The great movie-star man, Cary Grant, meets the great movie-star lady, Audrey Hepburn, in a souffle-light thriller-romance-comedy whipped up by Donen, who did blithe American elegance as well as anyone, and writers Marc Behm and Peter Stone. Audrey is a Parisian thief’s widow, now in ignorant possession of his loot, and Cary is a mystery man with a protective or pernicious interest in her. Walter Matthau plays an avuncular type over at the U.S. Treasury office, and James Coburn, George Kennedy and Ned Glass are bad guys whose consecutive demises were considered quite violent for the time. If Charade doesn’t allow the divine Audrey to reveal the aristocratic ache on sublime display in Sabrina (and, frankly, that film is missing from this list only because it would have meant a third Billy Wilder film), it exhibits the seemingly effortless buoyancy that, by the 60s, Hollywood had almost forgotten how to radiate.
Next Children of Paradise