Thursday, August 18, 2005

Charade - re-viewed after 40 years

There was nothing on at the movies last night that both of us wanted to see, so we decided to go down to the Warehouse and see if there were any cheap DVDs we could buy, and watch at home. Came home, fatally, with four DVDs and a video (of Antz). Found The Princess Bride, Charade, Calendar Girls and a triple DVD with Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps, To Kill a Mockingbird and one of the Hemingway stories, Farewell to Arms.

We watched Charade, which just proved again that the pacing of movies has increased extraordinarily over the last few decades. Charade isn’t slow, but it’s quite talky in spots, particularly in the scenes between Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant. And Grant looks rather tired – he perks up with Hepburn, but in one or two other spots he’s a little on the weary side. Hardly surprising, considering he was he was 59 when he made it, and has to do a lot of running around in the later scenes. Hepburn is lovely, and plays the scenes wonderfully. The kind of male/female dialogue seen here is something else that’s gone from movies…by the second scene these two would have been in bed if the movie had been made recently, and then they wouldn’t have had anything else to talk about. But they never come close to that, and even the kisses are nearly all on one side, because Grant has a job to do, and can’t get involved. Some of the dialogue seems almost to have been put in as a result of the two actors playing the parts – as when Hepburn asks, cutting across the ‘real’ dialogue, how does Grant shave in the cleft in his chin…?

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