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.
Stafford gathers intel provided by his Cuban mistress, a widow of a top revolutionary played by an attractive Karin Dor of James Bond fame. He manages to smuggle out the information under the suspicious eye of bearded Castro crony John Vernon.
Learning from Forsythe of the existence of an espionage ring, code named Topaz, a group of French politicos spying for the Russians, Stafford sets out to smash it.
Topaz lacked the gripping intrigue so often present in Hitchcock's work. My appreciation for his body of work led me to be generous with my rating.