To Catch A Thief [DVD] 
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A famous cat burglar who has retired to the Riviera catches a thief imitating his old style.
To Catch a Thief is not one of Alfred Hitchcock's greatest, but it's arguably his most stylish thriller, loved as much for the elegantly erotic banter between Grace Kelly and Cary Grant as for the suspense that ensues when retired burglar Grant attempts to net the copycat diamond thief. The action, much of it shot on location, hugs the coast of the French Riviera; John Michael Hayes' screenplay crackles with doubles entendres; and Edith Head's dresses define the aloof poise of one of cinema's more enigmatic icons.
If anything is missing, it's the undertow of black humour which snags the unsuspecting viewer in so many of Hitchcock's greater films. Here, the edge is supplied by the splendid Jessie Royce Landis as Kelly's vulgar, worldly mother; her special way with a fried egg is one of those cinematic moments which linger in the mind with almost pornographic disgust. History, of course, delivered its own ironic blow years later when the then Princess Grace of Monaco died in an accident on the very road where Kelly and Grant shot their exhilarating car chase. Portents aside, she remains Hitchcock's most alluring and sophisticated heroine.
On the DVD: To Catch a Thief is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, which distils the distinctive qualities of the VistaVision cinematography, and with a mono Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. Interesting extras include several mini-documentaries in which Hitchcock's daughter and granddaughter, among others, reminisce about the great director, censor problems over the risqué dialogue, the talents of costume designer Edith Head, and the peculiar difficulties of shooting in VistaVision. An original theatrical trailer is another bonus. --Piers FordSee all Product description
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In this classic crime caper enhanced by sparkling humour and witty dialogue, Cary Grant plays a former cat burglar now comfortably well into retirement, known by all to be going straight and a pillar of the community. His modus operandi is suddenly resurrected and visiting heiress Grace Kelly is drawn into the plot as he reluctantly tries to clear his reputation and name. Hitchcock builds the suspense well, and even though we are totally familiar with the film it still has the same effect as the first time we watched it many, many years ago.
The film takes us into that sunny almost carefree South of France in the early 1950s, before it was about to be 'discovered' again and over-commercialised like it is now, to a time when everyone seemed to know each other and there was still the happy aura of victory left over from the end of the second war. It is quite escapist in many ways, especially when conjuring up memories of times that will never be recaptured again.
My 2003 released DVD has moderate film quality in 1.85:1 wide-screen on the 16:9 format; the colours can vary some of the time and occasionally there is also a bit of hop and weave and noise, but most of the time the story takes over and we just don't notice any flaws in the technical quality. The sound is Mono, but mostly very clean and clear. Our DVD bought in 2004 still plays perfectly, and we enjoyed it again this afternoon.
The Az blurb is to the point, and the extras are as described and well worth viewing.
At first thought this was a problem with the DVD player itself but quickly established that other discs played fine.
Tried playing the disc from a later point in the film but same problem - unwatchable.
A pity as I was looking forward to another Cary Grant film.
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