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symp4thedevil's Movie Reviews (10)

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Charade (1963) 
"Charade" by Amanda
3.5/4 stars

Directed by Stanley Donen, widely remembered as the director of "Singin' in the Rain," "Charade" feels like lite Romantic Comedy/Thriller popcorn fare on its surface yet manages to tell its mystery through a Hitchcockian lens. Starring Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn and Walter Matheau, the cast is nothing short of what Peter Stone's rich storytelling material deserves. The musical score is composed by one of modern cinema's greats: Henry Mancini. Remember the "Pink Panther" theme? How about "Breakfast at Tiffany's" sweet tune "Moon River?" Did I mention the opening credits were concocted by none other than Maurice Binder, famous for all of the great James Bond flick opening credits? Yes the down the gun barrel shot...Bond fires back...the screen drenched in blood. It is as recognizable as George Lucas' "Star Wars" opening credits.

The famous "Charade" opening titles:

I found the beginning of the film to be the most memorable. It begins with someones death and an oncoming train...Maurice Binder's opening credits and Henry Mancini's score...then a classic Audrey Hepburn meets Cary Grant intro that sets up our story.

There are moments that remind me of Hitchcock's "The Lady Vanishes" and others that have the charm 1930's screwball comedies had. Hawk's "Bringing Up Baby" comes to mind. Audrey Hepburn, James Coburn and Walter Matheau don't disappoint either. The film feels as though the shining performance belongs to Audrey Hepburn.

It is a shame this film doesn't get the attention it deserves. This is a must see as a thriller, a romantic comedy, and quite simply one of the last gems out of studio-era Hollywood.

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