directed by Stanley Donen
U.S.A. 1963

Donen's typically slick comedy thriller, ingeniously scripted by Peter Stone, is a mammoth audience teaser, with a small cast of characters, bursting with multiple identities, caught up in a complicated hunt for a fortune in gold coins seemingly secreted by Hepburn's murdered husband. Grant imparts his ineffable charm, Kennedy (with metal hand) provides comic brutality, while Hepburn is elegantly fraught. There are also smart Parisian settings and smart Mancini music. The result has a chic rating of at least 180; and while hardly as sturdy or provoking an entertainment as North by Northwest, say, it remains an entertainment.

Excerpt from Time Out Film Guide located HERE

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DVD Comparison:

Criterion - Region 1 (OOP) - NTSC vs. Criterion (Anamorphic) - Region 1 - NTSC

 

NOTE: A COMPARISON BETWEEN THE Sanctuary Region 0 - PAL vs. Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Universal - Region 1 - NTSC and Criterion Blu-ray is HERE

(Criterion (oop) - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Criterion (16X9 enhanced) - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

(UNAVAILABLE)

 

 

 

Distribution

Criterion Collection Spine # 57

Region 1  - NTSC

Criterion Collection (Spine # 57 - re-issue )

Region 1  - NTSC

Runtime 1:53:12 1:53:24
Video

1.89 Aspect Ratio 
Average Bitrate: 7.43 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.82:1 Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 8.7 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Criterion (oop)

 

Bitrate:

 

Criterion (16X9)

 

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)

English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)

Subtitles English, French and none English, French, and none
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Home Vision Entertainment


Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterbox - 1.89:1

Edition Details:
• Commentary by director Stanley Donen and screenwriter Peter Stone
• Theatrical trailer
The Films of Stanley Donen: a selected filmography with an introduction by Donen biographer Stephen M. Silverman, plus Peter Stone career highlights
• Original aspect ratio for the first time ever

DVD Release Date: November 2, 1999
Keep Case
Chapters 22

 

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion Collection

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.82:1

Edition Details:
• Commentary by director Stanley Donen and screenwriter Peter Stone
• Theatrical trailer(s)
• New anamorphic transfer with restored image and sound
The Films of Stanley Donen: a selected filmography with an introduction by Donen biographer Stephen M. Silverman, plus Peter Stone career highlights
• Widescreen anamorphic format

DVD Release Date: April 6, 2004

Keep Case
Chapters: 22

Comments: NOTE: A COMPARISON BETWEEN THE Sanctuary Region 0 - PAL vs. Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Universal - Region 1 - NTSC and Criterion Blu-ray is HERE

NOTE: (from James Luckard) The color in the new disc is vastly superior and much closer to what was originally intended. 

Perhaps the best example is the outfit Audrey Hepburn wears throughout the finale of the film. The old Criterion disc had such severe red tinting that it appeared orange. 

However, the new disc has it the way it should be, bumblebee yellow with black buttons and gloves. I've seen stills from the film and know this is the correct color.   (Thanks James!)

****

This comparison HERE shows the old out-of-print DVD of Charade by Criterion was the superior version on the market comparing it to Sanctuary Region 0 - PAL and the Region 1 'Charade' on the flip side of "The Truth About Charlie" - Universal DVD (2003). This new Criterion DVD is essentially the same except for it is anamorphic where the older version was simply widescreen on a 4:3. The Extras are the exact same with the commentary and "The Films of Stanley Donen" .

The re-issued Charade has new menus, with larger fonts on the right instead of a simple, yet bright and clear listing on left/center. In the animation we have Blue-on-black swirls for the original, and the re-release has yellow swirls on a black background. I personally prefer the older version animation in the menus which are easier to view.

Cropping: the old version was cropped on the top and a little less so on the left side. The new version is cropped slightly on the bottom.

The old version has a reddish tinge to it, which you can see in the skin tones, but I found the new version to have a dull greenish tinge to it. Overall , I suspect the new version's color is more accurate.

The older version is brighter, and I see no real strong evidence of boosting. Contrast is better on the old version... the black levels are superior.

As I don't yet have a Front Projection system or a widescreen TV, I am holding on to my old version.

 - Gary W. Tooze

NOTE: The new edition of Stanley Donen's Charade will be in stores on April 6 and will retail for $39.95. Owners of Criterion's original DVD release of Charade may purchase the upcoming 16x9-enhanced re-release for $15 dollars off the suggested retail price, plus $4.95 shipping and handling for U.S. residents, by clicking here.

 

Regarding the trade-in offer, I assume that you would have to pay shipping to send the old version to Criterion, so it nets out to $39.95 - $15.00 (discount) + $4.95 (shipping from Criterion) + $2.00 (shipping to Criterion)= $31.90. Amazon typically has a 30% discount for new Criterions, so you could purchase it from Amazon for $27.97. Not much of a deal from Criterion.

 



DVD Menus

(Criterion (oop) - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Criterion (16X9 enhanced) - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)


 

 


 

Subtitle Sample

(Criterion (oop) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Criterion (16X9 enhanced) - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

NOTE: Not exact frame match!


 

 


 

Screen Captures

(Criterion (oop) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Criterion (16X9 enhanced) - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)


 

 


(Criterion (oop) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Criterion (16X9 enhanced) - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


 

(Criterion (oop) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Criterion (16X9 enhanced) - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 

 


(Criterion (oop) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Criterion (16X9 enhanced) - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


 

(Criterion (oop) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Criterion (16X9 enhanced) - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 

 


(Criterion (oop) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Criterion (16X9 enhanced) - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


 

(Criterion (oop) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Criterion (16X9 enhanced) - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


Hit Counter


Report Card:

 

Image:

Criterion (16X9)

Sound:

-

Extras: -
Menu: Criterion (OOP)

 

DVD Box Covers

(UNAVAILABLE)

 

 

 

Distribution

Criterion Collection Spine # 57

Region 1  - NTSC

Criterion Collection (Spine # 57 - re-issue )

Region 1  - NTSC




 

 

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Gary Tooze