Charade (1963)

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“I’m beginning to think women make the best spies!”

What a blast. Charade is often billed as the best Hitchcock movie the master of suspense never made but that is to do a disservice to the great Stanley Donen. This is only the second Donen movie I’ve seen yet his influence appears to be everywhere with a certain generation of filmmakers. The fact this movie has such a spring in it’s step should come as no surprise from the man who gave us Singin’ In the Rain!

This is a real jazzy thriller that also boasts more genuine laugh-out-loud moments than most comedies. The colours are kaleidoscopic and the energy is endless. You daren’t even blink while watching this movie in fear that you might miss something great. The interplay between Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn is so infectious. Every scene seems to have some kind of unexpected flourish that keeps it fresh and surprising; a character clipping his nails at a funeral, another using lit matches as a threatening weapon – it’s so vibrant and enjoyable and the beats just keep on coming. The epitome of 60s Euro-cool and the very definition of old-fashioned entertainment.

Plus that Mancini score belongs in any decent record collection.

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