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Overall Rating
4.68

Awesome82.35%
Worth A Look: 11.76%
Average: 0%
Pretty Bad: 2.94%
Total Crap: 2.94%

2 reviews, 22 user ratings


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Charade
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by Charles Tatum

"Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn- One Time Only!"
5 stars

"Charade" has been called the best Alfred Hitchcock film not directed by Alfred Hitchcock. I would go one better- not only is it better than many of Hitchcock's films, it takes Hitchcock's effort of the same year, "The Birds," and knocks it out of the park. This is a classic mystery/comedy/romance that should be seen

Regina Lampert (Audrey Hepburn) is in the process of divorcing a husband she barely knew, Charles, when he is discovered murdered. Before he died, Charles auctioned all of their possessions, leaving behind a travel bag full of everyday items, and stranded her in Paris where she works as a translator. Into her life walks Peter (Cary Grant), who befriends her, although the romantic attraction is immediate. There is a problem with Charles' sudden death- a large amount of money is missing, and three mysterious men hilariously show up at the funeral to make sure the man is dead. With help from American embassy employee Bartholomew (Walter Matthau), Reg finds out more about the man she was married to, including his real name and the fact that Charles and the three mysterious men all stole a quarter of a million dollars from the U.S. government during World War II (meant to fund French resistance fighters) and hid the money. Tex (James Coburn), Gideon (Ned Glass), and psychotic Scobie (stand out George Kennedy) are convinced Reg has the money, and as more bodies start turning up, she puts her trust in (and falls in love with) Peter- who may or may not have his own priorities.

Hepburn and Grant only made this one film together, but their chemistry onscreen is crackling. You cannot take your eyes off of them. Grant is suave and debonair as usual, delivering an off-the-cuff quip better than anyone (in a perfectly timed world, he would have made the best James Bond if the franchise was twenty years older or he was twenty years younger). Peter actually rebuffs Reg's advances at first, which is kind of refreshing, although you can see he has feelings for her and tries to get her to trust him. Hepburn and Grant were decades apart in age, but their coupling is natural. Being the older member of a May-December relationship, I had extra incentive for cheering them on! It's easy to see why Audrey Hepburn was one of the biggest stars of the era. She is beautiful, and very funny as Regina. Her reactions to Peter's revelations about himself are hilarious. She plays well with Matthau, too, especially in their first scene together. Coburn and Glass are good, but George Kennedy as the bitter, one-armed Scobie is downright scary at times.

Despite one or two technical hiccups, director Stanley Donen expertly steers the film. There are tons of memorable shots, and Peter Stone's screenplay had me guessing right up to the revealing finale. Henry Mancini's score bounces along, it's surprising this only nabbed an Original Song Academy Award nomination, I thought at least the screenplay and Kennedy would have got something as well.

"Charade" is one of those films I knew of, but put off watching for too many years. It was well worth the wait.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=5889&reviewer=325
originally posted: 05/09/15 19:11:53
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User Comments

4/13/15 jokerass lol 1 stars
2/20/15 Chris Jarmick breezy, hitchcockian-Catch a Thief styled romantic suspense classic 4 stars
10/17/12 Keith Miron I've seen this movie so many times, I knew who the killer was the first minute into the mov 4 stars
8/21/11 Lawrence Mercer Love Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn 4 stars
8/11/11 Sharon Hinrichs Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn! What more could you want?! 5 stars
5/19/10 ikkin74 Cary Grant is superb! A must see! 5 stars
7/12/09 the dork knight Plot is secondary to Grant and Hepburn. They are awesome on-screen. 5 stars
6/02/09 Holly GREAT ACTING AND SUSPENSFUL PLOT!!! 5 stars
1/26/09 jgtbld A Classic - fun and entertaining 5 stars
6/04/08 PAUL SHORTT SPARKLES WITH ALL THE VIGOR OF FRESHLY UNCORKED CHAMPAGNE 4 stars
12/15/07 Pamela White Cary and Hepburn have chemistry great plot 5 stars
6/28/07 fools♫gold I can think of no motion picture more thoughtfully important, and will never think of one. 5 stars
11/02/05 David Fowler Obviously above Butterbean's head. Brilliant, charming, irresistable. Gorgeous score! 5 stars
4/29/05 Nobody One of my all-time favorite old movies, a real classic 5 stars
9/26/04 Tor Honolulu If you can find better star power in a more engaging movie, then please let me know 5 stars
3/02/04 Margie Can't go wrong with Audrey and Cary Grant. What the hell were they thinking remaking this?! 5 stars
2/25/04 susan lee way better than the remake ...class film with two stars 5 stars
9/07/03 Amanda Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant were great together, one of my all time favorites 5 stars
6/03/03 Goofy Maxwell Accept no imitations...ummm...well, you know, except for this one of course. 5 stars
8/16/02 I Can't Swim Fantastic chemistry bet. Cary & Audrey; great script & they're in Paris..who can top that? 5 stars
5/29/02 Butterbean A goofy and dated "suspense" flick. I was bored. 2 stars
4/12/02 R.W. Welch Very engaging mystery lark with exceptional writing. 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  05-Dec-1963 (NR)
  DVD: 06-Apr-2004

UK
  N/A (PG)

Australia
  02-Dec-1963 (PG)




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