During “the dark days” after JFK’s death, Charade offered Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn (the two most attractive people ever to appear on-screen?) a Henry Mancini score, Givenchy dresses, suspense, glamour and Paris.
—Michael Newton, The Guardian
. . . Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant . . . as participants in a cheating-cheaters chase, has so many grisly touches in it and runs to violence so many times the people bringing their youngsters to see the annual Nativity pageant and the Christmas stage show may blanch in horror when it comes on.
—Bosley Crother, The New York Times
October continues a series of movies under the theme of “Changing Times.” As we stated similarly about last month’s movie — Charade (Donen, 1963) is worth watching for the cinematography and musical score alone. However, this movie added much more to its attractiveness for movie goers of the early 1960s. It starred Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn — who could ask for anything more?
We have a treat in store for us as we watch Charade and the skillful and credible acting by its lead actors, including lovable Walter Matthau. However, other familiar actors George Kennedy, James Coburn, and Ned Glass faced a script that left us wondering — what were they thinking?
The story in Charade is a strange conflation of mystery, violence, and confusion, trying to be comedic. Maybe earlier audiences were so distracted by the beauty of the actors and the scenery that they didn’t notice the screwball antics that seem to affirm criminal behavior. It is labeled a romance, but by today’s standards, the romance in this movie may be a difficult relationship to understand.
Are you preparing yourself?
Now, switching scenes, are you preparing yourself . . . for thinking critically about movies and other important life issues?
Stay with us as we post new insight on our films each month. New insight enhances an inquiring mind.
- Art of the Title Editors. (n.d.). Charade (1963). Art of the Title. Retrieved from https://www.artofthetitle.com/title/charade/
- Crowther, B. (1963, Dec 6). Audrey Hepburn and Grant in Charade: Comedy-melodrama is at the Music Hall: Production abounds in ghoulish humor. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/1963/12/06/archives/screen-audrey-hepburn-and-grant-in-charadecomedymelodrama-is-at-the.html
- Donen, S. (Director). (1963, Dec 13). Charade [Motion picture]. USA: Universal.
- Newton, M. (2013). Charade: The last sparkle of Hollywood. The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/film/2013/dec/13/charade-audrey-hepburn-cary-grant