After her husband’s murder, a woman is pursued by three crooks who want the money her husband stole from them. She turns to a charming stranger for help but soon discovers he isn’t who he claims to be.
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One of those special films – I try to keep them to a bare minimum – which I love out of all proportion to their objective quality, though in fact the way it manages to be simultaneously light and dark for 113 minutes is a quite miraculous bit of tightrope-walking.
Donen choreographs the action in a fleet style which never drags or risks heavy-handedness. Also not to be overlooked is Henry Mancini’s score. He was the only composer in filmdom capable of such delightful cues as “Latin Snowfall,” “The Drip-Dry Waltz,” and “Mambo Parisienne.”
Consistently better than ordinary without ever being extraordinary, but in this blighted season we moviegoing beggars can’t be choosers. The inevitably invidious comparisons with Hitchcock do not really apply here, although I would hate to bet that director Stanley Donen and writer Peter Stone have not seen the master’s To Catch a Thief, The Trouble with Harry, North by Northwest, and both versions of The Man Who Knew Too Much.
Classic mystery thriller spy comedy cinema with Audrey Hepburn dedicating her damnedest to falling in love with Cary Grant and Cary Grant just trying to blue-ball himself until he can finally reveal his true good side. A real hoot.
Revered by many as a classic but personally I find the scripting a little hackneyed and the May-December romance a little desperate and forced. Hepburn is certainly charming and her wardrobe extraordinary but the overall film is just entertaining.
I appreciate this film more because of Miss Hepburn's costumes, which are made by Givenchy. My favourites are the mustard yellow coat and the indigo suit wore by Audrey Hepburn in the final scene of the film.
Perhaps the only film that can rival N/NW in terms of sheer romantic chemistry but then again Cary Grant works with just about everyone. You could probably make a great romantic comedy with Grant falling for his own shadow. However, while it has the charm to keep any viewer's attention, as a thriller, it lacks precision and originality as the last set-piece is almost identical to Hitchcock's Stage Fright.