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The Times (09/May/1968) - Hitchcock's Topaz

(c) The Times (09/May/1968)

Hitchcock's Topaz

Leon Uris's bestseller Topaz is being made into a film by Alfred Hitchcock. Pink-faced, urbane Hitchcock announced the deal at a press conference at the St. Regis Hotel in New York. At his side was Uris, purring like a cat with cream, but not saying how much he was making from the deal Leon Uris, a friend of Philippe Thyraud de Vosjoli, revealed in his highly fictionalized novel Topaz the whole intriguing spy story which General de Gaulle's official spokesman called "comic, utterly ridiculous and absurd".

Uris said he had "got off to a good start" with writing the screenplay. Hitchcock, who is 68, will begin filming in September. The end product will probably be released a year later. Interiors will be shot in Hollywood, and outdoor scenes, will be done on location in Scandinavia, Washington and Cuba.

The film will have no relationship to other spy dramas like the Bond saga or The Ipcress File, Hitchcock emphasized. "The political side will not be stressed as much as the personal side. Countries will be named. But the fictional element — the personal reactions of the people who were involved — will be the main interest. What I aim to do in films is to create emotion in audiences." The nearest to it among his own films would be the one called Notorious, with Ingrid Bergman.

Uris said there would be no additions to the story as told in the novel, "De Vosjoli did not appear in the book and he will not appear on the screen", said the grey-haired author.