The best-selling spy novel bursts onto the screen in this riveting story of adventure and international intrigue. John Forsythe stars as an American CIA agent who hires a French operative (Frederick Stafford) to travel to Cuba and investigate rumors of Russian missiles and Topaz, A NATO spy. The inquiry soon spins into a life-threatening escapade of espionage, betrayal and murder.
Alfred Hitchcock adapted this political thriller from Leon Uris's dense, complex spy novel, loosely based on actual events in the life of French spy Philippe de Vosjoli. The title, TOPAZ, refers not to the stone but to the Topaz Group, a nefarious band of French spies. Traveling through Cuba, Denmark, New York, and Virginia, among other locations, Hitchcock's tale tells of a Soviet scientist's defection that sparks an international furor extending way beyond the act itself. The story begins with American CIA agent Michael Nordstrom (John Forsythe), who is instrumental in uncovering Russian plans to place missiles in Cuba. For confirmation he turns to French agent Andre Devereaux (Frederick Stafford), who travels to Cuba to gather information. In the process, he discovers evidence of a shocking betrayal. The conclusion of the film is one of four endings Hitchcock filmed. This was one of two cold war-themed films directed by Hitchcock at the urging of his studio, the other being TORN CURTAIN.
Alfred Hitchcock directs John Forsythe as an American CIA agent who learns of Cuban missiles through a French operative he hires to follow up on some rumors, and a NATO spy named Topaz who leaks secrets to the Soviet Union. It seems there's a traitor in the entourage of French president De Gaulle, strange doings taking place in Cuba, and a mysterious, nefarious band of spies known as the Topaz Group readying itself for a big event. The film is based on Leon Uris's same-titled spy novel, which was on national best-seller lists for 50 consecutive weeks.
Theatrical Release |
Hitchcock cameo: A half hour into the film, the director can be seen being pushed through the airport in a wheelchair.
There were three alternate endings shot for the film, which were used at various times of its release. After the financially weak films THE BIRDS and MARNIE, Hitchcock was persuaded by Universal to make both TORN CURTAIN and this anti-Communist script.
The film is loosely based on the career of French spy Philippe de Vosjoli.
The film offers a fictionalized account of events that shook the French government in the early 1960s.
Film was originally rated M by the MPAA but was rerated PG when the M rating was discontinued.