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Charade (1963)

aka Charade

"You can expect the unexpected when they play..."Charade""

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Details: 113 mins · English, Deutsch, French, Italiano

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(Review written in 2010)

I thought this movie was adorable. Maybe in its time it wasn’t as cute as it seems to me today, but…yeah. I just thought the idea of this character who is a million different people and you can never pin him down and decide exactly who he is, is kind of brilliant in a very simplistic way. I also really like Audrey Hepburn. She does a good job of being a snarky little bitch and a scared, sad woman.

My problems, really, in this movie, were with the character development. Audrey’s character takes a complete 180 from what I thought she was at the beginning – which I would usually be fine with…if it didn’t come completely out of the blue for me. I didn’t see any capabilities in her character to end up behaving that way. And it just seemed artificial. As far as the plot goes, though, I was intrigued and interested in the mystery of the whole thing and the character relationships.

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I loved how zany Cary Grant was in this. My only complaint? I wish Audrey's character had been a bit more self reliant. Not the best Audrey movie. And not the best Cary Grant movie. But it was still fun and the two had great chemistry.

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Cast:

Small Peter Joshua
Small Regina Lampert
Small Hamilton Bartholemew
Small Tex Panthollow
Small Herman Scobie
No_movie_poster Sylvie Gaudet
No_movie_poster Leopold W. Gideon
No_movie_poster Insp. Edouard Grandpierre
No_movie_poster Mr. Felix
No_movie_poster Jean-Louis Gaudet

Crew:

No_movie_poster Henry Mancini Original Music Composer
No_movie_poster Charles Lang Director of Photography
No_movie_poster Jim Clark Editor
Small Stanley Donen Director
No_movie_poster Jean d'Eaubonne Art Direction
No_movie_poster Peter Stone Screenplay
No_movie_poster Marc Maurette Director
Small Stanley Donen Production
No_movie_poster Peter Stone Story Contributor
No_movie_poster Marc Behm Story Contributor

Taglines:

"You can expect the unexpected when they play..."Charade""

Plot:

Regina "Reggie" Lampert (Audrey Hepburn), on a skiing holiday in Megève, tells her friend Sylvie Gaudel (Dominique Minot) that she has decided to divorce her husband Charles. She then meets a charming stranger, Peter Joshua (Cary Grant). When she returns to Paris, her apartment is completely empty, and police inspector Edouard Grandpierre (Jacques Marin) notifies her that Charles has been murdered while leaving Paris. They give Reggie his travel bag, containing a letter addressed to her, a ticket to Venezuela, passports in multiple names, and other items. At the funeral, Regina notices three odd characters who show up to view the body. One sticks the corpse with a pin and another places a mirror in front of the body's mouth and nose, both to verify that Charles is really dead.


Reggie is summoned to meet CIA administrator Hamilton Bartholomew (Walter Matthau) at the U.S. Embassy. She learns that the three men are Tex Panthollow (James Coburn), Herman Scobie (George Kennedy), and Leopold W. Gideon (Ned Glass), the three survivors of a World War II OSS operation. Together with Charles and a fifth man, Carson Dyle, they were to deliver $250,000 in gold to the French Resistance, but they stole it instead. Dyle was fatally wounded in a German ambush, and Charles doublecrossed the others and took all the gold. The three men want the missing money, and the U.S. government wants it back. Bartholomew insists that Reggie has it, even if she does not know where it is.


Peter tracks Reggie down and helps her move into a hotel. The three criminals separately threaten Reggie, each convinced that she knows where the money is. After Scobie informs Reggie that Peter is in league with the trio (though none of them trust each other), Peter tells her that he is really Carson Dyle's brother Alexander "Alex" Dyle and is convinced that the others murdered Carson.


As the hunt for the money continues, first Scobie is found murdered, then Gideon. Meanwhile, Reggie falls in love with Alex, but then she learns from Bartholomew that Carson Dyle had no brother. Alex now says he is actually Adam Canfield, an unabashed professional thief. Although frustrated by his dishonesty, Reggie still finds herself trusting him.


Reggie and Adam go to the location of Charles's last appointment and find an outdoor market. They also spot Tex there, and Adam follows him. It is Tex who finally figures out where the money is hidden. He sees booths selling stamps to collectors and realizes Charles must have purchased rare stamps and stuck them on an envelope in plain sight, the letter in his travel bag. Adam realizes the same thing and races Tex back to Reggie's hotel room, but the stamps are gone because Reggie had given them to Sylvie's boy, Jean-Louis (Thomas Chelimsky), for his collection, and he has taken them to the market to trade them. Reggie now also realizes the stamps' significance, so she, Sylvie, and Jean-Louis finds the stamp trader, Mr. Felix (Paul Bonifas). Fortunately, he is honest. Recognizing the value of the stamps, he guessed that there had been some mistake, so he returns them to Reggie.

Release Dates:

Theatrical : 1963-12-05 : United States of America

DVD : 1997-10-14