Charade (1963) / Comedy-Mystery
MPAA Rated: Not rated, but probably PG for some violence and mild language
Running Time: 113 min.
Cast: Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Walter Matthau, James Coburn, George Kennedy
Director: Stanley Donen
Screenplay: Peter Stone
Review published May 29, 1998
A soon-to-be divorced woman (Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's) needn't worry any longer about her failing marriage when it is discovered her husband died after a tumble off of a moving train. She soon discovers her husband was not who he claims to be, in fact, he was a thief who, along with four other soldiers, buried $250,000 worth of Nazi gold and later sold it keeping all the profit to himself. Now the remaining soldiers are out to get the money from her so they can get their "rightful" share, and the only man she can trust (Grant, That Touch of Mink) turns out to be in cahoots with them. The problem is she has no idea where the money is, and knows no way to protect herself from the men willing to kill to get their money.
One of several forays director Stanley Donen (Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Singin' in the Rain) made into Hitchcock mystery/comedy/romance territory and probably the best of his efforts. Grant and Hepburn are a true joy to watch, and the script is full of clever twists and turns to keep you guessing. The two leads are joined by a well-cast supporting crew and the music by Henry Mancini (A Shot in the Dark, Silver Streak) gives the film a 60s chic that is infectious. Immensely enjoyable and intelligent entertainment and one of the most overlooked gems of it's time. Fans of North by Northwest and Rear Window should seek this film out as it's about as close to classic Hitch as you can get without it actually being made by Alfred himself.
©1998 Vince Leo