Jun. 13th, 2013

So, I'm fairly convinced that this movie was made to capitalize on the popularity of Charade. I've seen Charade so very many times since I was a child that the similarities are glaringly obvious as is the fact that this isn't as good of a movie.

But it's still fascinating because, even though the writing for Peter O'Toole is very similar to the writing for Cary Grant, in that you have somebody being outrageous opposite Audrey Hepburn being equally outrageous, there is the fine detail that O'Toole comes off not as a copy of Grant but as a male copy of Hepburn. And I wonder if that's intentional.

The thing is, whenever Audrey does something insane, she matches it with a wide-eyed innocent look. And Cary Grant is limited in the wide-eyed innocence arena. He's too much amused by mischief and when he's actually playing an innocent he's only wide eyed when he is shocked and appalled (which he does marvelously - see Arsenic and Old Lace).

But O'Toole is as aware of his eyes as Hepburn is, and uses them in precisely the same way. With the result in this movie that, when he's not flailing long limbs all over the set, he's blinking sweetly back at her blinking sweetly and they're both TERRIBLE at sneaking around. But the caper is really extremely intelligent and does not, in fact, involve much sneaking so they're set.

Furthermore, there's a certain focus to all of Grant's humor where there is a lack of focus to Hepburn's. The writing did try to focus O'Toole a little, but he comes off with much less obvious intent, again bringing him much closer to Audrey's role.

In other news, I never really noticed before (blame his marvelous dress if you like) but young O'Toole moves exactly like David Tennant because long long monkey legs. No wonder they worked together on Casanova.

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mayamaia

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