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Document Creation Date: 
December 16, 2016
Document Release Date: 
October 22, 2004
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Publication Date: 
November 7, 1969
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i'_L-:g/ L v THE usual synopsis of the ,~lifelc,how useful a'few~rarely .of ca't yin the little part of a story, so useful to specta- resourceful acting performances. suspected civilian high up in tors who slumber, was The opening is promising ?N A T O. not provided with Alfred enough, with a high Itii.ssian ? Hitchcock's Topaz (Odeon, official, his wife and daughter Studio style ',/Leicester Sq. "All). This throwing off, quite excitingly, By this, time Devereaux, hav- omission ,tight seem to indi- their shadows from the Embassy ing got the required information cite that the master had cont. to defect to. the Americans in out of Cuba wit-lt some loss of Copenhagen. The sliow,pdm ofi blood, his mistress paying the plete confidence in keeping the Royal Copenhagen porcelain price, as they say, is in Paris to us awake for a couple of .factoy, where the daughter run the great traitors, whose hours, though I prefer to see evades her, watchers to "lake code name is Topaz, finally to him, more modestly, reading a vital telephone call, is , a . ground. This involves, naturally, a summary in draft and burst- typical Hitchcock location and some more bloodshed, poor M. ing into either tears or there's some typical business, Noiret ending up picturesquely laughter. too, with a broken porcelain as a corpse on top of a Citroen, Very wise, then, not to provide figure. but not before he has delighted a synopsis of this preposterous The defector, nicely played us, and Mr Hitchcock too, I plot, which is certainly not of by Per-Axel Arosenius, is hope, with his display of "doing the kind to make its point when pleasantly ironic, with his re- nothing well." written on the proverbial' post- mark to the Americans: "We Whether any actor could de. age stamp, or even on a post- would have managed this much ? light us in the part of Devereaux card. better, but once in Washington. 'J rather doubt. Frederick Staf- The weaknesses are two. A i.e,mlly ra rata her vanish and times gaeve i slogs it a t'French central character is constantly Instead, interest is demanded accent, with little help from the before us in whom neither for' a Commerical Attache at director who seems to have been authors nor actor can find any the French Embassy, called unable to find an appropriate interest; and in the middle of Devereaux, actually a secret style. Given the factual basis, the film is a long expedition to agent, whose chief Mysteriously. a realistic style seems indicated; i , Cuba which is both ridiculous ;receives news of the defection falling that, the plausible. and irrelevant. :from Paris, while it is still Instead we have a good old The basis is a novel by Leon secret, and orders him to. coil. Hollywood studio style with a Uris, adapted by Samuel Taylor, firm. few exterior locations support- which turned to fictional account Since he is intimate with the pig some stunning interiors, my the allegations, which still revere CIA man responsible, for the favourite being the elaborate berate, made by the French' defector, this isn't difficult. The villa belonging to the lady in Military Attache in Washington, outcome is that he finds himself. Cuba where, it seems,- the Col. Thiraud de Vosjoly. He'out of personal fliendship, doin+ douceur de vivre still prevails. maintained that there was a ,a spayying job for the Americans, Awfully old bat, this Cold-War Russian agent high up in Gen. whiclt is to obtain photographs spy stuff and Hitchcock himself de Gaulle's Government on the of some secret documents carried seems to feel this at heart, for evidence, apparently, of the Rus. by the Cuban delegation to the since I saw the film he's added sian, Anotoly Dolnytsin, who der (United Nations-it is just before a new ending, which can hardly fected to the Americans in 1961. !the crisis over Russian missiles fail. to be ' an improvement, Onlie begetter being sent to Cuba. ' though it's a new 'middle that's The icture of the Cubans, all wanted. A spy story, in fact, of the kind which has provided Hitch-'turning their Itarleiin~~hotel into ? cock with some of his greatest a military camp is an engaging Successes. If he fails now to caricature, and Hitchcock is very bring off the trick again, it is much himself in the sequence i,t largely because there appears to' which an agent employed by be so little of himself in the' Dcvcrcaux enters the building film, so much of his writers and`. pretending to be a journalist and actors. offers one of the secretaries a As we know from his intimate, large' bribe, this, episode being confessions on his craft, Ilitch-' caught wittily in mime, and cock has always regarded him-much' play being made with the self as the sole creator of his, subsequent theft of a briefcase. films, not esteeming writers at'' Yet even (Hitchcock, surely, ,all highly, 'dismissing acting would acknowledge a debt here 'merely as "the art of doing to that accomplished Negro nothing well" and finding actor, Roscoe Lee Browne, who scarcely a single camerman brings the daring, self-confident worth mention. little agent so amusingly to life,." Now, at 70, he finds, perhaps, By comparison the failure of the feat of total creation, which, other, more important actors to +. he carried off so triumphantly, transcend the script becomes in the past, a bit too much for conspicuous and we have to en- him, and some of the chickens,; dure some absurd adventures by - which he sent scurrying, are, Devereaux in Cuba Itself, where. corning home to roost. How; he goes 'for more spying, and helpful, for instance,.' would) some, amorous passages. efore' have been a welt-turne0k0~li , Fo RWPba' t2~l04''~'i R?: CIA-RDP88-0I 365R000300230005-7 Id -war. spy stuff warmed up By PATRICK GIBBS The Daily Telegraph G- boo ?4 %c. Approved For Releal Iftb%ftbl1 -RDP88-01365R000300230005-7J, ? .