Charade (1963)

Charade (1963) – Stanley Donen’s Charade has been called “the best Hitchcock movie that he never made.” (For the record, I disagree and would nominate Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Les diaboliques instead.) Still though, there is a certain Hitchcockian feel to certain aspects of the story. Audrey Hepburn plays Reggie, a recent widow. She returns from a ski vacation (where she had contemplated divorce) to find her husband dead, their possessions sold, and several strangers inquiring about him. The strangers range from informative (Walter Matthau), menacing (Ned Glass, James Coburn, & especially George Kennedy), to downright charming (Cary Grant). She learns that her husband apparent helped steal a large portion of money and they all want it. Reggie knows nothing. As you might expect of any movie starring Cary Grant, a romance blooms, though Reggie is hardly sure she can trust him. Intrigue and romance in 1960s Parisian style ensues. The movie is very entertaining. There’s a reason it’s considered a classic.

A WORD OF WARNING: I watched this film on Netflix Instant. The picture was grainy and there was a high-pitched static-y noise through the whole film. I had to crank the volume way the hell up to hear it. This is the first such horrible experience I’ve had with Netflix Instant, but I would encourage anyone who wants to watch this movie to rent or purchase the Criterion DVD or Blu Ray instead. Criterion has pretty high quality control standards and I can’t imagine their product would have such shitty transfer issues.

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