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Great role: Cate Blanchett in ''Charlotte Gray''

SCREEN GEM: Charlotte Gray (2001)

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Cate Blanchett, Charlotte Gray
Everett Collection

Great role: Cate Blanchett in ”Charlotte Gray”

PREMISE When her lover is shot down over occupied France during World War II, Scottish-born Charlotte (Blanchett) is determined to find him, so she becomes a spy. Parachuting into France, she finds handsome resistance leader Julien (Billy Crudup) instead.

FUN FACT Blanchett had her own stealthy secret, which she kept from the filmmakers even as she was running, jumping, and bicycling through the movie’s action sequences: She was pregnant with her first child by her husband, screenwriter Andrew Upton.

WHY IT’S GREAT In a role befitting the actress who would later play Katharine Hepburn, Blanchett is all old-fashioned, pants-suited glamour in this lavishly melodramatic tribute to screen heroines of the 1940s.