Charade (1963)

STANLEY DONEN

Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB.

USA, 1963.  Universal Pictures, Stanley Donen Films.  Story by , ,Screenplay by Peter Stone.  Cinematography by .  Produced by Stanley Donen.  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Podcast:  My Criterions.  Academy Awards 1963.  Golden Globe Awards 1963.  

My favourite Audrey Hepburn movie is this incredible murder mystery. She plays a woman who returns from vacation in Switzerland with the intention of telling her husband she wants a divorce, only to find that he has been murdered and all their belongings have been thoroughly cleaned out. What’s a girl to do but go into mourning, but this becomes difficult when it is revealed that her husband had a large sum of money that the killers suspect is in her possession. Enter a mysterious stranger (Cary Grant) who wants to help make sure that Hepburn comes out of it all alive, but she’s never actually sure that she can trust him. Stanley Donen’s direction fills this thrilling yarn with lots of great scary sequences and plenty of humour, while Peter Stone’s screenplay perfectly balances comedy with suspense to such a purely judged level that the two never conflict with each other, especially because Hepburn and Grant have such marvelous on-screen chemistry. As in Breakfast At Tiffany’s, Henry Mancini contributes another great score to an Audrey Hepburn movie, which reaches its high point with the lovely titular ballad.

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