BrianRxm Coins in Movies 106/118
Topkapi (1964)
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The 1964 Filmways film "Topkapi" shows a large obviously fake "ancient" coin.
 
The film is based on Eric Ambler's novel The Light of Day and stars Melina Mercouri as
Elizabeth Lipp and Peter Ustinov as Arthur Simon Simpson, who plot to steal a valuable sultan's
jeweled dagger from Istanbul's Topkapi Museum.
 
At the beginning of the film, Peter is a hustler in Greece who tries to sell a fake "ancient coin"
as a "1,000 BC" coin to a tourist.
Topkapi
1. Melina Mercouri and Maximilian Schell
 
The film stars Melina Mercouri, Maximilian Schell, Peter Ustinov, and Robert Morley as
a group of people who plan and execute a theft of a jeweled dagger from Istanbul's Topkapi museum.
 
Early in the film, Peter Ustinov plays a small-time criminal who tries to sell a fake ancient coin to
Maximilian and Melina.
 
Peter's sales pitch: "Imitation but of a period about a thousand BC"
 
Topkapi
2. Peter Ustinov sells a coin
 
"Imitation but of a period about a thousand BC".
 
Topkapi
3. Close up of coin obverse
 
It is too big to be a real coin, and it looks about the size of a US silver dollar.
 
Topkapi
4. Close up of coin reverse
 
The rest of the film is the story of the involved acrobatic caper to steal the dagger and replace it
with a copy.
 
Topkapi
5. The museum room where the dagger is kept in a glass enclosure
 
Topkapi
6. The acrobat removing the glass cover
 
Notes:
 
Cast:
Melina Mercouri as Elizabeth Lipp
Peter Ustinov as Arthur Simon Simpson
Maximilian Schell as Walter Harper
Robert Morley as Cedric Page
Akim Tamiroff as Gerven the Cook
 
Director: Jules Dassin
Writers: Monja Danischewsky, Eric Ambler (novel)
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