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Movie Review - Charade with Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn (1963)

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What a cast!  Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Walter Matthau, George Kennedy, and James Coburn all in one film.  Plus, the movie was shot in Paris, giving the viewer the added thrill of seeing Paris city streets, the Seine, and several other landmarks.


Audrey Hepburn

                                                         Audrey Hepburn - Wikimedia


The film does not begin in Paris, but on a train where a bloodied man’s body had just been tossed off into a field.  The scene then quickly switched to a ski resort where American Regina Lampert (Audrey Hepburn) was vacationing with her best friend Sylvie (Dominique Minot) and Sylvie’s eight-year-old son, Jean Louis.  Regina had just told her friend that she planned to divorce her Swiss husband Charles because she didn’t trust him anymore.  He had too many secrets and lies, and seemed to be hiding something from her.

Peter Joshua Introduces Himself

A man named Peter Joshua (Cary Grant) showed up at the resort and introduced himself.  Regina learned that he was divorced and was on his way to Paris where she was headed.  On reaching her house in Paris, Regina found that all of the house’s contents had been removed, leaving just an empty shell.


Cary Grant

                                                               Cary Grant - Wikimedia

Charles’ Body is Found

The police arrived at Regina’s house and took her to view the dead body of her husband Charles.  His sparse belongings contained a ticket to Venezuela and four different passports with four different names, but all having Charles’ picture.  He had evidently auctioned off the contents of the house for $250,000, but the money was not there.  His wallet contained 10,000 francs.  An empty envelope was also among the belongings.

Peter Joshua Shows Up Again

Back at her house, Regina answered the door, and it was Peter Joshua.  He had seen the story in the afternoon papers.  Charles had been tossed off of a train.  Peter said that he would help her to find a hotel.  He was able to get her the room next to his own at the hotel where he was staying.  She said she could always return to her job as a translator.

At Charles’ funeral, only three men showed up.  Regina knew none of them.  When Sylvie and Jean Louis said goodbye to Regina, she gave the boy a going away gift of some stamps for his collection.  She would be seeing them soon.


Walter Matthau

                                                          Walter Matthau - Wikimedia

A Call from the American Embassy

Regina received a call from the American Embassy.  A Mr. Bartholomew (Walter Matthau) asked her to come to his office at noon.  He was an administrator with the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency), and told her that her husband Charles was wanted by the U. S. government, and that his real name was Charles Voss. He showed her three photographs and asked if she knew any of the men in the photos.  They were the three men who had come to Charles’ funeral.

Bartholomew told her she was in grave danger.  The three men wanted the $250,000 that Charles received from the auction.  He claimed that the money belonged to the CIA because Charles had stolen $250,000 from the U. S. government.  The three men believed that Regina had the money or knew where it was.  Bartholomew asked Regina to call him at any time on any day or night, and not to mention that she had come to see him that day.

Three Men Demand the Money

The three men showed up in Regina’s room.  They were Herman (George Kennedy), Tex (James Coburn), and Leopold (Ned Glass).  Herman had a hook for a hand.  They wanted the money that they said belonged to them.  She told them that she did not have the money.  They told her that the man she knew as Peter Joshua was really Carson Dyle, and not to trust him because he was after Charles’ money.

Bartholomew told her that Dyle died in 1944.  Five men in the OSS went behind enemy lines to deliver $250,000 in gold to the French.  They buried the money instead and were ambushed by German troops.  That is how Scobie lost his hand, and Carson died.  Charles had beat them all back to France and retrieved the gold.


George Kennedy

                                                                     George Kennedy                                                                                                                                                    Wikimedia

Peter Joshua is an Enigma

Back at the hotel, Regina called Peter Joshua.  She said “Good morning, Mr. Dyle.”  Peter said that Carson Dyle was his brother and that his name was Alexander.  He believed that his brother would not go along with their plan, so they killed him.

Herman was found dead in Dyle’s bathtub, drowned.  The police told Dyle and Regina that they could not leave Paris until the matter was cleared up.

In a conversation with Bartholomew, Regina learned that Carson Dyle did not have a brother.  When she confronted Alexander with the truth, he claimed that his name was Adam Canfield.  They learned shortly thereafter that Leopold was killed in the elevator which went down to the lobby.  That left only Tex as the suspect who wanted all of the money for himself.  Tex called them with the news that he believed that Regina and Dyle (Canfield) had the money.

Clues are Hidden in this Review

At this point, the story takes so many twists and turns that it is impossible to relate them all.  It is enough to say that the $250,000 was found and there are clues in this review to lead you to where the money is.  Your fun will not be spoiled, though, by revealing the solution here.  There are also some identity explanations that will startle you, as they did me.  All in all, it was a fun movie to watch. 


Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant

                                            Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn - Wikimedia

Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn is one of the few actresses to win an Emmy, a Tony, a Grammy, and an Academy Award.  She won the Academy Award for Best Actress when she was 24 years old for her role in the film “Roman Holiday.”  The following year, she starred on Broadway in the play “Ondine” with Mel Ferrer.  The couple were married in Switzerland later that year.

Audrey Hepburn was extremely talented, and had a successful acting career for 40 years.  In the late 1980’s, she left her acting career behind and became a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF.  She attempted to raise awareness about children raised in poverty.  She made more than 50 trips, visiting UNICEF projects in Asia, Africa, and Central and South America.

Audrey died too young at age 64 of colon cancer, but is one of the most beloved actresses, remembered for her beauty, elegance, and clothing style.

Cary Grant

Archie Leach, later known as Cary Grant, was born in England in 1904.  Paramount Studios, upon giving him a contract, asked him to change the name he received at birth, which he agreed to do.  He has always been known for his elegance, charm, and sophistication.  He has no equal in that specialized area.  He was always cast as a man with wit and polish.

Alfred Hitchcock directed him in the suspense film entitled “Suspicion” in 1941, and hired him for several films thereafter, including “Notorious,” “To Catch a Thief,” and “North by Northwest.”

Cary Grant never won an Academy Award; however, a special Academy Award was given to him in 1970 for his "unique mastery of the art of screen acting."

Hw was married five times, and had one child, a daughter Jennifer, when he was married to Dyan Cannon, his fourth wife.  He became a doting and loving parent.



Audrey Hepburn, An Elegant Spirit
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(price as of Feb 11, 2016)


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  1. "Audrwy Hepburn." bio.. 12/02/2016. 12/02/2016 <Web >
  2. "Cary Grant." bio.. 12/02/2016. 12/02/2016 <Web >

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