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Charade

original film poster
Directed by Stanley Donen
Produced by Stanley Donen
Written by Marc Behm (story)
Peter Stone
(story and screenplay)
Starring Cary Grant
Audrey Hepburn
Music by Henry Mancini
Cinematography Charles Lang
Editing by Jim Clark
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date(s) 5 December 1963 (US)
Running time 113 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Charade is a 1963 film directed by Stanley Donen, written by Peter Stone and Marc Behm, and starring Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn. It also features Walter Matthau, James Coburn, George Kennedy, Dominique Minot, Ned Glass, and Jacques Marin. It spans three genres: suspense thriller, romance, and comedy.

The film is notable for its screenplay, especially the repartee between Grant and Hepburn, for having been filmed on location in Paris, for Henry Mancini's score and theme song, and for the animated titles by Maurice Binder. Charade has been referred to as "the best Hitchcock movie that Hitchcock never made."[1]

Contents

Plot

Regina "Reggie" Lampert (Audrey Hepburn) meets a charming stranger calling himself Peter Joshua (Cary Grant) on a skiing holiday in Megève. She returns to Paris, planning to ask her husband Charles for a divorce, but finds all of their possessions gone. The police notify her that Charles has been murdered, thrown from a train. They give Regina her husband's travel bag. At the funeral, Regina is struck by the odd characters who show up to view the body, including one who sticks the corpse with a pin and another who places a mirror in front of the corpse's mouth and nose, both to verify he is dead.

She is summoned to the U.S. Embassy, where she meets CIA agent Hamilton Bartholomew (Walter Matthau). He informs her Charles was involved in a theft during World War II. As part of the OSS (the predecessor of the CIA), he, "Tex" Panthollow (James Coburn), Herman Scobie (George Kennedy), Leopold W. Gideon (Ned Glass) and Carson Dyle were parachuted behind enemy lines to deliver $250,000 in gold to the French Resistance. Instead, they buried it, but were then ambushed by a German patrol. Dyle was badly wounded and left to die; the rest got away. Charles doublecrossed them, digging up the gold and selling it. He was killed but the money remains missing – and the U.S. government wants it back. Reggie recognizes the oddballs from the funeral in pictures shown to her by Bartholomew. He insists she has the money, even if she doesn't know where it is.

Peter appears and offers to help her figure out what to do. Reggie becomes attracted to him, even though he keeps changing his name (simultaneously amusing and confusing her) and unabashedly admits he is after her late husband's money as well. The dead man's partners in crime assume Reggie knows where the money is and demand their share. Unbeknownst to her, Peter is in league with them (under the pseudonym Alexander Dyle, Carson's brother), though none of the men trust each other.

They begin turning up dead — first Scobie is drowned in an overflowing bathtub, then Gideon has his throat slit while coughing in an elevator. Reggie and Peter go to the location of Charles' last appointment and find an outdoor market. They also spot Tex there. Reggie and Peter split up, with Peter following Tex.

It is Tex who finally figures out where the money is hidden, when he sees several booths selling stamps; Charles had purchased rare stamps and stuck them on an envelope in plain sight just before he boarded his fateful train ride. Peter realizes the same thing and races Tex back to Reggie's hotel room. However, they come up empty. The stamps have been cut off the letter.

Reggie had given them to her friend's son for his stamp collection. By chance, she runs into them at the market, only to learn that the little boy has traded them away. Fortunately, the stamp seller is honest and is satisfied just to have been in possession of the stamps, if only briefly; he gives them back to Reggie. He puts their total value at $250,000.

Reggie hiding from the unmasked Carson Dyle.

She returns to the hotel and finds Tex's bound body. Before he died, he was able to spell out in the dust the name of his killer: "Dyle." Figuring Tex meant Alexander Dyle, a frightened Reggie telephones Bartholomew, who arranges to meet her. When she leaves the hotel, Peter spots her and gives chase through the streets of Paris and the subway.

Peter tracks her to the rendezvous and Reggie is caught out in the open between the two men. Peter tells her that the man she thought was Bartholomew is really Carson Dyle and that he was the one who killed the others. Another chase ensues, ending with Dyle's death.

Reggie insists on turning the stamps over to the proper authorities. Peter refuses to accompany her inside the embassy office, but when she goes in by herself, she is shocked to find Peter (or rather Brian Cruikshank) sitting behind the desk. After proving to her that he is actually the government official responsible for recovered property, he promises to marry her...after she gives him the stamps. The movie ends with a split-screen grid showing flashback shots of all his different identities, with Reggie hoping that they have lots of boys, so she can name them all after him.

Cast

Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn

Production

Audrey Hepburn's line, "at any moment we could be assassinated", was dubbed over to become "at any moment we could be eliminated" due to the recent assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Subsequent versions of the film have restored the original dialogue.

Cary Grant (59 years old, at the time) was sensitive about the age difference between Audrey Hepburn (at age 34) and him, and this made him uncomfortable with the romantic interplay between them. To satisfy his concerns, the filmmakers agreed to add several lines of dialogue in which Grant's character comments on his age and Regina — not Grant's character — is portrayed as the pursuer.

The screenwriter, Peter Stone, and the director, Stanley Donen, have an unusual joint cameo role in the film. When Reggie goes to the U.S. Embassy to meet with Bartholomew, two men get on the elevator as she gets off. The man who says, "I bluffed the Old Man out of the last pot — with a pair of deuces" is Stone, but the voice is Donen's. Stone's voice is later used for the U.S. Marine who is guarding the Embassy at the end of the film.

Awards

Grant and Hepburn were nominated for Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture Actor in a Musical/Comedy and Best Motion Picture Actress in Musical/Comedy. Screenwriter Stone received a 1964 Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for Best Motion Picture Screenplay. Hepburn won the BAFTA Award as Best Actress.

Remakes

The movie was remade in 2002 as The Truth About Charlie starring Thandie Newton and Mark Wahlberg, and directed by Jonathan Demme. The Hindi movie, Chura Liyaa Hai Tumne (2003) (starring Esha Deol and Zayed Khan) is an adaptation of Charade, as is the Bengali movie, "Kokhono Megh" starring Uttam Kumar and Anjana Bhowmik.[2]

Public domain status

This film has lapsed into the public domain in the USA because it was released without a proper copyright notice on the film's credits. It failed to include the word "Copyright", the abbreviation "Copr." or even the symbol "©", as was required by pre-1978 US copyright law. Because of this, a number of public domain releases of this film have been made, including the film being a bonus feature of the DVD release of The Truth About Charlie. It is available at the Internet Archive.

Notes

External links

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Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Charade (film) article)

From Wikiquote

Charade is a 1963 movie written by Peter Stone and Marc Behm, directed by Stanley Donen, and starring Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn.

Dialogue

[When Peter Joshua (Grant) first meets Regina 'Reggie' Lampert (Hepburn)]
Peter: Oh, forgive me. [indicating Jean-Louis, the son of Reggie's friend] Does he belong to you?
Reggie: [indicating Sylvie]: It's hers. Where'd you find him, robbing a bank?
Peter: He was throwing snowballs at Baron Rothschild. [pause] We don't know each other, do we?
Reggie: Why? Do you think we're going to?
Peter: I don't know -- how would I know?
Reggie: Because I already know an awful lot of people; until one of them dies, I couldn't possibly meet anyone else.
Peter [smiling]: Mmm. Well, if anyone goes on the critical list, let me know. [he starts off]
Reggie: Quitter!
Peter [turning]: How's that? What? What?
Reggie: You give up awfully easy, don't you?
[Sylvie sizes up the situation and rises.]
Sylvie: Viens, Jean-Louis, let us make a walk. I have never seen a Rothschild before.
[The boy squirts Peter with his water pistol before leaving.]
Peter [drying himself]: Clever fellow -- almost missed me.
Reggie: You're blocking my view.
Peter [moving]: Sorry. Which view would you prefer?
Reggie: The one you're blocking. This is the last chance I have -- I'm flying back to Paris this afternoon. What's your name?
Peter: Peter Joshua.
Reggie: Oh, mine's Regina Lampert.
Peter: Is there a Mr. Lampert?
Reggie: Yes.
Peter: Good for you.
Reggie: No, it isn't. I'm getting a divorce.
Peter: Please, not on my account.
Reggie: No, you see, I don't really love him.
Peter: Well, at least you're honest, anyway.
Reggie: Yes, I am -- I'm compulsive about it -- dishonesty infuriates me. Like when you go into a drugstore.
Peter: I'm not sure I...
Reggie: Well, you go in and you ask for some toothpaste -- the small size -- and the man brings you the large size. You tell him you wanted the small size but he says the large size is the small size. I always thought the large size was the largest size, but he says that the family size, the economy size and the giant size are all larger than the large size -- that the large size is the smallest size there is.
Peter: Oh. I guess.
Reggie: Is there a Mrs. Joshua?
Peter: Yes, but we're divorced.
Reggie: That wasn't a proposal -- I was just curious.
Peter: Is your husband with you?
Reggie: Oh, Charles is hardly ever with me. First it was separate rooms -- now we're trying it with cities. What do people call you -- Pete?
Peter: Mr. Joshua. [turning to go] Well, I've enjoyed talking with you.
Reggie: Now you're angry.
Peter: No, I'm not -- I've got some packing to do. I'm also going back to Paris today.
Reggie: Oh. Well, wasn't it Shakespeare who said, "When strangers do meet, they should ere long see one another again"?
Peter: Shakespeare never said that!
Reggie: How do you know?
Peter: It's terrible -- you just made it up.
Reggie: Well, the idea's right, anyway. Are you going to call me?
Peter: Are you in the book?
Reggie: (Well) Charles is.
Peter: Is there only one Charles Lampert?
Reggie: Lord, I hope so.

Reggie: Do you know what's wrong with you?
Peter: No, what?
Reggie: Nothing!

External links

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about:

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

CHARADE, a kind of riddle, probably invented in France during the 18th century, in which a word of two or more syllables is divined by guessing and combining into one word (the answer) the different syllables, each of which is described, as an independent word, by the giver of the charade. Charades may be either in prose or verse. Of poetic charades those by W. Mackworth Praed are well known and excellent examples, while the following specimens in prose may suffice as illustrations. "My first, with the most rooted antipathy to a Frenchman, prides himself, whenever they meet, upon sticking close to his jacket; my second has many virtues, nor is its least that it gives its name to my first; my whole may I never catch!" "My first is company; my second shuns company; my third collects company; and my whole amuses company." The solutions are Tar-tar and Co-nun-drum. The most popular form of this amusement is the acted charade, in which the meaning of the different syllables is acted out on the stage, the audience being left to guess each syllable and thus, combining the meaning of all the syllables, the whole word. A brilliant example of the acted charade is described in Thackeray's Vanity Fair.


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