|Showing reviews 6-10 of 25
| « PREV
|| NEXT »
Story of Anatoliy Golitsyn and his work to defeat communism November 11, 2004
10 out of 18 found this review helpful
Alfred Hitchcock used the true story of the KGB defector Anatoliy Golitsyn [New Lies For Old, The Perestroika Deception] and made it into a brilliant movie.
Golitsyn's real escape from Helsinki's Russian Embassy in 1961 is portrayed here as real challenge although it is not shown how difficult it must've been in reality.
Russian communists were aware of Golitsyn's potential so much that the KGB operations in Finland had to be re-assessed and changed.
In the film Russian defector tells the CIA all important facts about the Soviet infiltration of France's intelligence services, in reality Golitsyn has not only uncovered many Soviet spies inside the US, U.K. and French governments and intelligence services, he also has warned the West of the Soviet long-range plans for the future "collapse of communism" which is not [unfortunately] mentioned in this movie.
Hitchcock has done a great job by illustrating how evil communism truly is, by showing the situation in Cuba, the tyrannical oppressive communist machine that will not stop at anything including torture and murder.
Topaz is a masterful movie and should be viewed by many people to remind them that communism, as hideous and horrific this ideology is, shouldn't be allowed to remain alive and well because of its deadly potential that threatens the mankind.
Good, But You Can Certainly Do Better May 2, 2004
5 out of 5 found this review helpful
After 1966's "Torn Curtain" flopped, Hitchcock decided to make another spy thriller. "Topaz", based on Leon Uris's best - selling novel of the same name, is meant to be an exciting, suspenseful espionage thriller involving nuclear missiles in Cuba. Despite a few engaging sequences, that show Hitch still had it, the film comes off as a second - rate James Bond flick rather than a Hitchcock masterpiece.
John Forsythe (the only recognizable actor in the entire cast) plays a CIA agent who recruits a French Operative named Devereaux (Frederick Stafford, who gives a great performance despite the film's flaws)to help him find out if rumors of Russian missiles in Cuba are true. His investigation leaves behind a string of casualities who either kill themselves or get murdered. The plot seems cool, but it's slow - moving and hard to follow at some points.
The main thing that keeps "Topaz" afloat is the top - notch acting. Hitchcock clearly thought that great acting would triumph over starpower, which is why he filled the cast with highly talented unknowns. In the past, legends like Sean Connery, Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant, Gregory Peck, Ingrid Bergman, Grace Kelly, and a host of others starred in Hitchcock masterpieces and gave great performances in their roles, but at same points were unconvincing. The acting in "Topaz" is flawless; I recommend it.
Decent Hitchcock espionage drama March 16, 2004
6 out of 8 found this review helpful
Frederick Stafford playing a French intelligence officer collaborates with John Forsythe, an American counterpart to garner information concerning Russia's involvement in Cuba in 1962. A high ranking KGB official defects from Russia and his debriefing prompts Stafford to enter Cuba, at the urging of the U.S., to conduct surveillance on the import of missiles.
Stafford gathers intel provided by his Cuban mistress, a widow of a top revolutionary played by an attractive Karin Dor of James Bond fame. He manages to smuggle out the information under the suspicious eye of bearded Castro crony John Vernon.
Learning from Forsythe of the existence of an espionage ring, code named Topaz, a group of French politicos spying for the Russians, Stafford sets out to smash it.
Topaz lacked the gripping intrigue so often present in Hitchcock's work. My appreciation for his body of work led me to be generous with my rating.
John Forsythe makes the film. Three different endings. October 22, 2003
0 out of 1 found this review helpful
This is perhaps the only Alfred Hitchcock color film I have not seen, until now. It is a rarity for television. And it would be edited for television broadcast anyway. Now on DVD, you can see TOPAZ in its entirty. If you have seen TOPAZ before, well here is the surprise. There are three very different endings of the film you may have not seen yet. This DVD version will show them all to you. If the ending chosen leaves you flat, in the Bonus Material section, you can see all three alternate endings and decide the one you like best. John Forsythe (Bachelor Father [1957-62],Charlie's Angels [1976-1981] as voice of "Charlie", Dynasty [1981-89]) sure does make the beginning act of the film much more interesting to watch. I can not say this is the best of Hitchcock, but I would recommend: REAR WINDOW (1954) and ROPE (1948).
Could have been great May 21, 2003
1 out of 3 found this review helpful
First of all, I am a huge hitchcock fan. If you are as well, definitely check out this film. If not, I would certainly check out others of his first, or even skip this one alltogether.
The main problem with the film is that there are way too many characters and none of them get fully developed. Also, with the exception of a few scenes, the audience never really gets the sense that anybody is in danger and thus causing the audience to not really care. It is long and the ending is just plain bad. It seemed like they could have changed a few things and wrapped up things about a half an hour earlier. The first hour or so is pretty cool, but the film tends to drift off, with only a few inspired moments.
The film is slow moving at times. The fact that all the actors are speaking english and at times choose to use an accent is a bit distracting as well.
Also, the film will build up a little suspense with one of the many subplots and the next scene will be 3 days later and we will hear about how the issue was resolved with some boring dialogue (including the ending that was used on the DVD... Ill get to the endings in a minute).
That being said, there were some great scenes that fans of hitch will enjoy. I thought the film started out great. The scene in the hotel was great (getting the briefcase). The ending shot of the Cuban girl being killed was especially great. Unfortunately it came a little to late and I was not too focused on the film.
The DVD is great. Included are the 3 propsed endings (as I have mentioned the horrible ending). None of them are really very good at all. They are basically excuses to wrap things up, but still, it is very interesting. Also the Leonard Maltin piece on the film is interesting.
All in all I gave it a 2 star rating worth checking out if you are a fan. I feel that if this were NOT a hitchcock film, it would not get the attention that it does. Definitely see Rear Window, Psycho, Strangers on a Train, Frenzy, North by Northwest, Shadow of a Doubt, To Catch a Thief, Vertigo, Lady Vanishes, 39 Steps, etc. first.