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Well, I wasn't disappointed. The anamorphic print is clean and bright, and looks like it was filmed yesterday - aside from the fact that every frame oozes 1960's-era class. I'm lucky enough to be able to project my DVDs, and at 10ft wide and 6ft tall, this print of the film positively shines! As for the film itself, well, in my opinion Cary Grant overdoes the whole "Cary Grant thing" a little, but Audrey Hepburn is luminescant, and the supporting cast (Walter Matthau and a very mod-like James Coburn among them) don't put a foot wrong. No extras on this disc, but completists will be glad to hear that Hepburn's reference in one scene to "assassination" (not a good word to use in a major film script in 1963) has been seamlessly restored.
Due to an oversight, the film's copyright notice wasn't included in the credits, so the film went into the public domain, which is why there are so many budget DVD releases of it. Don't be tempted to save £1 or so on an inferior copy, THIS is the one to go with!
After buying and returning two different very poor previous versions, this Universal edition is a worthwile addition to any movie buff's collection. It is only the basic film, no extras other than the usual scene selection languages and subtitles, but who needs extras when the film delights the heart and mind as much as this one.
In my opinion the Criterion DVD looks more natural than the Park Circus DVD, so perhaps Criterions Blu-ray (region A only) is just a little bit stronger, too? Notice also, that if you already own the Criterion standard definition DVD, the upgrade to high definition is not a great leap. However, if you have only seen "Charade" on tv or on one of those horrible public domain DVDs, you will be simply delighted with the Park Circus Blu-ray. So, nice work from the British company with good image presentation. Minus points for the lack of substancial extras or any subs. At least English subs would be welcomed in the European market, as many of us understand written English better than spoken English and are not used to following lenghty dialoque-scenes without some support from subtitles.
With that kind of formula, it's not surprising that "Charade" deserves every shred of praise it receives -- and over the years, this classic has received a lot. Director Stanlet Donen had his finest moment when he created this funny, witty, tightly-plotted little thriller, where you're left with questions right up to the final scene.
While on vacation at a ski lodge, Regina Lampert (Hepburn) decides to get a divorce. But when she returns home, she finds that her husband has been tossed off a train -- and even stranger, she finds that he was mixed up in a gold robbery many years ago. To get her mind off her problems, Reggie goes out on the town with Peter Joshua (Grant), a guy she met at the resort.
But during her outing, she's cornered by three strange, creepy men -- and the worst part is, she finds that Joshua may be in on their plot. Unsure whom to trust, Reggie starts digging to find out where the gold is -- and then her pursuers are murdered one by one. Will she be the next target?
It's a sharp, taut little thriller, reminiscent of the more commercial thrillers by Hitchcock, though set in a chic 1960s Paris setting, and with a New Wave edge. Stanlet Donen did mostly comedies in his career, which makes the tight plot and wry wit of this movie stand out even more.
The movie moving along at a fairly steady pace, with one or two dead spots, but mostly just following the twisted plot threads. There are some really harrowing moments, like Regina being attacked by the Hook-man. By the tense finale, a lot of the odd little clues suddenly fall into place, especially the murder of the three thugs.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very Hitchcockish film Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant perfect together..Published 8 days ago by Mr. Malcolm J. Greaves
With a brilliant cast costumes by Hollywood's legendary Edith Head and a tense plot this is positively H itchcockian. Read morePublished 20 days ago by Ian Dennehey
An illegal copy of an old stretched videotape recording was sent. Cover printing blurred, recording unwatchable - blurred, washed-out colour, muffled soundtrack out of synch.Published 29 days ago by N. Tuson
This is a timeless thriller of typical Grant/Hepburn intrigue. The story, set in Paris in 1963 opens with Mr Lampert being murdered and thrown from a speeding train somewhere... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jacko