Let's see: what we got here is one of the best romantic-comedy/thriller scripts ever made, one of the best Hollywood directors from 50's and 60's, the more elegant and classy actress ever (Audrey Hepburn), the more elegant and classy actor ever (Cary Grant), two of the best "tough guys" from the big screen (G. Kennedy and James Coburn), one of the best comedy actors ever (Walter Matthau), and the city of Paris. Nothing could possibly go wrong, don't you think?
Audrey Hepburn is Reggie Lambert, an American girl married to a swiss guy called Charles Lambert (at least that's what she thinks)... She's spending her holidays in some ski resort with her best girlfriend Sylvie and the son of hers. Reggie has decided to divorce her husband, so she gets back to Paris. Once there she found out that her husband's been killed. From this moment on she gets involved in the funniest spy plot ever.
Watching Charade you'll have an smile on your face from the beginning till the very end. And you'll burst out laughing in many moments of the movie. Stanley Donen gets out of every sequence very skillfully and, as he did before in Seven Brides or Singin' In The Rain, he probes he's an outstanding filmmaker. There're two names that come into my mind every time I watch this movie: Alfred Hitchcock and Blake Edwards. In Charade, Stanley Donen merged suspense and romantic-comedy in the best possible way. Actor's selection is just perfect, the chemical between Hepburn and Grant is simply unbeatable. One more perfect couple to add to Hollywood's Couple's Hall Of Fame: side by side with Katharine Hepburn-Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn-Cary Grant (him once again!), Lauren Bacall-Humphrey Bogart... It's not easy to find two actors so compatible. What to say about George Kennedy or James Coburn? Best known for their roles in action movies, they do their best as CIA agents. And least but not less, we got Walter Matthau, one of the best comedy actors ever (I should've put Walter Matthau-Jack Lemon in my Couple's Hall Of Fame!) doing the best he can (that is a lot!) as (in principle) an American Embassy employee.
So if you liked North By Northwest or Breakfast At Tiffany's, if you think that there's never been a more classy actress than Audrey Hepburn, if you do believe that Cary Grant's been one of the more talented actors ever (and one of the funniest ones)... please, don't miss Charade. You'll spend one of the times of your life.
Regina Lampert, a Paris based American, has decided to divorce her Swiss husband, Charles Lampert, because of the secrets and lies that have pervaded their marriage, she coming to the conclusion that she no longer loves him and really knows nothing about him. Before she can make that request to Charles, he is found dead, seemingly pushed off a Paris to Bordeaux train. While Regina was on holiday in Megève, Charles sold all their possessions making $250,000 in the process, and seemed to be on his way to the coast to leave the country for South America probably for good. The money, however, was not among his possessions on the train, those possessions which are returned to Regina. Regina further learns from Hamilton Bartholomew of the CIA that they were after him, Charles Lampert only the primary alias he has been using of late. During WWII, Charles, a member of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), absconded with $250,000 worth of their gold bars that were destined for the French Resistance. The US government wants that money back. Charles had a few partners in crime among the OSS, namely four men: Tex Panthollow, Leopold Gideon, Herman Scobie and Carson Dyle. Besides Dyle who died in the war, Regina knows the other three men are still alive, as she recognized them from a photograph as the three unknown men who attended Charles' funeral. They are now after her as they also want the money which they believe she has, and will kill to get it. She knows nothing about the money, but realizes that it is her duty to find it to return it to its rightful owner, namely the US government, and that it may save her life from Charles' partners. Clues to the money's whereabouts may be among those possessions Charles had on the train. Coming to Regina's aid is Peter Joshua, a man she met while she was in Megève. As Peter helps her, she quickly falls in love with him, and he seemingly with her. Shortly thereafter, she also comes to the realization that Peter is keeping as many secrets as Charles did, and as such he is a person she perhaps should not be trusting.
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