Saturday, December 27, 2008
Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant in Charade
And if that don't bring a smile to your face you might be dead.
Watched this with Mrs. Sgt. Tanuki this evening; part of Christmas with Audrey. This one of my favorite movies. Hepburn at her best, Grant at his best, both effortlessly charming, and with so much chemistry that you forget he was twenty-five years older than her. This is snappy dialogue, Hollywood pizzazz, star power.
As the Wikipedia entry says, it's the best Hitchcock movie Hitchcock never made; it does have that tight, suspenseful plotting, but of course it doesn't have the darkness that you usually find in even the lightest of Hitchcock's films. It has its melancholy moments, though - and they're surprisingly moody for such a frothy film. Hepburn standing forlorn in her empty Paris apartment, or sitting on the veranda of the ski lodge dressed in black and contemplating divorce.
These of course are more than balanced by the humor - Grant showering in his suit ("drip dry," he says) and making faces at Hepburn - and the real sexual tension Hepburn and Grant generate. As I say, this is Hepburn at her most irresistible, her patented balance of womanly sensuality and girlish cuteness; I think she does it here better than she does it in Breakfast at Tiffany's even.
All this plus a Henry Mancini score and Maurice Binder titles. What more can you ask for?