Movie Reviews

DVD Review: “To Catch a Thief (Centennial Collection)”

(Paramount. 1955/2009. 2 discs. Not Rated. 106 minutes. Widescreen. Color. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock.) Cary Grant (John Robie), Grace Kelly (Frances Stephens), Jessie Royce Landis (Jessie Stevens), John Williams (H.H. Hughson), Charles Vanel (Bertani), Brigitte Auber (Danielle Foussard). Music by Lyn Murray.

Glittering, sophisticated Hitchcock movie that is more romantic comedy than thriller. You almost can’t go wrong with Grant, Kelly, and the Riviera, filmed in Paramount’s widescreen format, fabulous VistaVision (the color cinematography won an Oscar). Dialogue by Hitchcock regular John Michael Hayes, who just died in November, is racy (and fun) even today. Grant’s a retired jewel thief known as “The Cat.” He catches the eye of Kelly, a pampered heiress vacationing with her mother (Landis). Then when a new rash of gem thefts occurs on the famous French playground, everyone wonders if the Cat is back on the prowl, but you don’t really care about that. You just enjoy watching the romantic sparks fly, and admire how well-matched the two leads are, despite the fact that he was 50 and she 25 when this was filmed. Grant had been lured out of a brief retirement by Hitch, and ended up making movies for 11 more years. Excellent extras on the set include “A Night with the Hitchcocks,” a Q&A from last fall at USC with Hitchcock’s only child, daughter Pat with her family; and “Film Censorship in America,” a look at the constraints of the now-abolished Production Code. Latest release from the Centennial Collection, along withThe Odd Couple. Superb job, Paramount.

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