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To Catch a Thief [DVD] 
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The French Riviera… two luminous stars (Grace Kelly, Cary Grant)… and the Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock, behind the camera. They all add up to one romantic, dazzling screen thriller. Grant plays John Robie, a retired jewel thief once known as “The Cat”, who catches the eye of Frances Stevens (Kelly), a pampered, vacationing heiress. But when a new rash of gem thefts occurs amongst the luxury hotels of the spectacular French playground, it appears that “The Cat” is on the prowl once again. Is Robie truly reformed? Or is he deviously using Frances to gain access to the tempting collection of fabulous jewellery belonging to her mother (Jessie Royce Landis)? Romantic sparks fly as the suspense builds in this glittering Hitchcock classic that nabbed an Oscar® for Best Cinematography.
- Commentary by Peter Bogdanovich and Laurent Bouzereau
- Featurettes: Writing and Casting To Catch a Thief; The Making of To Catch a Thief; Alfred Hitchcock and To Catch a Thief: An Appreciation; Edith Head--The Paramount Years
- Theatrical Trailer
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 Ford --This text refers to the Blu-ray edition.See all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
"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?").Read more ›
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.
Cary Grant plays an ex cat burglar, who is accused of a string of jewel robberies in the French Riviera where he has retired. He decides to catch the thief in order to clear his own name, and latches onto the next likely victim, a wealthy American and her daughter - Grace Kelly.
For a Hitchcock movie, there are not so many surprises - you can see the ending coming long before it arrives, and the set pieces are not as spectacular as usual.. the thief catching is really just the Maguffin needed to capture some sparkling interplay between the charismatic Grant and the luminous Grace Kelly. It is the word play and even sexual tension that keep the film a favourite. The innuendo in the scene where Grace Kelly is urging Cary Grant to reach out and stroke and caress her...err... diamonds.. is superb, albeit a little undone by the over the top splicing with the fireworks outside - as amusing as that idea is.
Grant plays the charismatic and lithe ex burglar known as `the cat' in typical Grant mode, and Kelly is take-your-breath-away stunning in her Edith head costumes - as movie-star like as it is possible to be.
Some aspects seem dated - the back projection driving scenes, the studio bound house and water scenes.. however, Cannes and Nice are up there on display, making the Riviera as much a character as the stars, and the photography, as always in Hitch's movies, is gorgeous and richly coloured.
It has neither the edge, the suspense or the complexity of themes of Hitch's later work, but is an enjoyable piece of easy to watch fluff, that bears repeated viewings thanks to the director's flair, his stars luminescence and the sparkling interplays between them.
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.
To prove his innocence the first of a number of unlikely plot twists sees Robie contact insurance agent H.H.Hughson, played by John Williams. Hughson's company are bleeding money paying out on policies owing to the robberies, and Robie's plan is that Hughson hands over the names and addresses of the leading prospective future targets. Top of the list are Jessie Stevens and daughter Frances, played by Jessie Landis and Grace Kelly. Robie befriends them in the guise of a rich American tourist, though Frances sees through the ruse eventually after an exciting coastal escape from following police. Frances taunts Robie with jewellery she is wearing, but the next morning Jessie's jewels have been stolen, and Frances believes it is Robie, who has disappeared, who is responsible.
The mood of the film is more akin to a 'caper' movie like The Italian Job rather than a typically tense Hitchcock wronged man film such as The 39 Steps. Much of the dialogue is light, funny, and especially between the two lead characters laden with sexual innuendo.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've seen this many times but never in such breathtaking quality, for me then the blu-ray is worth every penny for the step up in picture quality.Published 2 days ago by Jonathan
Wonderful movie, great quality - what more cab you say about such a film -Published 12 days ago by stubrown0
Wonderful, a pleasure to see countless times, the best Hitchcock ever, the best performances by the leading actors!!! Excellent seller.Published 1 month ago by helena