catherine Deneuve would followed  the tradition of great leading ladies like Ingrid Bergman, Joan Fontaine , Grace Kelly and Eva Marie Saint.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/30/2020 at 3:48 PM, cinemaman said:

I would have replaced actress Dany Robin with Catherine Deneuve in main female lead role. Sean Connery is my choice  to replace Fredrick Stafford in the main male role. Sean Connery  work with Hitchcock  before in the picture MARNIE (1964). Sean Connery has the added advantage, because he has worked with actress Karin Dor  in the action packed  movie YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE(1967). My other candidates for main male role are Alain Delon, Michael Caine ( THE IPCRESS FILE 1965) and Patrick McGoohan  (SECRET AGENT MAN). Sean Connery and Catherine Deneuve would be major upgrades for this picture and help bring some needed star power to this film. Alfred Hitchcock and Catherine Deneuve would have created movie magic together on the big screen. Catherine Deneuve would followed  the tradition of great leading ladies like Ingrid Bergman, Joan Fontaine , Grace Kelly and Eva Marie Saint.

Good choices specially Deneuve who would have been a classic Hitchcock blonde. Alain Delon good choice too.   Connery would have been perfect but he was too associated with James Bond by then and this is a more realistic spy movie- notice how Hitchcock seems to avoid any action scenes. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
© 2020 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...