Charade

Stanley Donen

A comedy-romance-thriller, this 1963 movie stars the debonair Cary Grant and the charming Audrey Hepburn. Shot extensively in Paris, the film captures the scenic beauty of the city as is portrayed in the song ‘Charade’, filmed on the river, Seine. There is never a dull moment in the movie and its pace never slackens. From one scene to another, the storyline keeps one guessing until the end, when a tense and well scripted climax lends the movie its high points. Though at this time, Cary Grant was 59 and Audrey Hepburn a good 25 years younger than him, there is perfect chemistry between them in this movie.

Cactus Flower

Gene Saks

This comedy is about a flirtatious dentist’s lie about being a married man that lands him in deep trouble with his girlfriend. To straighten things up, he persuades his strait-laced assistant to masquerade as his wife. The assistant, secretly in love with him is aghast at the impropriety of the request but plays along. What ensues is a comedy of errors which is buttressed by some brilliantly humorous dialogues. Walter Matthau as a slick liar shirking from the bonds of matrimony and Ingrid Bergman as his indispensable assistant are supported splendidly by debutant Goldie Hawn in her Oscar-winning performance. This light-hearted comedy is a must watch for assured loads of laughter.

Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner

Stanley Kramer

The subject of interracial marriage, which was rare at the time of this movie, is handled in a sensitive way in this film. The movie stars stalwarts Spencer Tracy, Katherine Hepburn and Sidney Poitier. The movie begins with Tracy and Katherine’s daughter (played by Hepburn’s niece Katharine Houghton) returning home with her friend Sidney Poitier to get the approval of her parents. In spite of being progressive in outlook, the news is met with shock and discomfiture by her parents. Later, Poitier’s parents are also invited to the dinner. Cecil Kellaway acts as an affable Catholic priest who lends the perplexed Tracy his words of wisdom. This timeless classic is a must watch for lovers of quality cinema.

The Shop Around The Corner

Ernst Lubitsch

Set in a gift shop in Budapest, the film is about the employees who work there. Among them is Alfred Kralik (James Stewart) and Klara Novak (Margaret Sullavan) who unknown to each other are pen pals and share a platonic relationship. But at the shop, things are different and they are always at loggerheads. By a quirk of fate, they are unable to meet each other as planned. Stewart and Sullavan sparkle in their performances and their frequent squabbles are quite tastefully and humorously shot. The supporting cast of the film is also quite endearing. The film inspired many remakes, chief among them being You’ve Got Mail.

Now, Voyager

Irving Rapper

The prowess of Bette Davis, the charm of Paul Henreid and an unusual love story, this movie can be thus summarised. Bette Davis is a repressed spinster who leads a secluded life with her domineering mother. Coerced by her sister-in-law, Bette Davis is sent to the care of a psychiatrist (Claude Rains). Bette’s transition to a confident and independent woman and her chance meeting with Paul, a man in a marriage of obligation form a tapestry of events that result in a sublime relationship between the two. A memorable dialogue from the movie “Oh, Jerry, don’t let’s ask for the moon. We have the stars,” underpins the beauty of this poignant love story.

Those that almost made it

Thelma & Louise: Ridley Scott

It’s A Wonderful Life: Frank Capra

Groundhog Day: Harold Ramis

The Devil Wears Prada: David Frankel

The Apartment: Billy Wilder

Latha Velu is a software professional working in Bangalore who enjoys watching golden oldies.