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Charade (1963): A Special Comparative Study NR
Analysis Date: February 17, 2003
CAP Score: 76
CAP Influence Density: 0.42
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Cast/Crew Details Courtesy imdb.com
Production: Universal Pictures
Distribution: DVD: Criterion Collection, D3K Entertainment, Laserlight Entertainment, Madacy Entertainment Group Inc., UAV Entertainment. Video: Startime Video. Universal Pictures
Director(s): Stanley Donen
Producer(s): Stanley Donen, James H. Ware
Written by/Screenplay: Peter Stone, Marc Behm
Cinematography/Camera: Charles Lang
Music: Henry Mancini
Film Editing: Jim Clark
Art Direction: Jean d'Eaubonne
Viewed At: By Video Tape
The main purpose for this analysis was, for the first time, to test whether the CAP analysis model could reveal whether an increase in ignominy/immorality exists between an older original production and its modern remake: to compare an older movie with its modern remake. The comparison vehicles were the not-rated adult feature film, Charade (1963) and its PG-13 remake, The Truth About Charlie (2002). The plots between the two films were essentially the same. The storyline summary follows the comparison report.
For your convenience, the scoring distribution for both films are presented below.
COMPARISON: Charade to The Truth About Charlie
o Wanton Violence/Crime: 41 to 73. Strong improvement
o Impudence/Hate: 71 to 63. Significant degradation
o Sex/Homosexuality: 94 to 33. Severe degradation
o Drugs/Alcohol: 79 to 66. Significant degradation
o Offense to God: 91 to 93. Negligible improvement
o Murder/Suicide: 82 to 53. Strong degradation
Four of the six investigation areas revealed significant to severe degradation. An increased Influence Density from 0.42 to 0.66 supports the trend indicated by the investigation area scores. The strong improvement in Wanton Violence/Crime in The Truth About Charlie over Charade was ostensibly due to the use of a child to extort and abduction of a child in Charade not present in The Truth About Charlie, but the strong degradation in Murder/Suicide challenges the benefit of the improvement in violence scoring.
Unless I missed some of the issues of ignominy in one movie or the other, this comparison between Charade (1963) and The Truth About Charlie (2002) is ammunition for the impression of degradation of morality in modern entertainment. While Charade was more violent/criminal than The Truth About Charlie but yet in a less extreme way, The Truth About Charlie was notably more invasive of morality, most notably in sexual immorality with a severe drop from 94 to 33 and in murder with a drop of 82 to 53, indicating more frequent and/or more graphic murder.
I suspect The Truth About Charlie is just one example of the degradation of morality in entertainment: that all of modern entertainment suffers the same disease. I can hear it now, "Hey! This is the 21st century! Get with the times!" After this comparative analysis using the same model, the same investigation standards, the same equations, even the same investigator using the same computer with the same computer program, why now do you think the "times" are the way they are?
On a subjective note, even the characters and their mannerisms in The Truth About Charlie were much more dark, sinister, abrasive and arrogant than in Charade.
Regina Lampert (Audrey Hepburn) is pining at a ski report about her coming divorce from husband, Charles before she meets with him in Paris. Little does she know her husband is dead. He was thrown out of a moving train the night before.
The young son of a friend of Reggie's causes Reggie to meet dashing Peter Joshua (Cary Grant) by shooting them both with a squirt gun. The chemistry develops proportionate to the verbal volley ball between Reggie and Petter. Sharing divorce woes, they strike up a relationship.
Charlie had earlier auctioned off all of his and Reggie's belongings and supposedly got $250,000. When Reggie got back to their apartment in Paris, it was bare. Reggie was abruptly startled by French police Inspector Edouard Grandpierre (Jacques Marin) who told her all that remains of her husband is a travel bag with worthless items and a letter of apology from Charlie to Reggie. Being helpless and lost, Reggie turns to Peter.
Also coming into the play is CIA administrator Hamilton Bartholomew (Walter Matthau). Bartholomew told Reggie that her husband Charlie Lampert is Charlie Vass and is in possession of $250,000 worth of gold stolen from a military operation in World War II and the US government wants it back. He told her also that the French think the $250,000 is theirs since the US military operation was delivering the $250,000 worth of gold to the French. Bartholomew also told Reggie that three men of Charlie's army company who were cohorts in the theft: Tex Panthollow (James Coburn); Herman Scobie (George Kennedy); Leopold W. Gideon (Ned Glass) who want the $250,000 badly: that Tex, Herman and Leopold are not concerned about her life to get it. And everybody thinks Reggie knows where the $250,000 is.
Reggie knew Charlie only a short time and knows nothing of her husband's past nor the whereabouts of the $250,000. The US is after her. France is after her. The three thugs are after her. What to do!? She turns to Peter Joshua for help since he seems to be the only one she can trust. But maybe, according to Bartholomew, Joshua cannot be trusted either. Maybe he is being nice to her just to get his hands on the loot.
As Charlie's old war buddies begin to die off, one by one, leaving Joshua and Bartholomew standing, Reggie begins to become suspicious of even the two who helped her the most. Joshua was nice and comforting to Reggie. Bartholomew was the one who revealed the truth about her husband. Who can she trust? Where is the booty. Who has it? And Joshua has three other names: Alexander Dyle, Adam Canfield, Brian Crookshank? As things turn out, Reggie's friend's young son has the loot. I will not reveal any more in case you decide to watch the original of less assault on morality and ethics than the remake. Personally, I think Charade was not only more interesting but packed with enough twists and turns in the plot to keep the viewer on his/her toes but not enough to become confused. Not to mention better performances.
Not only are there fewer issue of assault on morality in Charade than in The Truth About Charlie, each issue of assault on morality that appears in both versions is much less extreme i the original than in the remake. One of the most graphic assaults in Charade is when Tex lights matches then throws them in Reggie's lap as a threat. There is no use of the three/four letter word vocabulary in Charade nor is there any use of the most foul of the foul words [Prov. 22:11]. God's name in vain is used but never with the four letter expletive [Deut. 5:11]. But not in the remake (that I can remember) is the use of a child as a tool to manipulate others. Sexually, Charade is featherweight compared to The Truth About Charlie. As always, the listing in the Findings/Scoring section reveals the ignominious content of a movie analyzed. Your comparison of this listing and the one for The Truth about Charlie (plus the scoring distribution which is driven by the content) should be at least interesting as a measure of the increase in ignominy between yesterday and today. Objectively and inarguably interesting.
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***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
Offense to God (O)(2):
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|NOTE: While the Summary/Commentary section of these reports is precisely that -- a summary in commentary format which can be and sometimes is subjective, the actual CAP Analysis Model (the Findings/Scoring section) makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse, for manufacture of justification for, or camouflaging of ignominious content or aberrant behavior or imagery with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme/plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure or example of behavior or thought from the sinful display or of the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. We make no attempt to quantify the "artistic" or "entertainment" value of a movie -- whether a movie has any positive value or "entertainment" value is up to mom/dad. The CAP analysis model is the only known set of tools available to parents and grandparents which give *them* the control they need, bypassing the opinion-based assessment of movies by others and defeating the deceit of those who would say anything to convince their parents otherwise. The model is completely objective to His Word. Our investigation standards are founded in the teachings and expectations of Jesus Christ. If a sinful behavior is portrayed, it is called sinful whether Hollywood tries to make it otherwise. That the sinful behavior is "justified" by some manufactured conditions does not soften nor erase the price of sin. Whether there is application of fantasy "justification" or "redemption" is up to mom/dad.|
|"There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our more than eight years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.|