- Series: Arabesque
- Mass Market Paperback: 298 pages
- Publisher: Pinnacle (August 1, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0786005459
- ISBN-13: 978-0786005451
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 768 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,678,280 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Charade (Arabesque) Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 1998
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"Charade" is a unique movie that flawless in it's meshing of comedy, romance, and high-intense octane thriller all rolled up into one neat little package of a movie that keeps you guessing right up to the very end.
Regina is spending a holiday a a ski lodge when she casually announces to her best friend that she has decided to divorce her husband Charlie - only to learn from a stranger that her husband was murdered - thrown off a train in his pajamas to be exact. She returns home to Paris only to find that the apartment where she and her husband lived is bare - he sold everything. So she allows a handsome, older gentleman with multiple identities to help her - not realizing the vast fortune that her husband stole is in plain sight.
While not directed by Alfred Hitchcock, it does match the very best of his masterful suspense movies.
I owned three previous editions of this movie (two SD and the Criterion BD released in 2010). I've never encountered a case where a Criterion BD edition has been surpassed, but that appears to be true here. Only Picture Quality fanatics would be concerned about this; but if you're one, my subjective assessment is that Universal has managed to squeeze a bit more color and information out of their own release. The film itself is just not capable of being digitally massaged much more, IMHO. It has quite a few "soft" scenes that we just have to live with.
Harvey is magical. I love it. It is an intriguing fable and James Stewart is perfect.
If you're going to add this film to your collection - and why wouldn't you - do yourself a favor and spend the extra money, but be sure to buy the Criterion Collection version of the film. The transfer to DVD is beautiful, taken from an original 35mm print - unlike some of the cheap versions of this DVD that are out there. The sound has been re-mastered and engineered, bringing it to a crisp, perfect audio.
And then there is the film itself ... WOW ! Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn - it doesn't get better than that. This film is often referred to as the best Hitchcock film that Hitchcock didn't make, and it is true. Producer/Director Stanley Donnen creates a level of intrigue and suspense that is purely Hitchcockian.
If you love these old classic films, do yourself a favor and buy this one. But, make sure to get The Criterion Collection version. It really is worth it to spend the few extra dollars.
Charade was a wonderful mystery, with the charming Cary Grant at the top of his game. Audrey Hepburn was naïve and spunky, and the two had witty, clever dialogue throughout the film.
Actors like Walter Matthau, George Kennedy, and James Coburn brought their substantial skills to the project, and the result is a top notch comedy/thriller.
Unfortunately, this streaming version appears to be time compressed. The picture is jumpy, and the dialogue seems to be a bit frenetic in places ... common symptoms indicating time compression. I cannot recommend it at all.
Also beware the DVD release from Front Row features. It looks like a picture recorded from a TV antennae signal during a thunderstorm, and the sound is scratchy and annoying too.