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Trivia / Topaz

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  • Box Office Bomb: Alfred Hitchcock's least profitable film since The Wrong Man, only earning $6 million against a $4 million budget.
  • California Doubling: The area outside Salinas doubles for Cuba in exterior shots.
  • Creator Backlash: It was Hitchcock's first project in a long time that hadn't been instigated by him. Universal bought the rights to the novel and Hitch only got involved after they turned down his proposed Serial Killer film Kaleidoscope and he asked them to assign him another project. He wasn't thrilled with the final result, feeling the story had a lot of flaws that he couldn't really fix.
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  • Fake Nationality: A whole bunch. Most prominent are a Slovak playing French (Frederick Stafford), the Russian Kusenov family played by three Swedish actors, Cubans played by a Canadian (John Vernon), a German (Karin Dor) and a South African (Don Randolph), and an American (Roscoe Lee Browne) as a native of Martinique.
  • Follow the Leader: Hitchcock used The Spy Who Came In from the Cold as a model for the film.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Per-Axel Arosenius doesn't really try to sound Russian as Boris Kusenov and lets his natural Swedish accent slip through several times.
  • Technology Marches On: Averted with the pocket camera Dubois uses, which looks like a modern point-and-shoot digital camera. Small film cameras existed in 1962, but were still viewed as novelties.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Hitchcock offered Sean Connery the role of Andre Devereaux, which would've really driven home Hitchcock's concept of it being "a realistic James Bond film."
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    • Hitchcock had considered Danish actor Ove Sprogøe for small part as a CIA agent, but dropped the idea after realizing that Sprogøe, being only 1,7 meters tall, didn't have the physical presence to pull off the part.
  • Writing by the Seat of Your Pants: Leon Uris was originally hired to adapt his own novel, but he had Creative Differences with Hitchcock and quit, leaving the screenplay unfinished. After Hitchcock unsuccessfully tried to talk Arthur Laurents (who'd written Rope) into taking over as writer, he brought in Samuel A. Taylor (who wrote the bulk of Vertigo). But by that point filming was scheduled to begin, so Taylor had to finish the script with shooting in progress. In some cases scenes were filmed the same day they were written.
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