Ooo What fun! A film from that lovely time in cinema when films could be fun, star studded & made with care and quality. While the crime caper plot and cheeky script are gleefully reminiscent of Hitchcock, the film's real strength is in its leading duo. The iconic forces of Hepburn & Grant going head to head is joyous viewing as the two bounce off each other without missing a beat. Charade is good old fashioned fun.
Poor man's Hitchcock? Rubbish! Might as well complain that your excellent Bordeaux isn't an equally excellent Chablis. It borrows the exciting chases through tunnels and the big reveal - which is a genuine surprise - but it's real charm lies in the zest and vim of two lead performances which fizz naughtily and establish the film's difference from Hitchcock. Also fab to see 60s Paris Metro details in colour.
An amusing and intriguing thriller with plenty of surprises and twists that are balanced with fresh romantic chemistry between Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn and a twisted plot that keeps you excited and awaiting what more deceptions and double crosses await in a film where charades are the biggest game.
Maybe if this had been filmed and acted differently, the script (weird sneezes and all?) might have delivered something black but twinkling, like Fargo and The Lady Vanishes' love child. But it doesn't. The oddness has no charm, and the glaze of insincerity shows up nothing interesting. Perhaps I'm missing something?
I'd agree with with a lot of the commentary. A bit too long, it could have taken up jogging and lost some flab, say 15 minutes and I'm not completely convinced about the leads' 'chemistry'. It's like they've taken all the ingredients for a great dish... Paris locations, Grant & Hepburn, Givenchy costumes, a Mancini score and that amazing opening sequence by Maurice Binder; but then turned out something a bit bland.
Particularly funny and sweet, with excellent chemistry between handsome Cary & gorgeous Hepburn, this Hitchcock-esque twister is a delicious romantic comedy full of intrigue, suspense, deceit and frantic chases through midnight Paris. Dialogues are a source of quotations and deadly one-liners. Reminiscent of an era of glamorous film icons and unpretentious cinema masterpieces.
On paper this should be everything i could want from a film - a screwball Hitchcock-esque thriller with Audrey Hepburn in 60's Givenchy strolling through Paris being charming? Oui to that! Alas, this is more of a 3 1/2 star affair. It tries to emulate early James Bond + appeal to old Hollywood romance crowds but ends up goofy, sometimes uncomfortable (the 'romance') & a little bit weird (e.g. that neck orange game).