Friday, July 5, 2019

Film Friday: To Catch a Thief

To Catch a Thief (link to IMDb/photos via IMDb)

A retired jewel thief sets out to prove his innocence after being suspected of returning to his former occupation.

Paramount Pictures
1955/106 minutes/color
Starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly/directed by Alfred Hitchcock

I'll start with a piece of advice for anyone who writes or has creative ideas (which is probably all of us!)--write down (or record) your thoughts and ideas when you have them. I watched To Catch a Thief  just before graduation week (my older son is moving on to high school!) and a vacation, and made the mistake of not jotting down what I felt about the film. But I'll see what I can recall. :) The overall gist is, this is an entertaining, visually beautiful (how could it not be, with Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, and the south of France!) bit of Hitchcock escapism.

One of Kelly's memorable costumes from the film, designed by Edith Head

Grant's John Robie is a retired jewel thief who soon finds himself on the run, trying to prove his innocence in a string of copycat thefts. He teams up with insurance man Mr. Hughson, played charmingly by British actor John Williams (loved him in Sabrina as well), and American debutante Frances Stevens, inhabited by a gorgeous and sublime Grace Kelly. Jessie Royce Landis plays her mother in the film, and later, the actress, who has good screen chemistry with Grant, played Grant's mother in Hitchcock's North by Northwest (though she was only eight years older than Grant! Oh, Hollywood.).

Williams as Hughson striking a pose worthy of the tight-laced, urbane character

All the actors play beautifully off each other, though I can't say it's Grant's best performance. Still, he's as charming as ever, and it's a solid movie that is part thriller, part suspense, part crime caper, and part romantic comedy. With the stunning setting, gorgeous costumes, beautiful and capable acting and directing, To Catch a Thief is fun to watch and lose yourself in for a couple of hours. Though the plot is a bit predictable, and there are a couple of problematic elements, overall I'm glad I finally saw this classic Hitchcock film.

Grant and Kelly and the scenery will steal your attention

If you want to escape to the French Rivera this summer from the comfort of your home, check out this movie gem!

What a sight!

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