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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thievery in the sun
Alfred Hitchcock made two kinds of movies: bone-chilling thrillers that looked into the dark side of human nature, and witty adventure stories.

"To Catch A Thief" is a sterling example of the latter kind of movie -- a chic, sleek, golden-tinted caper, full of witty dialogue and solid acting from legendary actors. Despite the taut action scenes, Hitchcock makes...
Published on 10 Feb. 2007 by E. A Solinas

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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Robbery on the Riviera
"To Catch a Thief" is a so-so sort of film. The plot is fairly thin and Hitchcock's trademark build up of suspense is mostly absent. However these flaws are redeemed by the radiant, regal presence of Grace Kelly and the suave urbanity of Cary Grant. Grant plays a reformed jewel thief who volunteers to assist an insurance company with the identification and capture of a...
Published on 23 April 2006 by L. Davidson


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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thievery in the sun, 10 Feb. 2007
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Alfred Hitchcock made two kinds of movies: bone-chilling thrillers that looked into the dark side of human nature, and witty adventure stories.

"To Catch A Thief" is a sterling example of the latter kind of movie -- a chic, sleek, golden-tinted caper, full of witty dialogue and solid acting from legendary actors. Despite the taut action scenes, Hitchcock makes it feel almost like a cinematic vacation.

Paul Robie (Cary Grant) was "The Cat," the most notorious jewel thief in Europe, before he retired. But now impossible heists -- made in Robie's style -- are popping up all over Cannes, and he's the immediate suspect. Narrowly escaping the police, he enlists a friend to help him clear his name by capturing this new Cat.

To do that, he masquerades as an American tourist, and gets to know pretty oil heiress Frances Stevens (Grace Kelly) and her mother. But when the Stevens jewels are stolen, Frances brings the cops down on Robie -- and now he is more desperate than ever to find the Cat, because he suspects it's an old friend...

Hitchcock was in fine form with "To Catch a Thief," especially since he had two great actors in the mix. Granted this isn't one of his more insightful or suspenseful movies, but it captures a sense of sly wit and fun instead.

If "To Catch A Thief" has a problem, it's that astute viewers will be able to guess who the Cat is after about a half hour, maximum. But fortunately viewers can be distracted by Hitchcock's knack for razor-sharp dialogue ("What do you say?" "My only comment would be highly censorable") and double entendres (during an intimate lunch, Francie asks, "You want a leg or a breast?").

It's also gorgeous to behold -- he entire movie is bathed in the golden Riviera sun, with lots of swimming, fast car chases, elaborate costume balls, and ornate hotels. But Hitchcock winds it up with a genuinely tense rooftop chase, complete with wrestling and gunshots.

Grant is a bit grizzled (and VERY overtanned) here, but still dapper and charming enough for Robie, a thief with principles and a taste for the good life. Kelly is also quite good as an heiress who is less prim than she appears; John Williams and Jessie Royce Landis have fun supporting roles as a "veddy veddy English" insurance man and a shrewd rich woman.

"To Catch A Thief" is a warm, sumptuous piece of classic film, with great dialogue and even better acting. Fun, stylish little mystery
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hitchcock classic and UK edition does have all the extras listed, 26 Sept. 2012
By 
S. R. Williams (London) - See all my reviews
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I have just received this blu ray and felt compelled to write a quick review, not of the movie this has already been covered but of the blu ray product itself....I am not sure where some of the reviewers on here get their information but I can confirm that the UK edition has all 11 of the extras listed by Amazon.

I nearly cancelled this to buy the US version as I wanted the extras, I am so glad I did not.

Believe me you do not need to purchase the US version as this has it all.

The picture quality is as excellent as expected, if you love this movie do yourself a favour and buy this you will not be dissapointed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TO CATCH A THIEF [1954] [Blu-ray] [US Import], 17 Feb. 2015
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TO CATCH A THIEF [1954] [Blu-ray] [US Import] The French Riviera…two luminous stars [Grace Kelly and Cary Grant] and the Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock, behind the camera. They all add up to one romantic, dazzling screen thriller for the first time on his Blu-ray edition. Cary Grant plays John Robie, a retired jewel thief once known as “The Cat,” who catches the eye of Frances Stevens [Grace Kelly] a pampered, vacationing heiress. But when a new rash of gem thefts occurs amongst the luxury hotels of the spectacular French Riviera playground, it appears the “The Cat” is on the prowl again. Is John Robie truly reformed? Or is he deviously using Frances Stevens to gain access to the tempting collection of fabulous jewellery belonging to her Mother [Jessie Royce Landis]? Romance sparks fly as the suspense builds in this glittering Alfred Hitchcock classic that nabbed and Oscar® for Best Cinematography.

FILM FACT: The film won an Academy Award and was nominated in another two categories. Won: Best Cinematography (Robert Burks). Nominated: Best Art Direction (Hal Pereira, Joseph McMillan Johnson, Samuel M. Comer and Arthur Krams). Best Costume Design (Edith Head). This was Alfred Hitchcock's first of five films in the widescreen process VistaVision and final film with Grace Kelly. The film also led to another successful collaboration with Cary Grant, the 1959 classic ‘North by Northwest’ (also about a man with a mistaken identity who goes on a breakneck adventure to prove his innocence). The costumes were by Edith Head, including Grace Kelly's memorable golden gown for the film's costume ball.

Cast: Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, Jessie Royce Landis, John Williams, Charles Vanel, Brigitte Auber, Jean Martinelli, Georgette Anys, George Adrian (uncredited) and Alfred Hitchcock (uncredited)

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Producer: Alfred Hitchcock

Screenplay: John Michael Hayes, Alec Coppel (contributing writer) and David Dodge (based on the novel)

Composer: Lyn Murray

Cinematography: Robert Burks

Video Resolution: 1080p [Technicolor]

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 [VistaVision]

Audio: English: 2.0 Dolby TrueHD Stereo, English: 1.0 Dolby Digital Mono, French: 1.0 Dolby Digital Mono, Spanish: 1.0 Dolby Digital Mono and Portuguese: 1.0 Dolby Digital Mono

Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese

Running Time: 106 minutes

Region: All Regions

Number of discs: 1

Studio: Paramount Pictures

Andrew’s Blu-ray Review: It takes a thief to catch a thief. That's the old saying, anyhow. And that's the thesis Alfred Hitchcock is exhibiting in his new mystery thriller-romance at the Paramount. With Cary Grant playing the catcher and Grace Kelly playing — well, we won't say! ‘To Catch a Thief’ comes off completely as a hit in the old Hitchcock style. We're not saying much about Miss Grace Kelly, other than to observe that she is cool, exquisite and superior as a presumably rich American girl traveling with her mother in Europe in quest (her mother says) of a man. To say more might tip you as to whether she is what you suspect her to be the jewel thief whom Cary Grant is stalking through the lush gambling-rooms and gilded chambers of French Riviera villas, casinos and hotels.

Well from the start of the film it keeps you guessing whether he is the slick cat-burglar, because he says he is out to touch in his previous slick cat-burglar days and that is where Alfred Hitchcock keeps you on tender hook. And vows to help an insurance man from Lloyds of London. What with his being an acknowledged old gem thief, living in a villa high above Cannes and chumming with a covey of ex-convicts, he could be almost anything. He's the fellow who genuinely tries to use his own knowledge of being a cat-burglary to nab the thief who has been terrorising Cannes and causing hysterics and conniptions among the always ineffectual police. But then there are enough other suspects, especially ex-convicts, French thugs and pretty girls, not to mention that nervous Lloyds of London fellow.

In his accustomed manner, Alfred Hitchcock has gone at this job with an omnivorous eye for catchy details and a dandy John Michael Hayes script. Most of his visual surprises are fantastic, spectacular vistas along the breath-taking Cote d'Azur. As no one has ever done before him, and especially Alfred Hitchcock has used that famous coast to form a pictorial backdrop that fairly yanks your eyes out of your head. Almost at the start, he gives you an automobile chase along roads that wind through cliff-hanging, seaside villages. The surprise is that it is seen from the air! If you have ever been on the Riviera, the images you view look totally brilliant, especially in the awesome Technicolor and VistaVision, splashed on that giant screen.

The script and the actors keep things popping along at a fast pace, in a fast, slick, sophisticated vein. Cary Grant and Miss Grace Kelly do us proud, especially in one sly seduction scene. If you've never heard double-entendre, you will hear it in this film. As the chap from Lloyds of London, John Williams is delightfully anxious and very dry, and Jessie Royce Landis is most amusing as Miss Kelly's low-down American mother. Brigitte Auber is fetching and funny as a frightfully forward French girl, and Charles Vanel has the air of a rascal as a local restaurateur. The direction, of course, is up to the usual high standards of Hitchcock. The film is expertly paced, with just enough jolts interspersed with the comedy to remind the audience that it is, after all, viewing an Alfred Hitchcock film. As Hitchcock himself has admitted, ‘TO CATCH A THIEF’ has be entitled a "lightweight story," at least compared to such thrillers as ‘STRANGERS ON A TRAIN’ [1951], ‘REAR WINDOW’ [1954] and ‘PSYCHO’ [1960], to name a few of the film's approximate contemporaries. But a lightweight story in the hands of Alfred Hitchcock does not necessarily make for an inconsequential film. ‘TO CATCH A THIEF’ is an outstanding comedy, highlighted by the acting of Cary Grant, Grace Kelly and John Landis, and the Academy Award-winning cinematography of Robert Burks.

Blu-ray Video Quality – To Catch a Thief is presented on a dual-layer 50GB Blu-ray with a stunning 1080p 1.85:1 transfer. This Blu-ray, in many ways, is like watching ‘To Catch a Thief’ for the very first time. Never have the colours looked this amazing, all of them popping off the screen with a shocking electricity that blew my mind. Black levels are striking and strong throughout, clarity borders on perfection and while the age of the print is evident in a handful of scenes by and large Paramount’s restoration of the negative is beyond outstanding.

Blu-ray Audio Quality – There is only so much you can do with many soundtracks of this era. The stereo 2.0 Dolby TrueHD offers a clearly upfront presentation. However, given the other available soundtrack options, this is as good as it gets. Dialogue, an essential component to the realisation of this film, is crisp and clear. Not to worry, I did not miss the surround effects or throbbing low frequency sound waves. ‘To Catch a Thief’ does not need any of these elements to get its point across.

Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:

Feature length commentary track from Dr. Drew Casper, Professor of American Film and Hitchcock Film Historian: Hitchcock Film Historian Dr. Drew Casper, often sounding as if reading his comments, discusses the VistaVision process, the score, the colour palette, shooting locales, Hitchcock's career and style, the specific technical merits of the shoot and the work and make-up of the cast, and even going so far in-depth to discuss how a slight angling of the credits, combined with their colour, suggests the film's duality between light and bubbly motifs and darker elements.

A Night with the Hitchcocks [2008] [1080p] [16:9] [23:20] Footage of the Q&A session with Mary Stone [Granddaughter of Alfred Hitchcock], Patricia Hitchcock [Daughter of Alfred Hitchcock] and Dr Drew Casper filmed at the University of Southern California in 2008, with an introduction by Elizabeth Daley, who is the Dean at the School of Cinematic Arts.

Feature: Unacceptable Under the Code: Film Censorship in America [2009] [1080p/480i] [16:9] [11:48] Here we get to see people like Dr. Richard Jewell [Hefner Professor of American Film at the University of Southern California], Dr, Drew Casper [Professor of American Film of the University of Southern California], and Del Reisman [Former President of the Writers Guild of America, West] talk about Censorship in the American Cinema and how the Will Hayes Code came in and how Alfred Hitchcock fooled the censors with the sexual innuendoes in the film ‘To Catch A Thief’ and was totally blatant about it.

Feature: Writing and Casting To Catch a Thief [2002] [480i] [4:3] [9:03] Participating in this documentary are Patricia Hitchcock [Daughter of Alfred Hitchcock], Mary Stone [Granddaughter of Alfred Hitchcock], and Steven DeRosa [Author of “Writing with Hitchcock”] discuss how ‘To Catch A Thief’ was brought to the screen, especially how the script was altered many times from its initial draft, especially the censors objection to the sexual references and the cost to sections of the film that were dropped from the finished film.

Documentary: The Making of To Catch a Thief [2002] [480i] [4:3] [16:53] With this insightful documentary, people like Mary Stone [Granddaughter of Alfred Hitchcock], Doc Erickson [Production Manager], Steven DeRosa [Author of “Writing with Hitchcock”] and Sylvette Baudrot [Continuity/France] talk about how the film evolved, especially the choice of location in the South of France, that Alfred Hitchcock and family use to holiday regular. It also informs you why they chose the actors, script editor, technical experts and composer, in bringing Alfred Hitchcock film to the silver screen.

Feature: Behind the Gates: Cary Grant and Grace Kelly [2009] [1080p] [16:9] [16:12] Participation in this feature are A. C. Lyles [Producer] and Richard Schickel [Film Historian] who inform us whay cary grant and Grace Kelly were chosen for ‘To Catch A Thief’ and how the camera captured the magic allure of these two actors. One interesting fact brought to our attention, is that this was the last film Grace Kelly ever did, because after this she married the Prince of Monaco.

Feature: Alfred Hitchcock and To Catch a Thief: An Appreciation [2002] [480i] [4:3] [7:32] Here we get to see a nice informal insight with Patricia Hitchcock [Daughter of Alfred Hitchcock], Mary Stone [Granddaughter of Alfred Hitchcock] and Sylvette Baudrot [Continuity/France] who give us very personal information about the private life of Alfred Hitchcock and how he had brilliant naughty humour, and also why he chose South of France and of course as I have mention earlier, the whole family use to love to go on holiday in the that part of France where ‘To Catch A Thief’ was filmed. But what is also very nice is that we get to see Alfred Hitchcock’s private home movies.

Feature: Edith Head: The Paramount Years [2002] [480i] [4:3] [13:44] Here is another very nice personal documentary about the famous Hollywood clothes designer and is told with great affection by the likes of David Chierichetti [Edith Head’s Biographer], Tzeti Ganeu [Head of the Custom-Made department of Western Costume], Bob Mackie [Fashion Designer] and Rosemary Clooney [Actress] who talk in great detail why Edith head became Paramount’s top clothes designer and how Edith Head was so good at making the actors look good, and especially the male actors, who Edith Head preferred to design clothes for.

Interactive Travelogue Feature: If You Love To Catch Thief, You’ll Love This [1080p] [16:9/4:3] With this Interactive Travelogue Feature, you get to see the via a map of the South of France where each actual location of the film was shot and all you have to do is press ENTER on your remote where the cross is located on the map and what you get is a brief description via a voice over of the actual location where ‘To Catch A Thief’ was filmed.

Theatrical Trailer: This is the Original Theatrical Trailer for ‘To Catch A Thief’ [1080p] [1.78:1] [2:12]

Galleries [1080p] This is in four separate categories and they consist of:

1. Movie: Here you get to see 33 black-and-white prestige publicity shots from the film, and mainly of Cary Grant and Grace Kelly.

2. Publicity: Here you get to see 11 black-and-white studio images, mainly of the actors from the film set in set publicity promotional photographs.

3. Visitors To The Set: This time you get to see other famous stars visiting the film set and they consist of 14 black-and-white images. Under certain photographs you get yellow typeface wording describing who the stars were and what is happening in that particular photograph.

4. Production: Here we get to see 72 black-and-white rare informal publicity images around the Paramount Studio and in South of France. Once again under certain photographs you get a yellow typeface wording describing who the stars were and what is happening in that particular photograph.

Finally, ‘To Catch a Thief’ is one great watch. Grace Kelly made very few films and retired a year after shooting this film, following her marriage to Prince Rainier. Monaco’s gain was Hollywood’s loss since Grace Kelly shows an unerring comedic talent and luminous screen presence. Co-star Cary Grant has deft control of the leading man persona and takes to comedy like a duck to water. Considering what passes for comic presentation in today’s cinema, he delivers a performance that should be mandatory viewing for all aspiring actors. There is also something to be said for clever, articulate dialogue without profanity or incoherence as the give-and-take between Cary Grant and Grace Kelly amply demonstrates. Also finding out why Director Alfred Hitchcock’s knew how to make all aspects of this film come together and exploits the scenic landscape for all that its worth. But first and foremost, this film reminds us that film-making is a visual art form. In this regard, Paramount Pictures centennial celebration is well served by this brilliant Blu-ray reissue of ‘To Catch a Thief.’ Highly Recommended!

Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It takes a thief to catch a thief, 6 Oct. 2007
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Years ago John Robie (Cary Grant) decided that it was better to live rich than poor. So he became a joule thief. He was pretty good at his trade. His ability and modus operandi of sneaking along roof tops gave him the title of "The Cat". However he a war came up and he was an iatrical art of the resistance. This and the promise to give up his thieving ways allowed him to go free and enjoy the proceeds from his ill-gotten ways.

Well it looks like "The Cat" has stuck again. Robie can only clear himself by finding the "Copy Cat." To help he enlists some old friends, an insurance investigator, and some new friends/or maybe victims.

So did he really do it and trying to blame it on someone else?
Why would anyone after all these years want to frame him?

This movie can become a favorite as even when you know the outcome you will watch it again for the action and interaction of the different characters. Then you will also look for clues that are now obvious but missed the first time.
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a great DVD edition of a classic film, 24 Jan. 2003
By A Customer
This has to be one of my all-time favourite films. Hitchcock was at his best shooting a witty scrip, full of action, suspense and sexual innuendos. Cary Grant protraits a reform jewel thief wrongly accused of theft who sets to prove his innocence. Grace Kelly is set on getting him. Shot partially on location in the french riviera, it still stands today as a great comedy.
The DVD edition of the film is actually quite good. For the first time you can see the film in widescreen, allowing you to actually see the Hitchcock cameo. The extras are good enough and include a making of and a couple of smaller featurettes. The film has subtitles in 24 different languages and several of these (if not all) are also available in extras. This is a great DVD edition of a classic film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars To catch a break, 7 Jun. 2009
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Alfred Hitchcock made two kinds of movies: bone-chilling thrillers that looked into the dark side of human nature, and witty adventure stories.

"To Catch A Thief" is a sterling example of the latter kind of movie -- a chic, sleek, golden-tinted caper, full of witty dialogue and solid acting from legendary actors. Despite the taut action scenes, Hitchcock makes it feel almost like a cinematic vacation.

Paul Robie (Cary Grant) was "The Cat," the most notorious jewel thief in Europe, before he retired. But now impossible heists -- made in Robie's style -- are popping up all over Cannes, and he's the immediate suspect. Narrowly escaping the police, he enlists a friend to help him clear his name by capturing this new Cat.

To do that, he masquerades as an American tourist, and gets to know pretty oil heiress Frances Stevens (Grace Kelly) and her mother. But when the Stevens jewels are stolen, Frances brings the cops down on Robie -- and now he is more desperate than ever to find the Cat, because he suspects it's an old friend...

Hitchcock was in fine form with "To Catch a Thief," especially since he had two great actors in the mix. Granted this isn't one of his more insightful or suspenseful movies, but it captures a sense of sly wit and fun instead.

If "To Catch A Thief" has a problem, it's that astute viewers will be able to guess who the Cat is after about a half hour, maximum. But fortunately viewers can be distracted by Hitchcock's knack for razor-sharp dialogue ("What do you say?" "My only comment would be highly censorable") and double entendres (during an intimate lunch, Francie asks, "You want a leg or a breast?").

It's also gorgeous to behold -- he entire movie is bathed in the golden Riviera sun, with lots of swimming, fast car chases, elaborate costume balls, and ornate hotels. But Hitchcock winds it up with a genuinely tense rooftop chase, complete with wrestling and gunshots.

Grant is a bit grizzled (and VERY overtanned) here, but still dapper and charming enough for Robie, a thief with principles and a taste for the good life. Kelly is also quite good as an heiress who is less prim than she appears; John Williams and Jessie Royce Landis have fun supporting roles as a "veddy veddy English" insurance man and a shrewd rich woman.

"To Catch A Thief" is a warm, sumptuous piece of classic film, with great dialogue and even better acting. Fun, stylish little mystery.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hitchcock Does Light Romantic Suspense, 18 Jan. 2009
By 
Mark Baker (Santa Clarita, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
The tourists along the French Riviera are being robbed of their valuable jewelry. And the robberies have all the trademarks of notorious jewel thief John Robie (Cary Grant). There's just one problem, John retired years ago after serving time in prison and the French underground. But the police won't take his word for it and are insisting he's returned to his old ways.

So John decides that the only way to clear his name is to find the real burglar. Working closely with insurance man Hughson (John Williams) he attempts to pick the next victim so he can catch the burglar. And he settles on Jessie Stevens (Jessie Royce Landis) and her daughter Frances (Grace Kelly). But Frances turns out to be more of a distraction then the bachelor John counted on. Will he succumb to temptation? And will he catch the thief?

Those looking for a typical Hitchcock thriller will be highly disappointed. Yes, there's a bit of a mystery here, but it is pretty light. Instead, the middle segment is devoted to the budding relationship between John and Frances. And it is a complete hoot. I was laughing so hard at some of the lines. And they got away with some pretty suggestion comments, too. Frankly, I was disappointed when the movie went back to focusing on the mystery, although it was a satisfying ending.

And I have to mention the scenery. It was filmed on location. I'm ready to hop the next plane to see the French Riviera myself.

This may be lighter then Hitchcock's normal fair, but it is plenty fun. Sit back and get ready to enjoy a good film.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grace Kelly in Wonderland, 1 Aug. 2011
By 
Sean Bond (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
Some people, including Hitchcock himself, dismiss To Catch A Thief as being just a light comedy.

It is far more than that.

The actors are beautiful.
Photography is fabulous.
Locations are glamourously romantic.
The music is charming.
The story is original, admittedly with less suspence and fear than in other Hitchcock's movies.
The overall style is of incredible elegance.

The end result is a charming movie, one of unique beauty, amazing style, supreme elegance, with an ounce of adventure and mystery. If ever there was a paradise on earth, French Riviera in 1954 filmed by Hitchcock was it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hitch - always interesting! And copy quality is superb!, 27 Dec. 2010
TO CATCH A THIEF is far from Hitch's best work - but it has charm, unexpected twists thanks to a shimmering Grace Kelly at her most beautiful, tricky and personable, a Cary Grant with his as ever undecipherable carisma, great locations, and a wonderful photography among other blessings. I'm glad I have this film, that I have bought it at such a good price, and that I'll be able to watch it again and again at leisure. Thanks, Hitch and everyone else involved!

A word about the copy: Outstanding is mild praise. This is one of the best transfer jobs I can recall.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Languid but beautiful romantic thriller, 1 Sept. 2003
By 
Dennis Littrell (SoCal/NorCal/Maui) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: To Catch A Thief [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This is probably Hitchcock's most beautiful movie. Grace Kelly is well (but of course decorously) displayed in delicate and perfectly fitted summer dresses and evening gowns (designed by Edith Head) that show off her exquisite arms and shoulders while accentuating her elegant neck and jaw line--and, as she turns for the camera, the graceful line of her back. Opposite her is one of Hollywood's most dashing leading men, the incomparable Cary Grant.
The cinematography by long-time Hitchcock collaborator Robert Burks was shot on location in the French Riviera. The style is daylight clear and sparkling, bright as the dream of a princess to be, always focused without a hint of darkness anywhere. Even the scenes shot at night on the rooftops seem to glow. The houses on the hills overlooking Princess Grace's future home and the narrow cobble stone roads with the low-lying stone walls suggest a refined and elegant lifestyle to come. Even though she drives too fast, one is not worried that she might crash...
Cary Grant is John Robie who fought with the French resistence during WWII and then became a jewel thief, dubbed "The Cat" for his ability to slink quietly in the night over roof tops and to steal into the bedrooms of the rich and take their jewels without waking them. As the movie opens he is retired from his life of crime and living comfortably in a villa in the hills above Nice. The complications begin immediately as the police arrive at his villa to question him about some recent cat-like jewel robberies. Robie is innocent of course (we are led to believe) and to prove his innocence he is motivated to find the real thief.
Grace Kelly plays Frances Stevens, the slightly naughty nouveau riche daughter of the widow of a Texas-style oil millionaire. She is used to having men fall all over themselves trying to court her, but Robie seems uninterested, and this excites her fancy and she goes after him. It is interesting to note that by this time Cary Grant (51 when the film was released) had become such a heart throb that directors liked to have the women (who were always noticeably younger; Kelly was 26) chase after him. Audrey Hepburn does as much in Charade (1963). One notes that here, as in Charade, the women kiss Cary Grant first, not the other way around. Here it is nicely done as the previously demure Frances takes a surprising initiative at the door of her hotel suite.
The story itself is rather bland and predictable, reminding me of a James Bond flick from, say, the sixties as though toned down for an audience of old maids. Notable in supporting roles are Brigitte Auber as the athletic Danielle Foussard, John Williams as the British insurance agent, and Jessie Royce Landis as Frances Stevens' mother. Hitch makes his de rigueur appearance as a passenger on the mini-bus that Robie takes to get away from the gendarmes early in the film.
See this for Grace Kelly whose cool and playful demeanor and statuesque beauty form the heart of this somewhat languid romantic thriller.
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