|Audrey Hepburn in Charade.|
This is a fun film, a sophisticated thriller, more about the romance between the two stars than the intrigue. Donen made a smart decision not to let it get too serious, interjecting moments of droll humor. There is a silly game at a nightclub involving fruit; Grant takes a shower while wearing his suit; and Matthau displays wonderful pauses in conversations with Hepburn, a perplexed look frozen on his face. Even with the light tone there are plenty of tense moments, including a rooftop encounter at night between Grant and George Kennedy, one of the men intimidating Hepburn. All the actors give fine performances.
|James Coburn as Tex, inspecting the body of Charles Lampert.|
One of the best scenes involves Grant and Hepburn sharing a barge down the river. Donen knows how to create a romantic mood, and demonstrates here that he was also adept at pacing. Temporarily free of the goons after the money, the two stars find themselves falling in love. It is night, lights reflect off the water, and the unique Paris architecture looms up as a crew member shines a spotlight on couples kissing on the banks. If not an actual custom in Paris in the early 60's, it is nice to think so, and one of those scenes movie-goers like to imagine they might experience some day.
|Grant and Hepburn stroll alone the Seine.|
Reggie: "I already know an awful lot of people and until one of them dies I couldn't possibly meet anyone else."
Peter Joshua: Well, if anyone goes on the critical list, let me know." (He turns to leave.)
Reggie: "Quitter. You give up awfully easy don't you?"
When they first kiss on the boat:
Peter Joshua: "Wow, when you come on, you come on, don't you?"
Reggie: "Well, come on!"
The great Henry Mancini wrote the score. If not up to his best, it is still Mancini. The theme is catchy, and the chase scenes accented with a nice, cool basa nova beat.
Maurice Binder designed the memorable title sequence, a rotating color wheel, which works great with Mancini's theme. Binder was also the man behind the first James Bond film, Dr. No, as well as several of the sequels.
|CIA man Walter Matthau.|
- Nominated for Best Score and Original Song (Mancini and Mercer).
- Hepburn won a BAFTA Actress award and Grant was nominated.
- Singing in the Rain 1952
- Seven Brides for Seven Brothers 1954
- Funny Face 1957
- Damn Yankees 1958
- Two for the Road 1967