Saturday, December 5, 2020

On This Day...Charade (1963)

 Charade was Cary Grant's 70th full length film and was released today back in 1963.


Regina Lambert(Audey Hepburn) is the wife of a man named Charles Lambert. Upon her return to Paris from a ski holiday, in Megève, she finds her husband's been murdered, and their apartment stripped bare.

She is told by CIA agent Hamilton Bartholomew (Walter Matthau) that Charles Lambert was one of a group of men who stole a quarter of a million dollars in gold from the U.S. government during World War II, and the government wants it back.

The money was not found among his few possessions, and Regina can't shed any light on its whereabouts. She's soon visited by Peter Joshua (Cary Grant) whom she'd briefly met whilst in Megève. 

When her husband's former partners (in crime), who were double-crossed by Charles, begin to terrorise her for the money, Peter offers to help Regina find it. So begins an elaborate charade, in which nothing - and no one - is who, or what they seem to be.

With George Kennedy,

"Hepburn, an elegant apparition in her Givenchy gowns, gives her usual distinctive performance, but Grant, skillfully handling some of the best material he's worked on in a long time, comes up with one of the happiest high-comedy performances." - Richard Whitehall, Films and Filming

"More credit, then, to producer-director Stanley Donen who has brought to the screen an absolute delight in which Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn schottische about with evident glee." - Newsweek

Did You Know?

After finishing this film, Cary Grant was quoted as saying, "All I want for Christmas is to make another movie with Audrey Hepburn." Although it never happened, Grant was offered the role of Higgins in My Fair Lady (1964), and requested Hepburn as his co-star in Father Goose (1964).

According to Audrey Hepburn, the scene where Regina spilled ice cream on Alex's suit was based on a real-life accident where Hepburn spilled red wine on Cary Grant's suit at a dinner party.

This film is in the public domain, due to the failure to put the then-required copyright notice in the released print. The attempt at a copyright notice in the film failed to include the text "Copyright", "Copr.", or "©", as was needed by pre-1989 U.S. law; only the year and supposed copyright holder were listed.

Audrey Hepburn was several years older than actresses who had already played Cary Grant's love interest back in the 1950's, such as Sophia Loren and Jayne Mansfield, which makes the fact that this movie often gets cited as an example of age gap relationships all the more peculiar. Hepburn was already in her mid-30's here, and "only" 25 years younger than Grant.

When looking at the receipt of Charles' possessions, the date was May 4, 1963, which was Audrey Hepburn's thirty-fourth birthday.


 Cary Grant ... Peter Joshua
 Audrey Hepburn ... Regina Lambert
 Walter Matthau ... Hamilton Bartholomew
 James Coburn ... Tex Panthollow
 George Kennedy ... Herman Scobie
 Dominique Minot ... Sylvie Gaudet
 Ned Glass ... Leopold W. Gideon
 Jacques Marin ... Insp. Edouard Grandpierre
 Paul Bonifas ... Mr. Felix
 Thomas Chelimsky ... Jean-Louis Gaudet

With Audrey Hepburn, James Coburn, Jacques Marin and Ned Glass.

On location.

Lobby Cards:

Alternative Posters:

Directed by Stanley Donen.
Distributed by Universal-International.
Running time: 113 minutes.

No comments: