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Set in contemporary Paris, Regina is intent on divorcing her husband after her return from vacation in Switzerland. Still, the last think Regina expects is for him to wind up dead: murdered nonetheless. Informed by CIA agent Hamilton Bartholomew that her husband was one of several convicts suspected of stealing money from the U.S. government during WWII, and coincidentally the government wants it back, Regina comes up empty handed both in cash and testimony. Likewise her husband's former "partners in crime" start to show up and showing interest in Regina, and likely her money, which begins to compromise Regina's safety: its one great big charade with Charles' former accomplice Peter at the helm of the "treasure hunt."
Directed by Stanley Donen.
Tag Line: "Charade has a wonderful blend of suspense, romance, adventure, and mystery."
This comedy / Alfred Hitchcock type thriller opens with some hapless sap being thrown out of a train, dead as a doornail. The second scene shows Regina "Reggie" Lampert (Audrey Hepburn), vacationing in the Alps, with a good friend (Dominique Minot), and her young son (Tom Chelimsky), who's handy with a squirt gun, and has a knack for finding trouble. She briefly meets and talks with a handsome man, Peter Joshua (Cary Grant).
Little does she know what a surprise she would get upon returning home to Paris, France, finding a completely empty home, a cleaned-out bank account, and the news of a dead husband, whose body it was, seen earlier by the audience, being thrown from the train in the French countryside, on his way to Argentina. All she has left is a suitcase full of clothes, a package of her husband's belongings, a letter he was going to send her, and a huge problem.
It seems that her husband had
a double life, and was involved in something that now is dragging
her into a mess, involving 3 menacing characters, insisting on
the money they think she now has. Coincidentally this same handsome
man, calling himself Peter Joshua, appears to help her the minute
she arrives home, as she stands in stunned silence in the middle
of her empty home. Peter Joshua offers: "How about making
me vice president in charge of cheering you up?"
This screenplay is well-written by James and Pamela Mason, well directed by Roy Kellino and well acted by it's main stars and fine ensemble cast.
Cary Grant is his usual suave,
composed handsome self, and has terrific screen chemistry with
the talented, classy Audrey Hepburn, who gives us one of her finest
performances in her role as a lady in a lot of unexpected trouble,
with only a man who keeps changing his name to help her out of
it. Who is he, and what does he want out of it? Does he love her,
or is he just using her?
Walter Matthau (Hamilton Bartholomew)
also does a great job keeping the audience and main characters
guessing who he really is, and what side he is truly on.
Screenplay by: Peter Stonen & Mark Behm Original Music by: Henri Mancini.