TOPAZ
1969, Universal, 143 min, US, Dir: Alfred Hitchcock

Director Alfred Hitchcock delves deeper into the world of Cold War espionage he’d plumbed in TORN CURTAIN, adapting this thriller from Leon Uris’ fact-based novel about the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. When a defector reveals the Soviet plan to install nuclear missiles in Cuba, the CIA turns to French spy André Devereaux (Frederick Stafford) to gather intelligence. Complicating his work is a cadre of French double-agents codenamed “Topaz.” With Michel Piccoli and Philippe Noiret.


THE PROFESSIONALS
1966, Sony Repertory, 117 min, USA, Dir: Richard Brooks

Writer-director Richard Brooks earned a pair of Oscar nominations for this vastly underrated film. A Texas rancher enlists a team of mercenaries to rescue his wife, who has been kidnapped by a Mexican bandit. But the hired guns - Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, Robert Ryan and Woody Strode – soon learn that their employer hasn’t told them the whole story (the outstanding cast also includes Ralph Bellamy, Claudia Cardinale and Jack Palance). Beautifully shot by Conrad Hall, THE PROFESSIONALS is an irresistible mix of action, intrigue and humor that ranks among the very best Westerns of the 1960s.


DOCTOR ZHIVAGO
1965, Warner Brothers, 193 min, Dir: David Lean

This story of Czarists, revolutionaries, two beautiful women in love with the same man, a nation in upheaval - and, above all, the poet-physician (Omar Sharif) who witnesses and remembers it all - is one of the most lyrical, visually breathtaking films in the history of the medium. Co-starring Julie Christie, Geraldine Chaplin, Rod Steiger, Tom Courtenay and Alec Guinness, with sublime music by Maurice Jarre.


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