Friday, August 19, 2011


When I read The Light of Day, by Eric Ambler, I had no idea that it had been made into a movie called Topkapi.

I saw the movie recently on TCM and I have to say that I liked it a lot more than I did the book. It played up the comic aspects of the caper, moved more quickly, and was changed from a first-person tale to a more omniscient point of view.

I guess Hollywood screenwriters know what they are doing.

This movie has several tricky stunts in it that are said to have inspired other filmmakers, including the makers of Mission: Impossible (see this clip). It was also filmed on location in Istanbul, which was gorgeous. The best part of the movie, by far, though, was Peter Ustinov, who plays the hapless, bumbling Arthur Simpson to the absolute hilt. (He won his second Oscar for this role.)

It also stars an enigmatic Melina Mercouri and a handsome but callous Maximilian Schell as the masterminds of the heist.

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