In the late sixties, there wasn't a hotter book than Leon Uris' TOPAZ. The film adaption is a great fit for the talents of Alfred Hitchcock, who pours on the intrigue for this political spy thriller.
Uncovering the Cuba weapons that would become the Cuban Missile Crisis for JFK is only the beginning.
John Forsythe (Dynasty) is American CIA agent Nordstrom, who hires a long time friend, French Operative Andre (Frederick Stafford) to head to Cuba to investigate mounting rumors of a spy network called TOPAZ.
John Vernon (Dean Wormer of Animal House) is Rico Parra, a very Castro-like dictator in love with a woman that just happens to also be in love with Andre. She's played by Karin Dor, who OO7 fans will recognize from "Thunderball".
Hitchcock later said in interviews that he tried to communicate key story elements through colors. It's subtle at times, but red, yellow and white play key parts in the film. It's interesting that the poster also predominantly features those colors.
The crosses and double-crosses are pretty entertaining and not always easy to see coming.
It's not great Hitch, but its decent. Slow by today's standards but filled with interesting characters, it's never boring.
Watch for Roscoe Lee Browne (Logan's Run) as Philippe Dubois in one of the most suspenseful sequences in a Cuban hotel.
This feels more like "The Day of the Jackal" or "Munich" than a typical Hitchcock film, showing his diversity.
Interesting from start to finish, TOPAZ gets a B.