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Topkapi

  • Comedy
  • 1964
  • Jules Dassin
  • 114 mins
  • U

Summary

International thieves mastermind the intricate robbery of an emerald dagger from Istanbul's Topkapi Palace Museum, and hire a small-time conman to drive the getaway car. Unfortunately, when the police find firearms in his vehicle, they coerce the hapless driver into spying for them. Crime comedy, starring Peter Ustinov in an Oscar-winning performance, with Melina Mercouri, Maximilian Schell, Robert Morley and Akim Tamiroff.

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Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

In this spoof of his own intricate heist classic Rififi, Jules Dassin pioneered one of the most popular subgenres of the 1960s, the comic crime caper. Deliciously scripted by one-time Ealing alumnus Monja Danischewsky from Eric Ambler's novel The Light of Day, the film combines sparkling dialogue with moments of unbearable tension, most notably during the prolonged heist on an Istanbul museum in a bid to purloin a priceless dagger. The band of misfits hired by Melina Mercouri and Maximilian Schell are effectively played, but it was the showy performance of Peter Ustinov that caught the eye and earned him his second best supporting actor Oscar.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

rolename
Elizabeth LippMelina Mercouri
Arthur Simon SimpsonPeter Ustinov
Walter HarperMaximilian Schell
Cedric PageRobert Morley
GevenAkim Tamiroff
GiulioGilles Ségal
Hans FischerJess Hahn
HarbackTitos Vandis
Major TufanEge Ernart
First ShadowSenih Orkan
Second ShadowAhmet Danyal Topatan

Crew

rolename
DirectorJules Dassin

Details

Theatrical distributor
United Artists Corp. Ltd
Language
English
Available on
video and DVD
Formats
Colour
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