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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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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
33 comments| 32 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 26 September 2012
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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on 24 January 2003
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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It would be fair to say that this is somewhat mediocre by Hitchcock standards, but the fact is mediocre for him is still a class act by anyone else's yardstick.
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.
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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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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 1 September 2003
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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on 3 January 2015
The greatest Director with two really great stars in fine form. Lovely film to watch as the net closes in on the 'Cat'. Kelly smolders in her pursuit of Grant. Luscious scenery in Southern France adds to the appeal of this thriller. Hitchcock, Grant and Kelly together does not get any better than that. Fantastic extras. Another hit film by Hitchcock. They don't make films like this anymore. Recommended.
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on 3 July 2015
blu ray: I was happily surprised buy the quality of this Universal release blu ray. Some of their Hitchcock BD releases have been average, but this is among their best. One could be forgiven by not realising the film's 1950's vintage by the clear sharp picture. Clearly (no pun intended) a carefully judged, lovingly executed full restoration. And with Grace Kelly and Cary Grant starring it deserves it!
The film: Okay, the plot could have been better but Hitchcock's clever, thoughtful direction maintains the interest. John Williams also deserves mention as the perfectly cast insurance executive with a keen interest in the ladies' jewellery that may be stolen, also remembered for his other Hitchcock collaboration in Dial M for murder. Another of those Hitch films that gives you that cosy 'feel good;' feeling as you watch it, made all the stronger by the brilliant restoration. Well done universal.
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on 9 June 2013
This blu-ray boasts a picture quality which I hardly find anywhere else in my quite comprehensive collection including all new movies.

Picture clarity, richness of details (flowers, leaves, the tiniest bricks on distant bridges, small ornaments on clothes and chandeliers even in the background ...) and colors are stunning. There is extremely little grain, while at the same the picture looks very natural, not at all waxy. Facial details look very lively and natural.

I previously owned a DVD special edition which was already very good. The blu-ray is just amazing.

Watching all the beautifully photographed landscape, the lavish costumes in the final scene, the facial expressions of Cary Grant and Grace Kelly in this stunning quality is a great joy even for a second or third time.

(I also bought the iTunes HD version which is an absolute shame with pale colors and fuzzy details as compared to this blu-ray.)
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on 11 June 2012
This is a great version of this wonderful film. The definition is superior to DVD versions, and, for the first time on disc, one can actually see all of Hitchcock in his cameo appearance! Hitherto he has either been edited out almost completely, or, in the version I had, you managed to see half of him. I commend this BluRay disc of what I consider to be a much underrated film.
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