×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Topkapi

Jules Dassin has taken a minor novel by Eric Ambler [The Light of Day] and turned it into a delightful and suspenseful comedy spoof of his own Rififi.

With:
Melina Mercouri Peter Ustinov Maximilian Schell Robert Morley Akim Tamiroff Gilles Segal

Jules Dassin has taken a minor novel by Eric Ambler [The Light of Day] and turned it into a delightful and suspenseful comedy spoof of his own Rififi.

The band of thieves whose adventures make Topkapi are a motley crew indeed. Besides Melina Mercouri, it includes Maximilian Schell, master thief; Robert Morley, Gilles Segal and Jess Hahn. Added later, although it takes him some time and a bit of adventure to realize it, Peter Ustinov is an unwitting accomplice.

The basically simple plot, which is rich in detail and background, has the gang attempting to steal a fabulous jeweled dagger from the Topkapi Palace museum in Istanbul. The actual theft is depicted in a long sequence reminiscent of the one in Rififi but with a bit more levity.

Mercouri has a holiday in a role that asks her to be equally enamored of gems and males. Schell, surprisingly, plays his role somewhat tongue-in-cheek, never evidencing more than a surface interest in anything (including Mercouri), other than his work. Ustinov has probably the meatiest part in the film and one that allows him to use many of the unsubtleties in dominating scenes he has at his command.

1964: Best Supp. Actor (Peter Ustinov)

Topkapi

Production: United Artists/Filmways. Director Jules Dassin; Producer Jules Dassin; Screenplay Monja Danischewsky; Camera Henri Alekan; Editor Roger Dwyre; Music Manos Hadjidakis; Art Director Max Douy

Crew: (Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1964. Running time: 120 MIN.

With: Melina Mercouri Peter Ustinov Maximilian Schell Robert Morley Akim Tamiroff Gilles Segal

More Film

  • Crown Vic

    Thomas Jane's Police Thriller 'Crown Vic' Sells to Screen Media (EXCLUSIVE)

    Screen Media has bought North American rights to writer-director Joel Souza’s police crime-thriller “Crown Vic,” starring Thomas Jane and Luke Kleintank. The distributor closed terms during the Cannes Film Festival amid a competitive bidding situation between seven other suitors. Screen Media plans to release the pic this fall. “Crown Vic” premiered in April at the [...]

  • Colleen Bell

    Colleen Bell Replaces Amy Lemisch as California Film Commission Director

    Veteran entertainment executive and ambassador Colleen Bell will replace Amy Lemisch as director of the California Film Commission. Bell, who was appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday, has worked as a consultant since 2017. She was the U.S. ambassador to Hungary from 2014 to 2017. She held several positions at Bell-Phillip Television Productions, including [...]

  • Jon Feltheimer

    Lionsgate Posts Loss, Underperforms Wall Street Expectations

    Lionsgate has posted a quarterly loss and its revenues and operating income have come in under Wall Street projections, despite growth from its premium cable channel, Starz. The studio reported a net loss of $24 million, or 11 cents a share, with adjusted operating income of $103 million for its fourth fiscal quarter ended March [...]

  • Cannes: China's 'Summer of Changsha' Debuts

    Cannes: China's 'Summer of Changsha' Debuts Without Censorship Approval

    Chinese crime drama “Summer of Changsha” screened at the Cannes Film Festival in the Un Certain Regard section despite lacking the necessary approvals from China’s censors. It premiered without its director or creative team in attendance, who blamed “technical reasons” for their absence — marking the third time that Chinese censorship appears to have caused [...]

  • Jane Austin SAG AFTRA

    SAG-AFTRA Secretary-Treasurer Jane Austin Running for President

    Jane Austin, the National Secretary-Treasurer of SAG-AFTRA, has become the third candidate for the presidency of the performers union, joining incumbent Gabrielle Carteris and Matthew Modine. Austin is running as an independent for the top post at SAG-AFTRA, which has 160,000 members. Carteris will seek re-election as the head of the ticket for the Unite [...]

  • John Wick Chapter 3

    'John Wick: Chapter 3' Tones Down the Blood and Gore to Keep Look 'Totally Real'

    When Jeff Campbell, a visual effects supervisor with VFX studio Spin, initially set to work on the first “John Wick,” the 2014 action thriller from director Chad Stahelski and writer Derek Kolstad, he started with an industry-standard test: Establish a single, simple kill effect meant to get a sense of the look of the violence [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content