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Hollywood legends Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn light up the screen in the stylish thriller Charade. Regina (Hepburn) finds herself pursued through the streets of Paris by several men in search of the fortune that her murdered husband stole from them. As her world becomes entangled with suspense, murder and plots twists, she finds herself leaning on a suave, charming stranger (Grant) whose motives are unclear. Beautifully directed by Stanley Donen and co-starring James Coburn, George Kennedy and Walter Matthau, this timeless classic will keep you guessing until the very end. Expect the unexpected!
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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.
The story is of Regina Lampert whose deceased husband has hid a quarter od a million dollars stolen from the US Government. All of sudden several killers, the CIA, and Paris Police are turning to her to find that money. She joins forces with Peter Joshua who has several aliases to find her husband's secret life and that money. Regina is caught up in a mystery with no one to turn to and no one who she can trust, while falling in love with a person who may just be after the hidden money.
I highly recommend this movie. Hepburn is very energetic in this particular film. A wonderful film by any standard.
Beginning with Henry Mancini's catchy pop title song and Maurice Binder's Bondian titles, "Charade" has never looked more cinematic than on Criterion's gorgeous Blu-ray iteration. Audrey Hepburn displays exquisite class not only in her Givenchy wardrobe, but in the verbal ping pong she plays with the intriguing Cary Grant, a man of no less than 4 identities. As did Joan Fontaine in "Suspicion", Hepburn must grapple with the existential question, "Is Cary Grant trying to kill me?" From the opening sequence in which the first victim is hurled from a speeding train in his pajamas,(a recurrent motif in the film), "Charade" betrays a Hitchcockian fascination with trains and public landmarks (Notre Dame, the Champs Elysees) and a love for double entendres. Peter Stone's witty script has the future lovers meeting cute, thanks to a water pistol, and developing their relationship through a series of sight and verbal gags involving food, which satisfy several viewer appetites all at once.
With its vivid colors, sharp editing, crackling good score and sound effects, but above all with its beautiful stars in beautiful locales, "Charade" is the next best thing to a visit to Paris itself.
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