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on 22 August 2012
The product description above from Amazon includes 11 bullet points of Special Features. They do not, any of them, appear on the UK release, which is as pathetic a piece of vanilla from Paramount as Chinatown, similarly stripped of all the extras on the US edition.

So the Amazon UK rubric is completely misleading and should be rewritten. Again. If you want the proper edition, you'll have to import the American one.
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HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERon 10 February 2007
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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on 17 April 2016
A well made little adventure from Alfred Hitchcock. Grace Kelly (Rear Window) and Cary Grant (North by Northwest) are introduced as the handsome lovers, she's far too young really for Grant but there you go...

The Blu Ray has lovely colours and filming locations all along the French coast. The film is really pure escapism, showing off the lovely homes and countryside, everywhere seems bathed in sunlight. The Blu Ray makes the picture look sublime too, parts look like they were filmed yesterday. The picture is Aspect ratio: 1.78:1 (Full screen) and the sound is English: Dolby TrueHD 2.0, there are subtitles too for the hard of hearing.

Back when it was released to the British and American public foreign trips abroad were an unusual luxury, one reserved for the very rich. These days even someone on £17,000 could probably afford two weeks in France every year, as a result the locations and settings are probably not quite as glamorous as they once seemed to audience.

The tone is light and the score is playful, the film tries to blend a thriller and a love story into one. Towards the end though the lightness starts to work against it, if the protagonist doesn't care then why should I? Grant too often comes off as cool & aloof, he rarely seems all that bothered about either getting the girl or catching the thief during certain bits. A few scenes are quite obviously shot on sound stages with map paintings, these are a little unconvincing. The pace of the film is also a problem is slows down so much about half way through that it practically stops for 30 minutes, with no real character or story development. One character who is meant to be a teenager is actually played by a 26 year old, she has to deliver dialgoue to a 25 year old about how old that person is compared to her. The results are again more than a little unconvincing. How hard would it have been to have found a 18 or 19 yr old to play that part?

Overall thanks to Hitchcock's direction it is still a classy film, but one that lacks his usual strong script and built up suspense. I knew there was something slightly off right from the opening credits which are done against a shop window for about 3 minutes, nothing all that clever or interesting to it.
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on 17 February 2015
TO CATCH A THIEF [1954] [Blu-ray] [US Import] Its Hitchcock . . . It’s Monte Carlo . . . Its Cary Grant and Grace Kelly!

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 for Robert Burks. Nominated: Best Art Direction for Hal Pereira, Joseph McMillan Johnson, Samuel M. Comer and Arthur Krams. Best Costume Design for Edith Head. This was Alfred Hitchcock's first of five films in the widescreen process VistaVision and the final film with Grace Kelly. The film also led to another successful collaboration with Cary Grant, the 1959 classic ‘North by Northwest,’ and 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. Alfred Hitchcock makes his signature cameo approximately ten minutes in as a bus passenger sitting next to Cary Grant.

Cast: Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, Jessie Royce Landis, John Williams, Charles Vanel, Brigitte Auber, Jean Martinelli, Georgette Anys, George Adrian (uncredited), John Alderson (uncredited), Martha Bamattre (uncredited), René Blancard (uncredited), Eugene Borden (uncredited), Nina Borget (uncredited), John Breen (uncredited), Jack Chefe (uncredited), Frank Chelland (uncredited), Reinie Costello (uncredited), William 'Wee Willie' Davis (uncredited), Guy De Vestel (uncredited), Lala Detolly (uncredited), Bess Flowers (uncredited), Art Gilmore (Trailer Narrator (voice) 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 a 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.

Other memorable scenes from ‘To Catch A Thief’ include the elaborate costume ball which Alfred Hitchcock wanted to film merely to showcase Grace Kelly's shimmering gold gown and Cary Grant's unmasking of the thief on the rooftop. "John Michael Hayes recalled that, during the filming of the final rooftop sequence, Hitchcock summoned him up to the high scaffolding, "Look at them all down there," the director said to his writer, "They think we're discussing something important or profound. But I only wanted to find out whether you're as frightened of heights as I am." (From “The Dark Side of Hitchcock”).

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 Blu-ray disc, with a stunning 1080p encoded image and with an also stunning 1.85:1 aspect ratio. 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 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 2.0 Dolby TrueHD Stereo offers a clearl 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:

Audio Commentary: Commentary from Dr. Drew Casper, Professor of American Film and Hitchcock Film Historian: Alfred Hitchcock Film Historian [effete] 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.

Special Feature: A Night with the Hitchcocks [2008] [1080p] [16:9] [23:20] Footage of the Question and Answer 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.

Special 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.

Special 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.

Special Feature 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.

Special 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.

Special 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.

Special 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.

Special Feature: 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]

Special Feature: 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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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 1 December 2016
Of all the 54 Hitchcock films To Catch A Thief wins the award for the most sumptuous filmed. Lovingly restored, the Vistavision colours glisten vividly showing off the stunning mid-50's French Riviera as well as the lead characters in all their glory. There's a twist to Hitchcock's favourite wronged man theme as Cary Grant plays long retired cat burglar John Robie, a.k.a. "The Cat". When a series of high profile jewel robberies bearing all his hallmarks shakes the Riviera's wealthy ladies Robie is naturally suspected, but when the police call on his elegant villa to question him he makes good his escape to investigate the source of the burglaries himself.

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. There are scenes of light peril, such as Frances' coastal getaway from the police, Robie's initial escape and the rooftop confrontation with the copycat burglar. But the budding romance between Robie and Frances is more central here and the beautifully shot countryside, which earned an Oscar for Robert Burks' cinematography, is as much the star as Grant and Kelly. There's a lightness of touch and mood present here that was to continue to be developed in Hitchcock's next film The Trouble With Harry. This is lightweight Hitchcock but a lovely journey nonetheless.
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When 1955's "To Catch A Thief" was relaunched on DVD back in 2007 with a full frame-by-frame Lowry Digital Restoration (the company is now known as Reliance MediaWorks) - fans of the film were quietly blown away by the work done on the print. Like "North By Northwest" (that other great Hitchcock/Grant collaboration cleaned up by the same much-praised process) - "Catch" looked stupendous - beautifully clean vibrant colour - and it came with a nice slew of new complimentary extras.

This 2012 BLU RAY reissue of it is no different - a truly gorgeous looking film finally given the format it deserves. In fact there are moments in this transfer that must surely rate as BLU RAY 'restoration benchmarks' - the clean up seeing Robert Burks' original colour cinematography shine like a diamond. Burks and his team (who had framed "Rear Window" for Hitch the year before) pulled an Oscar for their work on "To Catch A Thief" - and would go on to provide Hitchcock with the same filmic magic on "Vertigo" (1958), "North By Northwest" (1959), "The Birds" (1963) and "Marnie" (1964).

"To Catch A Thief" is presently an American issue on BLU RAY (Paramount 14637) but it's due in the UK in July 2012. If you can't wait and want the US version - the good news is that it's NOT REGION-CODED so it'll play in all players. It comes in a card wrap sleeve (which the British issue won't) and features a full compliment of extras including a few new bits over the 2007 DVD issue (see list below).

The film itself is the stuff of legend - a testament to clever scriptwriting, Director grit, meticulous planning and sheer leading man and woman starpower. Battling censorship groups and prudish bosses - Hitch used his brilliant scriptwriter JOHN MICHAEL HAYES to adapt David Dodge's book and construct a screenplay positively bristling with salacious suggestion. For this he needed sex - or more accurately - implied sex. So we get lines like "What you need is two weeks with a good man in Niagara Falls..." (a famous Honeymoon destination of the time where newlyweds rarely left their chalets) or Grace Kelly offering Cary Grant some chicken from the picnic basket "You want a leg of a breast?" Cary smirks and gives the perfect double-entendre reply. "You make the choice..."

Even something as innocuous to us now as sunbathing on a sandy beach was fraught with moral degradation then. The powers-that-be feared bikinis - so Hitch had Grace wear a full bathing suit to get around their protestations. BUT when he came to shoot the scene, she sexily rubs in suntan oil into her elegant bare arms. You don't notice her passion-killer swimsuit much after that. Or even when they eventually kiss in the darkened bedroom towards the end - it cuts to fireworks in the background to suggest explosions of a more human kind. And yet precisely because both the writer and Hitch had to be so devious - the film is so much better for it. "To Catch A Thief" may be considered by some to be lightweight Hitchcock - but it's bloody entertaining fluff and was hugely racy for its time. Alfred Hitchcock knew that suggestion was more potent than showing - and his audience had a far more active imagination that any Committee of Impeccable Moral Turpitude.

Hitchcock also loved his leading ladies - and few came more gobsmacking than Grace Kelly. Beautiful, sophisticated and (like her name) graceful in every way - she was the very epitome of Golden-Girl Fifties chic. What most hadn't expected however was that underneath all the glacial glamour lurked an out-an-out sexpot (she apparently devoured men in real life and of course married an actual Prince a year later). So combined with the legendary Hollywood costumer Edith Head - and the loaded lines - you got the gorgeous Grace Kelly both looking and sounding ravishing.

Then of course came Hitchcock's other weapon of choice - the debonair Cary Grant. Cary plays John Robie - a retired jewel thief and burglar of 15-years affectionately known as "The Cat" because of his acts of agility when making house withdrawals. Someone who knows his methods starts robbing jewels from rich ladies elsewhere - and it isn't long before the finger of blame comes calling to Robie in his French retirement home in the hills. Robie must go to Cannes (where the robberies are) - and confront some of his old 'Resistance' mates (even if some of them want him dead) - a thief sent 'to catch a thief'. And on the story goes...

Grant was 50 in 1954 and almost in semi-retirement - feeling that his public no longer wanted him - while Kelly (who was just 25) had worked with Hitchcock on "Dial M For Murder" and "Rear Window" in the previous year and become Hitch's new go-to girl. Hitch was keen to ally this rising female star with a suitable male match and game material that would enhance both - and after a persuasive dinner - he got Cary on board. And it worked a treat. Despite his advanced years and her youth - they seemed like Tracy and Hepburn - Bogey and Bacall - a completely believable couple. The film was a huge hit with the public (and still is) - largely due to the great script and their explosive onscreen chemistry...

Jessie Royce Landis provided much of the comedy as the meddling mother and the gamine French actress Brigitte Auber played the other possible love interest - the young wilful Danielle with a soft spot for the suave John Robie. Solid dependable accomplice was played by John Williams - a Lloyds of London Insurance agent willing to give Robie what information he needs - if it means he can get his clients stolen jewels back. And all of it leads to a rooftop finale in the dark with a clever twist in its rather elegant tail...

BLU RAY highlights include the market and flowers sequence - Kelly walking through the Hotel corridors in knockout off the shoulder dresses - Grant in the water by the pontoon - Robie trying to explain his innocence to the Chief of Police (Charles Varnell couldn't speak good English so you will notice that his entire performance is overdubbed) - and many more. Even the opening sequence that focuses on the window of a travel agent is gorgeous.

To sum up - if you're a fan and your soft machine flutters at the thought of "To Catch A Thief" and its delicious naughtiness - then you must own it on BLU RAY.

As Elin said on the 18th fairway to her faithful husband - is that a Redwood in your trousers Tiger - or are you just pleased to see me. Oh stop it...

BLU RAY Specifications:
PICTURE: 1080p High Definition (Full Frame)
AUDIO: English 2.0 Stereo Dolby TrueHD, English Mono Dolby TrueHD, French Mono Dolby Digital, Spanish Mono Dolby Digital, Portuguese Mono Dolby Digital
SUBTITLES: English, English SDH (Deaf And Hard Of Hearing), French, Spanish and Portuguese

1. Feature-Length Commentary by Dr. Drew Casper - Hitchcock Film Historian
2. A Night With The Hitchcocks (Drew Casper introduces Patricia Hitchcock (his daughter) and her daughter Mary Stone to an audience of film students in Nov 2008 to discuss their father and grandfather's movies) (23 minutes) ** NEW **
3. Unacceptable Under The Code: Film Censorship in Hollywood (discusses how movies were made in such repressive times - 12 minutes) **NEW**
4. Writing And Casting To Catch A Thief (9 minutes)
5. The Making of To Catch A Thief
6. Behind The Gates: Cary Grant and Grace Kelly (6 minutes)
7. Alfred Hitchcock and To Catch A Thief: An Appreciation (Home movies of Hitch and family - 7:30 minutes)
8. Edith Head: The Paramount Years (14 minutes on the legendary costumer)
9. If You Love To Catch A Thief - You'll Love This Interactive Travelogue (a map of Southern France allows you to pick out the villas and locations used in the film)
10. Theatrical Trailer
11. Galleries

PS: Hitchcock's "The Birds" is due later in 2012 - fully restored - and part of Universal's "100th Anniversary" celebrations - see my review for "To Kill A Mockingbird"

PPS: for other superb BLU RAY reissues (including full restorations) - see also my reviews for:
"The Italian Job", "Saturday Night, Sunday Morning", "The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner", "North By Northwest", "Cool Hand Luke", "The Dambusters", "The Prisoner - The Complete (UK TV) Series In High Definition", "Braveheart", "Snatch", "The Ladykillers", "The African Queen", "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang", "Back To The Future Trilogy", "Brief Encounter", "The Blues Brothers", "All Quiet On The Western Front", "To Kill A Mockingbird" and "Kelly's Heroes"

PPPS: for a list of other LOWRY DIGITAL Transfers and Restorations (Classic and Modern Titles) - see the 'comment' section attached to this review
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 28 August 2015
One of the most notable features of this 'light’ 1955 romance/mystery from master film-maker Alfred Hitchcock is that it unites, for the one and only time in the films of Leytonstone’s finest, two of the director’s most acclaimed stars – Cary Grant and Grace Kelly. Unfortunately, despite featuring an often funny, innuendo-laden, script by John Michael Hayes, the film’s 'suspense light’ narrative place it firmly in the 'romance’, rather than 'mystery’, category (a 'lightweight story’ in the words of Hitch) and thus, for me at least, very much second best behind the pair of stars’ other excursions for Hitchcock (Rear Window, Notorious, North By Northwest, Dial M For Murder and Suspicion).

Of course, the fact that the film has a preposterous premise – Grant is an 'ex-guest member’ of the French resistance and ex-jewel thief, John Robie ('The Cat’), (and, before that, part of a trapeze act!), now holed up on the French Rivera – is by-the-by. North By Northwest (with which TCAT shares a number of elements), similarly stretches credibility, but in a far more engaging way than does this earlier effort. That said, To Catch opens impressively with its '(real) cat as burglar’ metaphor, before Robie, pleading innocence on the run from les flics, finds himself, seated on the bus, sandwiched between caged birds and Hitch himself! The film is also a visual treat, with its spectacular, luxurious coastal setting – providing impressive backdrops for car and plane chases (the latter also calling to mind North By Northwest) – as well as some nice angle shots and use of shadow (courtesy of Robert Burks’ cinematography).

Acting-wise, Grant is at his suave, 007-like, best as the 'modern Robin Hood’ and eternal bachelor, turning female heads wherever he goes. Kelly is, well, Kelly, the definition of elegant beauty and a deceptive acting talent, as the 'rich young thing’ and daughter Robie stumbles across, Frances Stevens. Hitch, in trademark fashion, sets Frances up as a model of latent sexuality, via the pair’s first 'coupling’ (Frances’ 'out of the blue’ kiss) and their subsequent ‘loaded’ exchanges ('A leg or a breast?’, 'How long’s it been?’, etc). There are also excellent cameos from Jessie Royce Landis (a more restrained foretaste of her role in NBN) as Frances’ flirtatious mother, Jessie, and John Williams, in effect reprising his role from Dial M For Murder, as the ironic English gentleman and insurance man, H H Hughson. There is also an amusing side story between Robie and Brigitte Auber’s admiring teenager, Danielle – the jealous confrontation between Frances and Danielle is a highlight.

As the net closes in on ‘the new Cat’, there are also impressive scenes at a masquerade ball and the concluding rooftop chase. For me, not top drawer Hitch, but for the presence of Grant and Kelly, plus Hayes’ screenplay, certainly worth catching.
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on 28 December 2016
DVD review, not the Blu-ray. If I was buying now I'd choose the Blue-ray version instead for its improved picture quality but otherwise the same content.

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.
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on 3 September 2017
I have four versions of this film, the VHS, the mono dvd, the collectors in stereo and improved vision, the BD, which is of course, in my view, the best. I don' t keep watching this movie for the plot. Its value as a mastermovie lies in the superb picking of what's best in the French Riviera: if you are nostalgic about bygone 50s, here you have the best locations: Monte Carlo and a view of the Hermitage Hotel, the flower market in Nice, a view of the Negreso Hotel which opens the film, lovely hilly villas between Cannes and the Provence, the famous French village, still the same as it was back then, of La Turbie - which you can visit by bus 11 right from Monte Carlo Tourist Office for 3 euros return tichet. And then the jewel of La Croisette: The Carlton Hotel in all its splendour where the most fascinating scenes take place, room 623, where Grace Kelly kisses Cary Grant, The Grand Salon, the Hall which Grace paces admired by the hotel visitors, waiting for Cary to go on a car trip to have a chicken lunch from the famous Rue des Mules, that still today, but maybe less romantically, offers one of the best views of the Rock from above. One more excellent location to have housed Grace and Cary: the Chateaux of the Croix des Gardes, situated just above Cannes. So nothing would be more appropriate to welcome Grace Kelly, a Princess before becoming a Princess. She was able to play the lady and the flirting girl in love in a movie that combines America the French Riviera through Hitchcock's genius.
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on 13 February 2011
I ordered this DVD for two reasons. Firstly I heard, recently, a BBC-Radio-4 programme about the book which 'spawned' the film "To Catch A Thief". The (American) author of the book had lived in the South of France, where the action is set, next-door to the villa in which the burglaries really took place, thus giving him the kernel of the story. It was while listening to that programme that reason number two began to form; and that was that I began to remember that I had seen the film, in a cinema, back in the fifties, soon after its release. Unfortunately, "anno domini" had dulled my memory of the film.
The DVD duly arrived and I watched it with great, great pleasure. In fact I watched it twice, the second time immediately after the first. I had forgotten VistaVision, newly out in the fifties, and I was absolutely bowled over by the sheer quality of Hitchcok's film-making. His camera-angles are breath-taking masterpieces. It was a sheer delight to listen to that dialogue: words spoken clearly and unhurriedly, unlike today's garbled garbage; and no series of one close-up of a face after another! I had forgotten what excellent actors were Grace Kelly and Cary Grant.
5 stars to Amazon for prompt delivery, as promised, and at a more-than-decent price. The recording is of good quality and the disc was securely sealed in its box, that within a robust, card delivery-sleeve. Full marks all round.
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