Need a good title for your Netflix queue? Check out Charade, Stanley Donen's 1963 mystery thriller.
It's a delicious cake. The main ingredients are Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn, in the only movie they made together, and a witty, suspenseful script. Throw in some plot twists, chase scenes, running gags and romantic intrigue. Season with gritty appearances by the gravelly-voiced (and surprisingly young-looking) likes of Walter Matthau, James Coburn and George Kennedy, eventual Oscar winners all. Add a pinch of continental flair by filming on location in Paris and the French Alps and hiring Hubert de Givenchy to dress the female lead. Fold in a Henry Mancini score, top it off with a satisfying ending, and you've got yourself a winner. Serves 12. Prepare to be charmed.
Of course, now that I've plugged it here, rental services will be deluged with requests and retailers will immediately sell out. You probably won't get to see it for months, but trust me, it's really good.
Actually, it's been showing commercial-free on the obscure cable network RetroPlex, which you may have without even knowing it, as I found I did (Comcast channel 522 in the Chicago area).
Editor's note: Charade was recently remade as The Truth About Charlie, but if you've made it this far, you shouldn't need help deciding between the Cary Grant classic and the Marky Mark version.
Props to my buddy Matt Pagano for the tip. He also introduced me to The Iron Giant, so his track record is immaculate.