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To Catch a Thief

July 26, 2019

To Catch a Thief (1955)
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Actors: Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, Jessie Royce Landis

Image result for grace kelly to catch a thief

Synopsis: Retired cat thief and American expat, John Robie (Cary Grant), is lured back into stealing when someone on the French Riviera starts framing him for a set of new burglaries.

Review: To Catch a Thief‘s enduring legacy is the way it immortalised the star quality of Cary Grant and, especially, Grace Kelly, and it’s an absolute visual treat, showcasing all the splendours of VistaVision and Technicolor, plus some immemorial costume designs for Grace Kelly in particular.

It’s obviously not Alfred Hitchcock’s finest piece of work, but if you place it more in the context that it came out a year after the roaring commercial and critical success of his Rear Window, it’s clearly a case of fashioning another star vehicle for Kelly, and is one of those glamorous studio capers you still occasionally get now that put a leading man and lady together in some hokum genre fare.

Admittedly, some of the social politics haven’t aged particularly well. There’s an underlying chauvinism to Cary Grant’s character, not least with the 25 year age gap to Kelly, but also the way that he threatens to “spank” the even younger Danielle (Brigitte Auber) and even looks up her skirt when he’s hiding under deck. After a slow, exposition-heavy opening, the story does pick up some momentum in its final third, but, retrospectively, most modern audiences are more likely to be interested in the stellar location and sets, and Grace Kelly’s staggering costumes and star quality. (July 2019)

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