Charade, 1963

This compelling suspense film, directed by Stanley Donen, is filled with big name actors like Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Walter Matthau, James Coburn, and George Kennedy. It’s hard to determine who is telling the truth when everyone wants the same thing and no one has been able to find it. Is the hero really the hero, or is it all just a charade?

Audrey Hepburn plays Regina Lampert, who finds out that getting a divorce is the least of her worries. One suspenseful, yet funny, line of dialogue after another, and soon Regina is surrounded by men who knew her husband. She doesn’t know anyone’s name and doesn’t know if she can trust them to tell her the truth. Towards the end when the suspense and the romance heats up, one must pay close attention in order to figure out who’s who.

Cary Grant, uncomfortable with the 26-year age difference between him and Audrey Hepburn, was pleased that the script made it clear that his character wasn’t pursuing Audrey’s character, but rather Regina was interested in Peter Joshua. Cary Grant was quoted after the film, saying, “All I want for Christmas is to make another movie with Audrey Hepburn.” Instead, he made two more films (with Leslie Caron and Samantha Eggar) and then retired.

Cary Grant was in four Alfred Hitchcock movies. The fact that Cary Grant was in this suspenseful movie made viewers think it was a Hitchcock film. Thus the confusing tagline: "the best Hitchcock film that Hitchcock never made.”

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