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Charade (The Criterion Collection)

4.3 out of 5 stars 665 customer reviews


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Editorial Reviews

A trio of crooks relentlessly pursues a young American (Audrey Hepburn) through Paris for the fortune her dead husband stole from them. The only person she can trust is a suave, mysterious stranger (Cary Grant). A deliciously dark comedic thriller, Stanley Donen’s Charade dazzles with style and macabre wit to spare. Unavailable for nearly three years, The Criterion Collection is proud to re-release this ’60s spy classic in a gorgeous new
anamorphic transfer.

Special Features

  • New anamorphic transfer with restored image and sound
  • The Films of Stanley Donen: a selected filmography with an introduction by Donen biographer Stephen M. Silverman, plus Peter Stone career highlights

Product Details

  • Actors: Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Thomas Chelimsky, James Coburn, Colin Drake
  • Directors: Stanley Donen
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: April 6, 2004
  • Run Time: 113 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (665 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001J3SVI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,497 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Charade (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Anybody else out there own three copies of Charade on DVD?

It's a great movie, yeah, but not worth three copies. Well, maybe the lesson was worth three copies. The first one took me by surprise. Front Row Features put it out. Nice looking jewel case with the word LETTERBOX EDITION across the top. I had to have it. Couldn't wait to watch it. It was the worst piece of crap I'd ever seen shoveled onto DVD. Faded colors. Blurry pictures. Horrid sound that kept breaking up. It was worse than my ten-year-old VHS copy. I was mortified. Then someone told me there was a copy out there by a company called Criterion Collection, but the price was $40.00. No way, I thought, am I paying that much for a movie.

Next copy I bought was put out by Diamond Entertainment. I'll give them their due. They did a fairly good job of cleaning up whatever print they used. The picture is pretty good; color still slightly washed out, some flickering that's annoying. The sound has been repaired. So what you get is about a C+ to a low B- for this DVD. I like Diamond. And compared to the road kill that Front Row Features served up, the Diamond Entertainment version is a seven-course meal in the finest restaurant.

At last, I couldn't stand it any longer. I went for the Criterion Collection version. I know, I know. Three copies. But the Front Row Features DVD will be thrown into the trash; I won't even subject a stranger at a garage sale to that basement torture trash. The Diamond Entertainment version, which is not a bad copy, just not the best, I'll hand over to my brother as a free-bee gift. He likes the movie, as well, and is even less likely than I to put out the cash.

But then there's the Criterion Collection version.
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Format: DVD
I got this DVD for Christmas and I wasn't disappointed. Stanley Donen, director of musicals such as "Singin' In The Rain" starring Gene Kelly, brought together Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn (who looks luminous, as always) in this wonderfully-written story about a Parisian widow (Hepburn) who is being pursued by three dangerous men (two of which are played by George Kennedy - an excellent "heavy" - and James Coburn at his most menacing) who want to find out about a large sum of money her dead husband supposedly had. Grant is the helpful stranger but eventually you begin to wonder: is he working with these men? Does he want the money for himself? Or is he really the handsome, older man Audrey finds herself falling in love with?
Enhanced by a lush score by the late Henry Mancini, photographed beautifully in Paris and containing first-rate acting and deliciously wicked dialogue by writer Peter Stone, "Charade" is a film that should be in every serious DVD collection. Grant is older but better, like fine wine, and Ms. Hepburn ... well there have been millions of words used to describe her and I can't add to them other than to say the world lost a marvelous talent at her death.
You'll enjoy "Charade" for a long, long time.
Comment 95 of 101 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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There are a lot of different releases of this movie on DVD, some of poor quality. If you can afford it, the Criterion Collection release (make sure it's the anamorphic one, not the earlier letterboxed version) is the best, in that it has a fine widescreen transfer and a commentary by the director.

But if you're a normal human, the one to get happens to be almost the cheapest one to get used (as I write this), and isn't too expensive new either. It's the version on side B of The Truth About Charlie. That version comes from Universal, the studio that produced Charade, and is a clean anamorphic widescreen transfer with fairly good color and sharpness. It's got a few specks at the beginning but is good after the credits. No extras, except for that other movie on side A. (I haven't seen The Truth about Charlie, but it's apparently a mediocre update of Charade.)

I've also looked at the Madacy release, and it's just OK, a nonanamorphic widescreen transfer, grainier than the Universal Studios transfer that comes with The Truth About Charlie. It comes with a fun extended trailer. Also included is a poor transfer of another movie that happens to be named Charade, but otherwise has nothing to do with this one. (That other Charade has James Mason in it, but I haven't watched it through yet to know if it's any good.) I've heard the Madacy release is as good as any of the "off-brand" ones.

All of the the versions have mono sound.
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2 Comments 53 of 55 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By A Customer on November 29, 1999
Do not buy this DVD! This is a very bad print and the master contains video drop outs. If I can't return it for credit and buy the Criterion version, I will burn it and chalk it up as a reminder never to buy a low cost version of anything worth watching. I am sorry, Criterion, I will never waste my money on lower quality versions again.
Comment 44 of 48 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Amen! I also wondered why the rating was so low. It seems odd for such a leading company to let a mistake drag on like this.
May 29, 2010 by D. Krysl |  See all 4 posts
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