HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Wind, The
Holly and the Ivy, The
Atlantique
Now, Voyager
Wolf's Call, The
Nostalghia
Nightingale, The
Eighth Grade
Irishman, The
Betrayed
Lords of Chaos
Operation Petticoat
Dead Don't Die, The
On the Waterfront
Last Faust, The
Moonlighting
Art of Self-Defense, The
Ironweed
Booksmart
Prisoners
Beach Bum, The
Kill Ben Lyk
Into the Mirror
Support the Girls
Werewolf
Little Monsters
Spider-Man: Far from Home
Horrible Histories: The Movie - Rotten Romans
Pentathlon
Anna
Moulin Rouge
Ray & Liz
African Queen, The
Helen Morgan Story, The
Golem, Der
Yentl
Finishing Line, The
Triple Threat
Mysterious Castle in the Carpathians, The
Driven
   
 
Newest Articles
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
   
 
  Topkapi Breaking And EnteringBuy this film here.
Year: 1964
Director: Jules Dassin
Stars: Melina Mercouri, Peter Ustinov, Maximilian Schell, Robert Morley, Jess Hahn, Gilles Ségal, Akim Tamiroff, Titos Vandis, Ege Ernart, Senih Orkan, Ahmet Danyal Topatan, Joseph Dassin, Despo Diamantidou
Genre: Comedy, Thriller
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: In the Istanbul museum of Topkapi there happens to be a priceless ceremonial dagger that a certain criminal mastermind called Elizabeth Lipp (Melina Mercouri) has her eye on. She contacts an old flame, expert thief Walter Harper (Maximilian Schell), and informs him of her plans to set up a heist on the museum and he willingly goes along with them, as long as he sets the parameters. His main idea is to assemble a gang not of professionals, but of amateurs, and one with no criminal records as well. This means the authorities will not be suspicious, but there's one chap they hire, Arthur Simpson (Peter Ustinov), a cheap and unsuccessful conman, who just might bring down their operation if they're not careful - but you wouldn't believe how careful they can be.

Director Jules Dassin won international praise for his previous heist movie Rififi, whose famous setpiece was a cleverly planned robbery, so why not repeat the trick a decade later with Topkapi? It was adapted by Monja Danischewsky from Eric Ambler's novel "The Light of Day", and its own heist sequence, which fills up the second hour of the movie, was justly recognised as a small masterpiece of direction, on the part of the criminals as well as Dassin. He cast his wife in a role that didn't really need to be there, and Mercouri introduces the film in a bizarre opening sequence verging on the psychedelic that is oddly unnerving, mainly due to Mercouri. With her piercing eyes and shark-like grin, along with a intense cheeriness, she's not the most relaxing of presences and threatens to derail the supposed fun of the following caper.

Fortunately, she doesn't really make up an important part of the film, and is barely seen in the second half where the plan comes together, but nonetheless - brr. Anyway, Elizabeth and Walter make their way to Greece to pick up Arthur, who is peddling his wares by the beach and failing miserably to make a sale. However, it's his lucky day and he is asked to drive a car into Turkey for the couple, an offer he accepts for the money it will award him, but not all goes smoothly. At the border customs, Arthur is stopped and the guards find a stash of weapons hidden in one of the doors, something he cannot persuade them he knew nothing about, and the Turkish police begin to suspect there might be gun running going on and hire Arthur as a spy to check up on the gang (he has to send the authorities coded messages).

But is this all part of the plan? Walter seems to have thought of everything, and once everything is in place he sets the wheels of the heist in motion, drawbacks like the hired strongman breaking his fingers taken care of by replacing him with the portly Arthur. Ustinov is in danger of running away with the picture, if it wasn't for Robert Morley as a fellow crook (and gadget wizard) he probably would, and won an Oscar for his trouble. There's a pleasant breeziness to the handling, and though the first half is stodgy you can see where the setting up pays off when it all falls into line. The crime itself involves swapping the dagger, which is kept under glass on a floor that has an alarm system sound should anyone step on it, for a fake (I thought the twist would be that they got the wrong one when the acrobatic human fly nearly drops them both), and is carried out with the minimum of noise to focus the mind and crank up the tension. Topkapi is nicely done, but it's a little too pleased with itself and the final twist too contrived. Music by Manos Hadjidakis.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4612 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Jules Dassin  (1911 - 2008)

In the late 1940s Jules Dassin directed some of America's darkest, edgiest thrillers, titles like Brute Force, Naked City and Thieves Highway. He made Night and the City in the UK for 20th Century Fox. Blacklisted in Hollywood, he settled in Europe where he scored international hits with Rififi, Never on Sunday and Topkapi, eventually marrying Greek film goddess Melina Mercouri.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: