Saturday, November 13, 2010

Charade (1963)

I am not going to lie. One of the best parts of the romantic thriller Charade is Audrey Hepburn's wardrobe. I always love watching her films and thinking about how she supposedly sported more a jeans and ballet flats look in real life, yet her characters always take the height of glamour. For instance, when her character, Regina Lambert, visits the American Embassy in Paris dressed in an orange, funnel-collared coat, and leopard-print hat, I had to pause NetFlix Instant and say, "Really?" outloud. Who else looks that chic? Who else? I should note Givenchy designed the costumes, and I loved the parallels to Holly Golightly's wardrobe.

Her other main accessory, Cary Grant, only increases this. All right, "accessory" seems a demeaning term, but they look damn good together on screen. Like most first-time viewers, I felt confused about who Grant's character was supposed to be, as he switched and un-switched identities, but I also knew this confusion would culminate in some moment when they, gasp, kissed.

Needless to say, I loved this film. For years, I thought Alfred Hitchcock directed it, but Stanley Donen remains the true deliverer. He creates a Parisian fantasyland where perfect women like Regina become lost in con-men, murdered husbands, and stolen millions. Walter Matthau, in a supporting role as a CIA agent, tries to cover her, but cannot prevent the subway races and rooftop fistfights. And while the twist seems obvious now, I did not see it coming while watching, which to me, spells a strong script. Add a scene with Cary Grant, oranges, and bosoms, and Charade delivers the goods I love in classic films.


Shybiker said...

Ha! Did you really pause the film and exclaim? That's so funny. And I get your referring to Cary as her accessory.

I'm so glad you're back. I love your writing and your taste in movies.

Stacy said...

love it, so perfect!

She is Sara said...

I have missed you!!! I was wondering where the heck you went!! This movie looks awesome, hrm...must get a netflicks!