In 1930, in Belgium, Gabrielle van der Mal is the stubborn daughter of the prominent surgeon Dr. Pascin Van Der Mal that decides to leave her the upper-class family to enter to a convent, ... See full summary »
Director Billy Wilder salutes his idol, Ernst Lubitsch, with this comedy about a middle-aged playboy fascinated by the daughter of a private detective who has been hired to entrap him with the wife of a client.
Regina is about to divorce her husband when she finds that he has been murdered after converting every penny they owned to cash, which is also missing. She meets Cary Grant who changes his name every 15 minutes or so and is interested in her husband's money, which seems to have come from a WWII payroll he stole. His partners in crime are also very interested in where the money is, as he stole it from them as well. Everyone assumes Regina MUST know where the money is. The situation becomes more tense when the searchers begin turning up dead. Written by
John Vogel <email@example.com>
CHARADE is the best Hitchcock movie Hitchcock never made! With romance, sophisticated comedy, and stylish suspense (including a smattering of graphic-for-its-era violence) balanced out deftly, CHARADE is the movie that made me a fan of both Peter Stone and Stanley Donen (yes, I actually saw this before I ever saw one of Donen's musicals!). Every other line is sparklingly quotable, and Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn are among my favorite screen couples; pity this was their only big screen teaming (I liked the wry way they kidded the age difference between them, too). James Coburn, George Kennedy, and Walter Matthau (all Oscar winners now!) are in top form in these early screen appearances of theirs. Both Hepburn and Paris look their sophisticated best, and the theme is my favorite by Henry Mancini next to the PINK PANTHER theme. Do try to get ahold of the marvelous Criterion Collection DVD of CHARADE; it's well worth seeking out, with nifty extras including an utterly delightful commentary track by Stanley Donen and the late Peter Stone. By the way, CHARADE is also piggybacked onto the DVD of Jonathan Demme's well-meaning but disappointing remake, THE TRUTH ABOUT CHARLIE. On a related note, Donen's second Hitchcock spoof/homage, ARABESQUE, was released as part of a Gregory Peck boxed DVD set. I'm glad ARABESQUE is available on DVD, but I wish they'd recorded a commentary track by Donen and Sophia Loren while they're both still alive and reasonably well. But I digress...watch CHARADE today! :-)
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