Charade [Criterion Collection] [DVD] [1963]

Often cited as the best Hitchcock film that Hitchcock never made, Stanley Donen's stylish and humorous thriller Charade arrives on DVD in fine form courtesy of The Criterion Collection. Presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, the image is crisp and sharp -- offering bright, vivid colors, solid blacks, and even skin tones. The only minor complaint that could be made regarding the transfer is that it is shows minor evidence of edge enhancement in certain scenes. Audio is presented in Dolby Digital Mono and rings through very clear without any notable hiss or distortion. Though not brimming with extra features, this disc does offer some insightful bonus material that will appeal to both longtime fans of the film and those new to the work of Stanley Donen. A commentary track featuring Donen and screenwriter Peter Stone in particular is both an amusing and insightful listen, with the couple bickering at times like an old married couple with great affection for one another despite the occasional conflicting memory. There is no shortage of entertainment value to Donen and Stone's lively discussion, which addresses everything from the weight of the Cuban Missile Crisis on the lighter-than-air party scene to the film being placed in turnaround to their careful handling of minor crises and Cary Grant's indestructible hair. An introduction to the selected filmography on the disc is penned by Stephen M. Silverman (taken from his book Dancing on the Ceiling: Stanley Donen and His Movies) and offers a loving overview of Donen's films. The selected filmography is not, as on many discs, simply a list of films, but instead offers detailed descriptions of Donen's most beloved cinematic endeavors accompanied by a generous amount of film stills, posters, and other assorted images. Though Peter Stone's filmography isn't presented with quite the same reverence, it does offer a good overview in addition to a pair of black-and-white stills from Charade. A quirky full-frame trailer rounds things out nicely by offering a colorful and exciting preview of the comedic mystery.
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Rating 4.7 out of 5 stars.
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Special Features

  • New high-definition digital transfer, with restored image and sound, enhanced for widescreen televisions
  • Audio commentary: A conversation with director Stanley Donen and screenwriter Peter Stone
  • The Films of Stanley Donen: A selected filmography, with an introduction by Donen biographer Stephen M. Silverman
  • Peter Stone's career highlights
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired
  • Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition
  • Closed Captioned


Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn star in this stylish comedy-thriller directed by Stanley Donen, very much in a Hitchcock vein. Grant plays Peter Joshua, who meets Reggie Lampert (Hepburn) in Paris and later offers to help her when she discovers that her husband has been murdered. After the funeral, Reggie is summoned to the embassy and warned by agent/friend Bartholemew (Walter Matthau) that her late husband helped steal 250,000 dollars during the war and that the rest of the gang is after the money as well. When three of the men who attended her husband's funeral begin to harass her, Reggie goes to Joshua for help, at which time Joshua confesses that his name is actually Alexander Dyle, the brother of a fourth accomplice in the gold theft. The three men from the funeral are revealed to be the three other accomplices in the crime, and though she knows next to nothing of the heist, Reggie is caught in a ring of suspense as she is followed by the shadowy trio, all after the money. Apparently, the only person she can trust is Joshua/Dyle -- until Bartholomew tells Reggie that the fourth accomplice had no brother, and Joshua/Dyle reveals that he is, in fact, a crook named Adam Canfield. Now Reggie doesn't know where to turn. The musical score by Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini was nominated for an Academy Award. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Cary Grant
    Cary Grant - Peter Joshua/Alexander Dyle/Adam Canfield/Brian Cruik
  • Audrey Hepburn
    Audrey Hepburn - Regina Lampert
  • Walter Matthau
    Walter Matthau - Hamilton Bartholomew
  • James Coburn
    James Coburn - Tex Penthollow
  • Ned Glass
    Ned Glass - Leopold Gideon

Overall Customer Rating

4.7 out of 54.7
10 Reviews
100%of customers recommend this product.

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