Topaz (1969)

What is TOPAZ? Is TOPAZ a person? A code name? A mystery? It’s all of these and more.

I watched this 1969 Universal Pictures Drama/Spy Thriller Alfred Hitchcock’s “Topaz” on Netflix DVD. This was the extended cut at 143 minutes. Don’t miss the Hitchcock cameo, about 30 minutes into the film. The defection of a high-ranking Soviet intelligence officer, Boris Kusenov, and his family, to the United States, could shed valuable information on what the Russians were setting up in Cuba, in 1962. CIA agent Mike Nordstrom learns of the missiles with nuclear warheads and recruits French agent André Devereaux to prove this intelligence.

This film is produced and directed by Alfred Hitchcock (Spellbound, Strangers on a Train, Dial M for Murder, To Catch a Thief, Rear Window, Vertigo, Psycho, The Birds, Torn Curtain, Frenzy). It is based on the 1967 novel, of the same name, by  Leon Uris (famous author of historical fiction like Exodus and Trinity). Hitchcock intended this movie to be an experiment to see if colors, red, yellow, and white, could be used to reveal and influence the plot. He later admitted that it did not work out.

  • Frederick Stafford as André Devereaux – (March 11, 1928 – July 28, 1979) was a Czechoslovak-born actor, he spoke fluent Czech, German, English, French and Italian, and was a leading man in European spy movies, Topaz (1969)
  • Dany Robin as Nicole Devereaux – (April 14, 1927 – May 25, 1995) The Waltz of the Toreadors, Act of Love, Follow the Boys, Topaz (1969)
  • Karin Dor as Juanita de Cordoba – (February 22, 1938 – November 6, 2017) The Face of Fu Manchu, Bond girl in You Only Live Twice, Topaz (1969)
  • John Vernon as Rico Parra – (February 24, 1932 – February 1, 2005) Point Blank, Dirty Harry, The Outlaw Josey Wales, National Lampoon’s Animal House, Herbie Goes Bananas, Airplane II: The Sequel, Ernest Goes to Camp, Killer Klowns from Outer Space, Topaz (1969)
  • Claude Jade as Michèle Picard – (October 8, 1948 – December 1, 2006) was a French actress known for starring as Christine in François Truffaut’s three films Stolen Kisses (1968), Bed and Board (1970), and Love on the Run (1979), Topaz (1969)
  • Michel Subor as François Picard – (February 2, 1935 – January 17, 2022) What’s New, Pussycat?, Topaz (1969), The Day of the Jackal
  • Michel Piccoli as Jacques Granville – (December 27, 1925 – May 12, 2020) was a French actor, producer, and film director with a career spanning 70 years, Topaz (1969)
  • Philippe Noiret as Henri Jarré – (October 1, 1930 – November 23, 2006) French film actor, Topaz (1969)
  • Roscoe Lee Browne as Philippe Dubois – (May 2, 1922 – April 11, 2007) Topaz (1969), Super Fly T.N.T., Logan’s Run, Legal Eagles, Epic Movie, TV episodes of The Invaders, Mannix, The Name of the Game, Bonanza, The Flip Wilson Show, All in the Family, Sanford and Son, Good Times, Barney Miller, Starsky and Hutch, Maude, Soap, Benson, Hart to Hart, The Cosby Show, Magnum P.I., Columbo: Rest in Peace Mrs. Columbo, Father Dowling Mysteries, Law & Order, Seaquest DSV, The Shield, Will and Grace
  • Per-Axel Arosenius as Boris Kusenov – (November 7, 1920 – March 21, 1981) was a Swedish film and television actor of mostly supporting parts, Topaz (1969)
  • John Forsythe as Michael Nordstrom – (January 29, 1918 – April 1, 2010) Kitten with a Whip, In Cold Blood, Marooned, Topaz (1969), …And Justice for All., Scrooged, the voice of Charlie in Charlie’s Angels and Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, TV episodes of Suspense, Climax!, 1966 The John Forsythe Show, To Rome with Love, the voice of Charlie in Charlie’s Angels, Blake in Dynasty, The Powers That Be
  • Edmon Ryan as McKittreck – (June 5, 1905 — August 4, 1984) The Dark Eyes of London, Topaz (1969), Tora! Tora! Tora!
  • Sonja Kolthoff as Mrs. Kusenov – (October 7, 1923 – September 17, 1970) Swedish actress, Topaz (1969)
  • Tina Hedström as Tamara Kusenov – (May 31, 1942 – October 20, 1984) Swedish actress, Topaz (1969)
  • John van Dreelen as Claude Martin – (May 5, 1922 – September 4, 1992) The Leech Woman, Beyond the Time Barrier, 13 Ghosts, Von Ryan’s Express, Topaz (1969), The Money Pit
  • Donald Randolph as Luis Uribe – (January 5, 1906 – March 16, 1993) The Adventures of Hajji Baba, Son of Sinbad, The Deadly Mantis, Topaz (1969)
  • Roberto Contreras as Muñoz – (December 12, 1928 – July 18, 2000) The Beast of Hollow Mountain, The Black Scorpion, The Magnificent Seven, Topaz (1969), The Day Time Ended, Scarface
  • Carlos Rivas as Hernandez – (February 16, 1925 – June 16, 2003) True Grit, The Undefeated, Topaz (1969)
  • Roger Til as Jean Chabrier – (January 5, 1909 – June 28, 2002) 12 to the Moon, Valley of the Dragons, Topaz (1969), Rollercoaster, Protocol, Brewster’s Millions, Stargate, TV episodes of Dragnet, The Andy Griffith Show, Combat!, Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C., The Girl from U.N.C.L.E., The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Mission: Impossible, The Bionic Woman, The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, Knight Rider, Wings
  • Lewis Charles as Pablo Mendoza – (November 2, 1912 – November 9, 1979) Topaz (1969), Playhouse 90, Al Capone, TV episodes of Suspense, Man Against Crime, Martin Kane, Treasury Men in Action, The Man Behind the Badge, Sergeant Preston of the Yukon, The Adventures of Jim Bowie, Climax!, The Thin Man, Richard Diamond, Private Detective, Peter Gunn, The Untouchables, Wanted: Dead or Alive, The Rifleman, Perry Mason, The Andy Griffith Show, Batman, Green Acres, Get Smart, Gomer Pyle: USMC, Mayberry R.F.D., Love, American Style, Adam-12, Mod Squad, Mannix
  • Sándor Szabó as Emile Redon – (April 25, 1915 – November 12, 1997) was a Hungarian actor. He appeared in 80 films and television shows between 1935 and 1997, Topaz (1969)
  • Anna Navarro as Carlotta Mendoza – (August 18, 1933 – December 27, 2006) Topaz (1969), The First Deadly Sin, Last Action Hero, TV episodes of The Adventures of Kit Carson, Topper, The Cisco Kid, Climax!, Perry Mason, The Californians, Tales of Wells Fargo, Gunsmoke, Death Valley Days, Family Affair, Bonanza, CHiPs, Galactica 1980, Walker, Texas Ranger
  • Lew Brown as American Official – ( March 18, 1925 – July 27, 2014 ) Topaz (1969), Airport, TV episodes of Ben Casey, Laramie, Combat!, The Twilight Zone, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Rawhide, The Fugitive, The Wild Wild West, Cimarron Strip, Death Valley Days, Dragnet 1967, The Tim Conway Show, The Virginian, Ironside, Adam-12, The F.B.I., Night Gallery, Mission: Impossible, Columbo, Mannix, Gunsmoke, Apple’s Way, Emergency!, Marcus Welby, M.D., McCloud, The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, Project U.F.O., The Waltons, Insight, Hart to Hart, Days of Our Lives, Dallas
  • John Roper as Thomas – (March 19, 1945 – April 27, 2007) Topaz (1969), TV episodes ofMod Squad, Marcus Welby, M.D., Adam-12, The Streets of San Francisco, Ode to Billy Joe (TV movie), The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, Trapper John, M.D.
  • George Skaff as René d’Arcy – (October 26, 1929 – September 16, 1995) Man Beast, The Incredible Petrified World, Topaz (1969), Frogs, Slaughterhouse-Five, Exorcist II: The Heretic, TV episodes of The F.B.I., Mannix, Kojak, Ellery Queen, The Rockford Files, Barnaby Jones, Barney Miller, Wonder Woman, Columbo, Dynasty, Hill Street Blues, In Living Color
  • Ann Doran as Mrs. Foryth – (July 28, 1911 – September 19, 2000) Blondie, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Yankee Doodle Dandy, Calamity Jane and Sam Bass, Rebel Without a Cause, It! The Terror from Beyond Space, Topaz (1969), TV episodes of Adventures of Superman, The Danny Thomas Show, National Velvet, The Virginian, McHale’s Navy, Bonanza, Longstreet, The Odd Couple, Barnaby Jones, Little House on the Prairie, M*A*S*H, Shirley, Highway to Heaven
  • Eva Wilma as Rosita Gomez – (December 14, 1933 – May 15, 2021) was a Brazilian actress and dancer. Among her several roles, she starred in the 1950s Brazilian television series Alô, Doçura!, Topaz (1969)

The portions of this film that were not shot at Universal Studios Hollywood were filmed on location in Copenhagen; Wiesbaden, West Germany; Virginia, Paris, New York City, and Washington, DC.

Hitchcock chose French composer and conductor Maurice Jarre (The Longest Day, Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago, Great Expectations, The Island at the Top of the World, Firefox, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, The Bride, Gorillas in the Mist), and even considered Ravi Shankar[1] for the role.

I thought this movie was very good, it certainly holds your interest throughout, even during the 143 minutes of the extended version. I will give it 4 out of 5 stars.

  1. Ravi Shankar (April 1920 – December 11, 2012) was an Indian sitarist and composer. A sitar virtuoso, he became the world’s best-known exponent of North Indian classical music in the second half of the 20th century and influenced many musicians in India and throughout the world. Shankar was awarded India’s highest civilian honor, the Bharat Ratna, in 1999.


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Author: Doyle

I was born in Atlanta, moved to Alpharetta at 4, lived there for 53 years and moved to Decatur in 2016. I've worked at such places as Richway, North Fulton Medical Center, Management Science America (Computer Tech/Project Manager) and Stacy's Compounding Pharmacy (Pharmacy Tech).

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