Charade

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The impossibly charming duo of Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant fuels this stylishly sophisticated comedy/thriller directed by Stanley Donen (Singin’ in the Rain), very much in the Hitchcock vein. In Charade, Hepburn plays a young American in Paris whose husband is murdered and who finds she is being followed by a gang of vicious crooks looking to recover the fortune her late spouse stole from them. Cary Grant is the suave, sophisticated (naturally!) stranger that comes to her aid, but his real motives aren’t entirely clear – could he even be the killer? Soon the harried pair are juggling danger, suspicion and romance, all set against a glamorous backdrop of jet-setting European locations. A deliciously dark comedic thriller, Charade has been called “Hitchcockian” for good reason: the possible duplicities between lovers, the unspoken agendas between a man and woman sharing secrets, the reassuringly solid presence of Cary Grant, etc. But one thing Hitch never had was the lovely Audrey Hepburn, effortlessly gliding through every comic escapade and suspense-filled adventure without even creasing her impeccable designer duds. Gorgeous, witty and legitimately thrilling, Hollywood vet Stanley Donen’s glossy production dazzles with style and macabre humor, all the while celebrating the wonderfully entertaining experience of pure stargazing. One wants Cary Grant to be “Cary Grant” and Audrey Hepburn to be no one else but “Audrey Hepburn” in a lavish Hollywood caper such as this, and they certainly don’t let us down. (Dir. by Stanley Donen, 1963, USA, 115 mins., Not Rated) Digital