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Friday, November 8, 2013

Charade (1963)

When I was trying to learn how to set up a false IP address so that I could fool Netflix into thinking that I was in the U.S. rather than in Europe, I started watching this movie, and then I got hooked.  I had never heard of it (really, no surprise.  I am at best a diletantte, and then only because I watch movies while I exercise, which allows me to do two things that I barely have time to do at once.  At worst I am just plain unimpressive.  I am essentially auditingmy first film class and learning the language and techniques behind the art of film making).

In any case, regardless of how I came to see this, it is a gem.  It is a combination thriller-romantic comedy, in the vein of North by Northwest, although more romance and less thrilling.  Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant have good chemistry, and while one review I read felt he was a tad on the old side for her, I thought it worked well.

The story is that Regina "Reggie" Lampbert (Hepburn) is vacationing at a lovely Alpine ski resort, planning he divorce.  Her husband doesn't know it yet, and she is getting friendly advice on how to proceed.  She meets the charming Peter Joshua (Grant) there, and a few sparks fly.  She goes back to Paris to confront her husband, only to find their apartment has been emptied out--he has sold everything and left town--only to be murdered on his getaway train.  At his funeral she discovers that her husband had a past she was completely unaware of, that included riling up some unsavory characters during his WWII service, and having the U.S. government after him for some stolen property.  Reggie's life is clearly in danger becaue one by one her assailants end up dead, and she has to chose who to trust.  The movie is a bit dated, but not enough to diminish it's entertainment value, and I would recommend it. 

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