After 1966's "Torn Curtain" flopped, Hitchcock decided to make another spy thriller. "Topaz", based on Leon Uris's best - selling novel of the same name, is meant to be an exciting, suspenseful espionage thriller involving nuclear missiles in Cuba. Despite a few engaging sequences, that show Hitch still had it, the film comes off as a second - rate James Bond flick rather than a Hitchcock masterpiece.
John Forsythe (the only recognizable actor in the entire cast) plays a CIA agent who recruits a French Operative named Devereaux (Frederick Stafford, who gives a great performance despite the film's flaws)to help him find out if rumors of Russian missiles in Cuba are true. His investigation leaves behind a string of casualities who either kill themselves or get murdered. The plot seems cool, but it's slow - moving and hard to follow at some points.
The main thing that keeps "Topaz" afloat is the top - notch acting. Hitchcock clearly thought that great acting would triumph over starpower, which is why he filled the cast with highly talented unknowns. In the past, legends like Sean Connery, Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant, Gregory Peck, Ingrid Bergman, Grace Kelly, and a host of others starred in Hitchcock masterpieces and gave great performances in their roles, but at same points were unconvincing. The acting in "Topaz" is flawless; I recommend it.