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File:Charade 4638.jpg

A 1963 Thriller starring Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant and featuring Walter Matthau. Reggie Lambert (Hepburn) is getting ready for life as a divorcee when she finds out that her husband is dead. When the police question her she finds that he has multiple passports each with different aliases, and that he was holding on to $250,000 which is unaccounted for. During the funeral, three suspicious people she's never seen before come to visit the body. She is then called to the embassy, where she finds out that her husband was part of a group of soldiers chosen to deliver some gold across enemy lines. However, instead of delivering the gold as planned, the soldiers hid it somewhere, with plans to come back after the war and have it for themselves. Her husband, however, got greedy and came back early, taking all the gold for himself. Now the other three soldiers will do anything anything to get it back.

While this is happening, she also meets Peter Joshua (Grant), whom she enters into a romance with.

Remade in 2002 by Jonathan Demme (The Silence of the Lambs) as The Truth About Charlie, with Mark Wahlberg and Thandie Newton.


Tropes:

  • Alas, Poor Villain: The three members of Charles Lampert's patrol, who are killed one by one by Carson Dyle.
  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: Most of the people showing up at Charles's funeral are there to make sure he's really dead.
  • Balcony Escape
  • Break the Cutie: Reggie
  • Fingertip Drug Analysis: Reggie and Peter are going through her late husband's luggage to see if they can find something valuable enough for him to have been murdered for. They find a tin of what appears to be tooth powder, but she suspects might be heroin; at her urging, he does the test... and concludes that either it's peppermint-flavoured heroin or it really is tooth powder.
  • Fourth Date Marriage: or is it fourth identity marriage?
  • Deadpan Snarker: Cary Grant, of course.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: The $250,000 turned out to be a set of antique stamps on a letter that had been among Charles Lampert's possessions.
  • I Have Many Names: Grant's character
  • Insistent Terminology: Played with. Whenever Reggie makes reference to "spies", Bartholomew corrects her with "agents". But at the same time, whenever Bartholomew says "spies", Reggie corrects him with "agents".
  • Jerkass : Herman Scobie
  • MacGuffin: The stamps.
  • May-December Romance: Cary Grant was 59 when he made the film, 25 years older than Audrey Hepburn. He only took the role after the writer gave all the romantically aggressive lines to Hepburn's character, so he wouldn't look like a predator.
  • Movie Twist List: Is it any surprise?
  • Power Trio: of the villainous variety:
    • Id: Scobie
    • Ego: Tex
    • Superego: Gideon
  • Purely Aesthetic Glasses: Subverted when Regina accuses Peter of not needing the reading glasses he puts on. She pulls them from his face and dons them herself — then gets a shocked expression and quickly hands them back, saying quietly, "You need them." The degree of correction in those lenses must've been something fierce.
  • Quick Nip
  • The Reveal: Mr. Bartholemew turns out to be Carson Dyle, and has been killing off his former comrades one by one. Also, Cary Grant's character turns out to actually work at the American embassy as a member of the Treasury Dept.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Carson Dyle killing off the members of his squad who'd left him to be captured by Germans after he'd been shot.
  • Running Gag: Grant's character constantly changing names.
      • And when he produces a new name, Reggie asks, "Is there a Mrs. __?" and he replies, "Yes, but we're divorced." By the third time, she's saying it along with him. Except for the fourth time, which is his real name: the only "Mrs. Cruikshank" is his mother.
    • Also Reggie or Bartholemew saying "spies" and the other correcting "agents."
    • Not to mention every suit Cary Grant's character seems to wear gets damaged in some way.
  • Spiritual Licensee: Dubbed the best Hitchcock film that Hitchcock never made.
  • Split Screen: In the last scene
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Carson Dyle was abandoned by his comrades after being horribly wounded, and spent months as a prisoner of war with nothing to help the pain. It's no wonder he's so bitter toward them.
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