Chicago Weather Got You Down? Take a Mediterranean Vacation with Jules Dassin’s Topkapi – 35mm Screening

The Auditorium at Northeastern Illinois University – Building E, 3701 W. Bryn Mawr Ave
General Admission: $5 • NEIU Students: $2


Wednesday, November 23 @ 7:30 PM
Directed by Jules Dassin • 1964
Ever watch Jules Dassin’s Rififi and wish it was a little less devastating? That the hardened criminals were a little less…hard? No? Ten years after Dassin made one of history’s greatest heist films, he does what on paper seems like a truly awful idea, a Technicolor spoof of the very genre he helped define. Shot on location in Turkey and Greece, the result is a surprisingly well crafted and joyous mix of tension and laughs. Elizabeth Lipp (Melina Mercouri) is our purring tour guide and mastermind behind the theft of a bejeweled dagger kept in Istanbul’s Topkapi Palace. She and her ex-lover (Maximilian Schell) gather together a motley crew of thieves for the job, including Robert Morley as a mechanics wiz, French actor and mime Gilles Ségal as “The Human Fly,” and last but not least, Peter Ustinov as a small-time con man hired as the driver. Ustinov’s sweating, bumbling hustler is widely considered to be the heart of the film (he won an Oscar for it that year), and he spoke highly of the role. “The character is so absurd. I love the idea of a man who aims low and misses.” Topkapi is famous for its 40-minute final heist scene, but don’t be late to this one because the psychedelic opening sequence is just as memorable. (RL)
120 min • Filmways Pictures • 35mm from Park Circus
Preceded by: “Sports in Action: Best in Show” (Richard Wink, 1964) – 35mm IB Technicolor –  10 min

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