BLU-RAY/DVD REVIEWS

003739Reviews & Counting
SEARCH BY TITLE # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Charade
BLU-RAY disk
09.29.2010 By: Mathew Plale
Charade order download
Director:
Stanley Donen

Actors:
Audrey Hepburn
Cary Grant
Walter Matthau

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

star Printer-Friendly version
comment
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A widow (Hepburn), with the help of a suave stranger (Grant) and a CIA agent (Matthau), tries to elude a trio of thieves who think she has the $250,000 her dead husband stole from them.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Who would point a pistol at dear Audrey Hepburn--let alone in the first five minutes?! Charade is a comedy that takes risks, putting heroes on sloped roofs and making the audience feel as if one of the dearest women of all-time (actress or not) is in danger--even if that pistol is water gun aimed by a small boy.

Beginning with a corpse being heaved from a moving train, Stanley Donen takes his players through a chase in the city of Paris, guided by a hip Henry Mancini score and colorful Charles Lang Jr. photography. At the center is $250,000, which a trio of cartoonish thieves (one with a hook for a hand!) are after, believing Reggie’s (Audrey Hepburn) now-dead husband to have stolen it from them while on a raid during World War.

Having little knowledge of even her husband’s middle initial--let alone $250,000 in gold stored in the house--Reggie confides in Walter Matthau’s CIA agent Bartholomew, despite a suspicious mustache, and Cary Grant’s Peter Joshua, even though he switches pseudonyms every afternoon. Each male character stamps themselves suspect so consistently that we start to question whether doe-eyed Reggie herself knows where the $250,000 is. Try to find another movie that makes us distrust sweet Audrey like this!

By 1963, Hepburn had appeared onscreen with the likes of Gregory Peck, Humphrey Bogart and Fred Astaire. At the same point, Grant had teamed with Ingrid Bergman, Grace Kelly and Deborah Kerr. But this, their only pairing, is one of the key successes in both the picture and the careers of the actors, who engage in the lyrical Peter Stone-penned riposte like only a perfect duo can.

From the opening titles by Maurice Binder (most famous for his James Bond film openings, including the much-spoofed gun barrel sequence) to the final reveal(s), Charade is one of the wittiest, slickest, classiest, and swiftest guessing games in cinema history.
THE EXTRAS
Audio commentary featuring director Stanley Donen and screenwriter Peter Stone: Recycled from the original Criterion Collection DVD (spine #57), this track delves into the production of Charade, from filming to the release. An essential listen for fans.

Original theatrical trailer.

Also included with this Criterion Collection Blu-ray is 12-page booklet featuring an essay titled “The Spy in Givenchy” by journalist, film-writer and audio/video producer Bruce Eder.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Charade lovers may be tempted to immediately pick up this Blu-ray release, as it boasts gorgeous video and audio upgrades from the original Criterion Collection disc. Unfortunately, the special features are lacking in quantity--though an excellent commentary track almost makes up for this.
Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

Best Selling

| May 2016 More Best Selling
  • 1
    Zootopia
  • 2
    Deadpool
  • 3
    Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • 4
    Captain America: Civil War
  • 5
    13 Hours

Featured Youtube Videos

Views and Counting