Charade is a 1963 American romantic comedy thriller directed by Stanley Donen, starring Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Walter Matthau, James Coburn, George Kennedy and Ned Glass, with Audrey Hepburn winning the 1964 BAFTA Best Actress Award.
While on a skiing holiday in the French Alps, “Reggie” Lampert (Hepburn) confides in her friend Sylvie that she has decided to divorce her husband Charles. There, she also meets a charming American, Peter Joshua (Grant).
Returning home to Paris she finds her apartment empty, and is informed by a Police inspector that her husband has been murdered while attempting to leave Paris. She is given the travel bag Charles was carrying when he was killed, containing a letter addressed to her, a ticket to Venezuela, passports in multiple names and other items.
At Charles’ funeral, three strangers arrive to view the body. Reggie then goes to meet CIA administrator Hamilton Bartholomew (Matthau) at the U.S. Embassy and learns that the three men are Tex Panthollow (Coburn), Herman Scobie (Kennedy), and Leopold Gideon (Glass), survivors of a secret World War II OSS operation that had been conducted with her husband.
Together with a fifth man, Carson Dyle, they were to deliver $250,000 in gold to the French Resistance, but they stole it instead. Dyle was fatally wounded in a German ambush, and Charles double-crossed the others and took all the gold.
Bartholomew tells her that the three men want the missing money, but the U.S. government wants it back. He insists that Reggie has it, even if she does not know where it is. He urges her to find it and return it to him as soon as possible.
When Peter turns up in Paris, Reggie enlists his help to unravel the mystery. Through a series of twists and turns, and a series of tense standoffs with the three men, the relationship between Reggie and Peter becomes strained when she finds herself doubting his motives, despite a growing attraction between the pair…
Shot on location in Paris, the film is noted for its stylish production; a score and theme song by Henry Mancini, groundbreaking animated titles by Maurice Binder, an array of Givenchy outfits worn by Hepburn and classic suits worn by Grant. The undeniable chemistry between Grant and Hepburn makes Charade one of the most enduring rom-com pairings on screen. It is often referred to as “the best Hitchcock movie that Hitchcock never made”.