Tonight, the Arte channel is broadcasting Charade, delicious romantic-Hitchockian classic with Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant. And to think that the latter, very uncomfortable with his partner, could have refused the project!
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In Charadedirected by Stanley Donen (the unforgettable Let’s sing in the rain), it all starts with the fall of a man, thrown from a train in France. Far from suspecting what is happening, his wife Reggie is on vacation in the mountains. Convinced that her husband is hiding something from her, she plans to divorce. She then meets the charming Peter Joshua. Back home, Reggie notices with amazement that her apartment has been completely emptied. The police then told her not only that her husband was dead, but also that he had several passports in his name and that he intended to leave France without telling her. Lost, Reggie is recontacted by Peter. Then follows a film without dead time, stuffed with cinephilic references, mixing suspense, burlesque humor and romance, with a pas de deux between Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn (both suffered from difficult and traumatic childhoods) utterly delicious.
An irresistible charm
Dressed in sublime outfits designed for her by Hubert de Givenchy, Audrey Hepburn is a mythical actress, the charm of almost all the films in which she has played. The magic is always there in Charade. All he needs is a glance, a blink of an eyelash or a tilt of his long neck to print the film. That the character played by Cary Grant succumbs is therefore not surprising. However, it was not a foregone conclusion. Because the legendary actor of Death on the heels was frankly embarrassed by one aspect of the project: his age difference with his partner.
25 years her senior
It must be said that between Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn, there was still a twenty-five-year gap. Some viewers might have thought he might have been her father. The actor initially refused the film, because he was too old for the role of Joshua. To convince him, the scenario was intelligently modified: rather than camouflage the age difference, the authors decided to seize it and assume it. They added jokes and references in the film (“I could be arrested for embezzlement of a minor” Where “stop treating me like a child – But you’re acting like a child!”). The result is even more sparkling and funny! The film is well worth rewatching.