An espionage story that takes the cameras to Copenhagen, Paris, New York City, Harlem, Virginia, and a California hacienda that doubles as Cuba. Loosely based on the true-life exploits of French spy Philippe de Vosjoli and the 1962 "Sapphire" scandals in which top French officials were
uncovered as Soviet agents, the film has a sense of authenticity but fails to fire up as much suspense as most of Hitchcock's intrigues. With an international cast of semirecognizable names (Michel Piccoli, Philippe Noiret, and just one American, John Forsythe), TOPAZ gleaned most of its attention
from the star status of its director. Hitchcock considered the film a disaster because ...