11
Feb
09

Movies on DVD Review: To Catch a Thief

to_catch_a_thief2

A fun little movie.

Stars Cary Grant and Grace Kelly. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Based on the novel by David Dodge.

Taking place in the late 40’s/early 50’s, Cary Grant plays wandering American John “The Cat” Robie who went to Europe, got captured by the Germans and released by the French Underground after which he became a jewel thief. Now he lives in a chateau overlooking the countryside, far removed from his previous life of crime. When a series of thefts in Nice mimic “The Cat” he pleads that he hasn’t committed a crime in 15 years. Teaming up with H.H. Hughson (John Williams, the actor not composer), a jewel insurer, Robie obtains a list of those with jewels to insure so he can beat the copycat burglar to their own game. This leads him to meet Jessie Stevens (Jessie Royce Landis), a woman who came into oil money just as her husband died and her daughter, Frances (Kelly). Frances falls in love with Robie (who is posing as a lumber professional) but is unsure if he’s really committing the robberies. And Robie is unsure who the actual burglar is: is it her? Or someone from his past?

While the first 45 minutes of this movie dragged a little, not even a second after the movie kicks into high gear and becomes a fun ride. Hitchcock delivered on the suspense, tension, mystery, and intrigue, as well as being able to shoot in and around Nice. Grant is great and Kelly is incredibly beautiful. Interesting story with a good payoff ending.

Does this movie still hold up to today? Yes and no. Yes for everything after Grace Kelly appears on the screen, no because most people would be lost on the French Resistance and some other events of Word War II.

Watch for Hitch when Grant gets on a bus, sitting to the left (viewer right) of a woman with birds in a cage.

The copy I watched has the Theatrical Trailer, Photo and Poster Gallery, as well as Writing and Casting TCAT, The Making of TCAT, Alfred Hitchcock and TCAT: An Appreciation, and a tribute to Edith Head.

My grade: B+

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