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Charade [DVD] [1963] [US Import]

4.3 out of 5 stars 180 customer reviews

2 used from £14.99

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Product details

  • Language: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (180 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6304609515
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 550,623 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I've been after a pristine print of this film for years, ever since I picked up a fairly shonky region 0 copy half a decade ago for what was (back then) the bargain price of £7.99. My head had been turned by the hard-to-get Criterion Collection region 1 release, but frankly, spending the best part of £20 on a single film is quite an indulgence nowadays, so when I saw this studio-sanctioned release for less than a fiver, I snapped it up.

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!
4 Comments 69 of 72 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By R. F. Stevens HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 12 Jan. 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
At last we have a high quality DVD of this excellent classic film. Hepburn and Grant sparkle as one might expect, and James Coburn and Walter Matthau are suitably villanous. This original version is vastly superior to the recent remake, much more subtle, much better acting, much better script.
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.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
"Charade" Blu-ray + DVD (Park Circus). Well, I've only compared the new DVD R2 by Park Circus and the the DVD R1 by Criterion, but, at least, they are a different transfer. The grain is less intrusive in the Park Circus, but apparently this is not due to DNR but to a different color coding and generally brighter image, which masks some of the grain. So, the Criterion DVD looks darker. Unfortunately, the Park Circus brightness also masks some of the detail in the faces: Audrey's pinkish glow, witch bothered some people in the resent "Breakfast at Tiffany's" Blu-ray, gets enchanced (the clothes, however, have fine detail). This is partly due to the source material and the original style of the period - "soft focus" was used to compliment the actors star quality.

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.
4 Comments 40 of 43 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 31 Aug. 2006
Format: DVD
Cary Grant. Audrey Hepburn. A hidden megafortune. Three nasty pursuers. A slick, chic thriller with a Hitchcockian edge.

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.
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