Charming Regina Lampert (Audrey Hepburn) returns to her home in Paris from a skiing holiday to find that her world had been turned upside down. To begin with, her husband Charles is lying dead in the mortuary, murdered in cold blood. Then, Inspector Edouard Grandpierre (Jaques Marin) of the French Police grills her about a quarter of a million dollars her husband was supposed to have been carrying. CIA agent Bartholomew (Walter Matthau) calls her in for questioning, warning her that the money was stolen by Charles and his friends during World War II and had to be returned to the United States Treasury. Regina doesnít have the foggiest idea about the money.
As if this isnít enough, three seedy-looking characters who claim to be Charlesí friends keep popping up unexpectedly, threatening her with dire consequences if she does not disclose the whereabouts of the money. Nobody, except the kindly Peter Joshua (Cary Grant) - a stranger who appears from nowhere - seems to believe her innocence.
Suspicion and fear reign high as one by one Charlesí one-time partners in crime are murdered. Peter too keeps her guessing about his identity. Chased, threatened and frightened to death, Regina is left with no choice but to run, which she does - but headlong into more trouble and danger. Faced with the possibility of a cruel death, Regina is left wondering whom she could trust and whether she would ever find out where Charles had stashed the booty.
Running Time: 118 Minutes
MPAA Ratings: NR (Questionable for Children)
It takes exceptional skills to produce a murder mystery that has the audience on the edge for nearly two hours. Those fortunate to view this thrilling Hollywood mystery will agree that director Stanley Donen was blessed with such ability. Charades showcases Donen as an exceptional director with an uncanny ability to bring out the best from his cast.
This is a murder mystery with a difference. Filled with unexpected twists and turns, the narrative has your mind on constant overdrive, trying to figure out how the plot will unfold. More often than not, you are caught on the wrong foot. You start guessing again - only to be outdone by another clever twist in the narrative. Donenís job was made easy by the star-studded cast that includes Hollywoodís best - stunningly beautiful Audrey Hepburn, debonair Cary Grant, rugged James Coburn, gifted Jacques Marin and the inimitable Walter Matthau, to name a few.
Itís quite interesting to see a young looking James Coburn in a negative role. Audrey Hepburn is at her scintillating best in this mystery about a young widow who suddenly finds herself at the center of a life-threatening drama. Hounded by goons, the police and the CIA, the woman is at a loss to prove that she knows nothing about a quarter of a million dollars that her late husband had stolen from the United States Army during World War II. With the threat of death constantly looming over her, the lady has no choice but to trust an ageing but dapper stranger who walks into her life from nowhere.
Donít miss this high voltage drama that has a fair share of well-placed humor and romance thrown in. Most people are left shaking their heads in amazement at the final twist in this fast-paced narrative. Check it out. Youíll love it.
"I am a diehard fan of Cary Grantís and seldom miss an opportunity to view his movies. For some strange reason, I never got round to seeing Charades, and was quite disappointed. And then suddenly I see this DVD at a friendís. Boy what a stroke of good fortune that was. I have not only seen the movie twice already, but have placed an order for my own copy as well. This is one of those timeless classics on DVD that you come across only once in a while and I guess I must say a big Thanks to all at a2zcds.com for preserving this Hollywood classic on DVD."
Charlotte Smith (Los Angeles, California).
"Thanks to a2zcds.com, todayís movie buffs can get a glimpse of some of the timeless classics of the 20th century. Charades is a showcase of acting and directional talents that go beyond the ordinary, and is a fabulous lesson for all aspiring actors and directors. For those souls who like me are vintage movie connoisseurs, this is a rare treat. Audrey Heyburnís portrayal of a damsel in distress is simply out of this world and Cary Grant seems to have saved his best for this Hollywood adventure. This is one movie that I would recommend to all, regardless of age."
Michelle West (San Antonio, Texas)
CAST & CREW:
James Coburn - Tex Panthollow
George Kennedy - Herman Scobie
Dominique Minot - Sylvie Gaudel
Ned Glass - Leopold W. Gideon
Paul Bonifas - Mr. Felix (stamp dealer)
Gregoire Aslan - Insp. Edouard Grandpierre (voice) (uncredited)
Stanley Donen - Man in elevator (voice) (uncredited)
Colin Drake - Ambassador Bartholemew (uncredited)
Clement Harari - (uncredited)
Monte Landis - Master of ceremonies at Les Black Sheep Club (uncredited)
Bernard Musson - (uncredited)
Jacques Preboist - (uncredited)
Peter Stone - Man in elevator/Voice of Marine (uncredited)
Marc Behm - Writing Credits
Charles Lang - Cinematography
James H. Ware - Associate Producer
Jim Clark - Editor
General Packaging Description:
Our professionally-produced DVDs are shipped in retail Amaray style DVD cases just like you would find in a store. These beautifully packaged DVDs make great gifts and are themselves works of art. While we offer some of the best prices anywhere, we have never sacrificed quality for price.