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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

directed by Stanley Donen
U.S.A. 1963

In this comedic thriller, a trio of crooks relentlessly pursue a young American, played by Audrey Hepburn in gorgeous Givenchy, through Paris in an attempt to recover the fortune her dead husband stole from them. The only person she can trust is Cary Grant’s suave, mysterious stranger. Director Stanley Donen goes deliciously dark for Charade, a glittering emblem of sixties style and macabre wit.

***

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

Posters

Theatrical Release Date: December 5, 1963

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Comparison:

Sanctuary Region 0 - PAL vs. Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Universal - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray

NOTE: A COMPARISON BETWEEN THE OLD AND NEW CRITERION DVDs IS HERE

Thanks to Enrique B Chamorro for the PAL screen caps!

NOTE: 'Charade' is on the flip side of "The Truth About Charlie" - Universal DVD (2003)

(Sanctuary Region 0 - PAL vs. Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - Left vs. Universal Region 1 - NTSC - Right)

DVD Box Covers

Distribution

Sanctuary Digital Entertainment

Region 0 - PAL

Criterion

Region 1  - NTSC

Universal 
Region 1 - NTSC
Criterion Collection - Spine # 57 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:53:12 1:53:12 1:53:16 1:53:36.392
Video 1.85 Original Aspect Ratio 
Average Bitrate: 4.91 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

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

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio 16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.15
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1080P / 23.976 fps Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 36,935,507,881 bytes

Feature: 35,667,339,264 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.28 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate:

Sanctuary

Bitrate:

Criterion

 

Bitrate:

Universal

 

Bitrate:

Criterion Blu-ray

 

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono) English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)

English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono) 

LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Subtitles English, and none English, French and none Spanish, French and none (Close captioned for the hearing impaired.) English, and none
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Home Vision Entertainment

 

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterbox - 1.85:1

Edition Details:

• Commentary by film historian Ken Barnes with audio

clips from Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer.

• Production Background text screens (9)

• Cast & Crew Profiles text screens

• Original Theatrical Trailer

• Trailers for "Funny Face" and "Notorious"

• 1 min 23 sec excerpt from Audrey Hepburn's debut screen

appearance in "Laughter in Paradise" 1951

• 2 min 38 sec excerpt from Cary Grant's debut screen

appearance in "Singapore Sue" 1931

• "The JFK Factor" is a 1 min 26 sec comparisons of the film

at the 1 hr 10 min mark when the producers first released the

film with the words "eliminated" / "eliminate" (in color) in the

place of "assassinated" / "assassinate" (in black and white).

The film was going to be release around Christmas 1963,

but with President Kennedy being assassinated 11/22/63,

they had the words dubbed by Hepburn and Grant.

This issue is covered in Stanley Donen's commentary and Ken

Barnes commentary. NOTE: The UK edition still has the words

"eliminated" while the Criterion edition has "assassinated"

restored.

 

DVD Release Date: March 5th, 2001
Keep Case

Chapters 20

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterbox - 1.85:1

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
• Widescreen letterbox format


DVD Release Date: November 2, 1999
Keep Case

Chapters 22

Release Information:
Studio: Universal Studios

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
None

 

DVD Release Date: April 1, 2003
Keep Case

Chapters 18

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

 

1080P / 23.976 fps Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 36,935,507,881 bytes

Feature: 35,667,339,264 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.28 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video


Edition Details:
• Commentary by director Stanley Donen and screenwriter Peter Stone
• Theatrical trailer (3:15 in HD!)


Blu-ray Release Date:
September 21st, 2010
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 22

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray - September 2010: Three times lucky? The short story is that colors and grain and the biggest beneficiaries of the new 1080P transfer from Criterion. The vibrancy of the visuals is very notable but the textured grain is downright 'delicious'. Charade finally looks 'film-like' and I expect this will be the closest the colors come to being authentic as we are likely to see on consumer digital video. Black levels are pitch - also making for superior detail - adding another consideration.

Audio is representing the film in a lossless linear PCM mono track at a modest 1152 kbps. It sounds consistent and clean being pushed from the front of your surround system. The Mancini score sounds magnificent. The Blu-ray contains optional English subtitles and my Momitsu confirms that the disc is region 'A'-locked.

No new supplements - still, we get the 1999-recoreded commentary by director Stanley Donen and screenwriter Peter Stone and the included, 3:15, trailer (in rough shape) in in HD.

As common with the addiction of BD - this was the most I have enjoyed Charade. The explosive colors and notable grain provide and extremely impressive presentation. a DVD viewing, by any of the editions, is easily second-rate from seeing Donen's film in the glory of High-definition. Absolutely recommended!

****

NOTE: A COMPARISON BETWEEN THE OLD AND NEW CRITERION IS HERE

ON THE DVDs: As far as the UK edition goes, it is brighter, but not as sharp as the Criterion and has easily identifiable edge-enhancement. It has extensive extras though. Another example of how the better source material beats out poorer even though it is anamorphic in regards to the Universal. Criterion wins with better contrast and sharper (look at the mountains in the distance in the first capture).  Even though the Criterion and the Sanctuary are 'Out Of Print', you can find them on eBay, and for fans they may want to get both versions for all the extras. Both the Universal and Sanctuary are slightly horizontally cropped.

NOTE: Beware the many public domain print DVDs of this film out there in Region 1!... most are total crap!

 - Gary W. Tooze

***

CHARADE, I do not know what to expect from the anamorphic Criterion version due, but it better not be a recycling of that TRUTH ABOUT CHARLIE flip-side.  That is no improvement.  Though out of print for now, and despite fading and some transfer troubles in a few spots, the non-anamorphic VCI CHARADE is the best looking version of the film I have seen to date.  The reason is because they somehow got a real; three-strip dye-transfer imbibition print and when it is at its best, wow is it awesome.  It is worth your time to track down.

Nicholas Sheffo of http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/



DVD Menus

(Sanctuary Region 0 - PAL LEFT vs. Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. Universal Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)


 

Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Sanctuary Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Universal Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM



 

1) Sanctuary Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Universal Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Sanctuary Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Universal Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Sanctuary Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Universal Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures


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Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Sanctuary
DVD Box Covers

Distribution

Sanctuary Digital Entertainment

Region 0 - PAL

Criterion

Region 1  - NTSC

Universal 
Region 1 - NTSC
Criterion Collection - Spine # 57 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray




 

 

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Gary Tooze