Topaz

So this is not Hitchcock at his best, despite being a very Hitchcock styled movie.

I was curious about this film. there was a twenty or so year period where Alfred became Hitchcock and planted down the seed that made him the biggest director in the world, but the guy made movies before and after this period.

When we think about the fat man, we think about movies like Psycho and Vertigo which are the highlights and if your a die-hard fan you are familiar with Rope and Strangers on a Train.

I was curious about the movies he made out side that twenty year zone, and Topaz was the first that I came up on.

Topaz is about a French intelligence agent who gets involved in Cold War politics that lead up to the events of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

It’s got Hitchcock’s stank all over it with camera angles and story set up. One scene in particular, when the french spy has one of his field people get him in to me a cuban official. The spy watches from across the street as his people make the arrangement. There was no dialogue it was just all visual story telling and it really stands out. The type of scene that Hitchcock fans would rip off over and over again. Too bad Topaz is not a good enough Hitchcock movie.

The vibe was just not there. People say Hitchcock lost his edge at this time (He was 69 when he made the film). I think the Birds was the last note worthy film he made, but he kept making films (even one with Robert Redford, which I want to check out).

I personally noticed the movie had a different atmosphere, because I noticed that it was filmed outdoors instead of on a sound stage which is where the Fat man made a lot of his films (Not Vertigo, which was filmed all over San Fransisco, and you can take tours of the areas it was filmed).

The DVD I saw Topaz on had a interview with Film Critic, Lenard Maltin who stated that Topaz had no stars in it, And that is a point, I knew nobody in this film off hand, and Hitchcock did work with a lot of big stars of the time.

Topaz can be handed as proof of what a movie star can do for your film. There is a reason why Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart are stars. They bring something to the role that no one else possibly could.

But Topaz had nobody that I could draw myself to (well, except for Roscoe Lee Browne, a character actor who has made guest appearances on all my favorite television shows that he may as well be a star as far as I’m concern. He was the he guy the french spy got to talk to the Cubans in the no dialog scene, which I guess added more awesomeness for me)

While having flavor of the Fat man on it, I found Topaz very drawn out to the point where I lost my interest altogether.

If you are a die-hard Hitchcock fan, I would give it a try because it really does have that feel to it, but it does look like he lost his edge around this time and I would not recommend for anyone trying to get into the Fat man

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