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CHARADE

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CHARADE

Part of Weekend Classics: Stanley Donen.

Sun, Apr 21, 5:50pm: Introduction from F. Clark Williams, Belcourt board member and convener of Vanderbilt University's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute's OLLI On Film group. BUY TICKETS

In this comedic thriller, a trio of crooks relentlessly pursue a young American—played by Audrey Hepburn in gorgeous Givenchy—through Paris in an attempt to recover the fortune her dead husband stole from them. The only person she can trust is a suave, mysterious stranger, played by Cary Grant. Director Stanley Donen goes deliciously dark for CHARADE, a glittering emblem of sixties style and macabre wit.

The musical score by Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini was nominated for an Academy Award.

“Donen's typically slick comedy thriller, ingeniously scripted by Peter Stone, is a mammoth audience teaser, with a small cast of characters, bursting with multiple identities, caught up in a complicated hunt for a fortune in gold coins seemingly secreted by Hepburn's murdered husband. Grant imparts his ineffable charm, Kennedy (with metal hand) provides comic brutality, while Hepburn is elegantly fraught. There are also smart Parisian settings and smart Mancini music.” —Time Out

"In early December 1963, only a couple of weeks after the Kennedy assassination, Stanley Donen's CHARADE opened at Radio City, Manhattan. According to Tom Wolfe, at 6am on a freezing December morning the crowds were already lining up down 50th Street and 6th Avenue to make sure they secured a seat. During "the dark days" after JFK's death, CHARADE offered Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn (the two most attractive people ever to appear on screen?) a Henry Mancini score, Givenchy dresses, suspense, glamour and Paris. In the midst of the dislocation and strangeness produced by JFK's assassination, it must have seemed one of the few signs that life was proceeding as normal; the world may have become strange, but Hollywood's illusions were intact.” —Michael Newton, The Guardian

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