Topaz tends to move more solidly and less infectiously than many of Alfred Hitchcock’s best remembered pix. Yet Hitchcock brings in a full quota of twists and tingling moments.
Story [set in 1962], from Leon Uris’ heavily-plotted novel, centers around high politics, with intrigue and trickery involving French, American, Russian and Cuban security. Action is triggered by defection of a Russian scientist in Copenhagen to the Americans.
The director has a comparatively little known, but impeccable cast, with Frederick Stafford scoring as the French security investigator and with neat work by Philippe Noiret and Michel Piccoli as two French Quislings. John Vernon is a powerful Cuban political leader.
Hitchcock concentrates less than usual on his cool, blonde heroine, and it’s Karin Dor as a Cuban spy and mistress of Stafford who steals most of the thunder.