The Screening Room
to catch a thief
Hitchcock. Grant. Kelly. What a force in film.

"To Catch a Thief" is now available on DVD as a part of Paramount's Centennial Collection.

I can honestly say that even as a film lover, I haven't seen all of Hitchcock's films. I hadn't seen "To Catch a Thief" until now, and what a treat it is. I won't rank this as one of my favorite films from the Master, but it has its charms that can't be beat.

In the Hitchcock films I've seen over the years, most of them have a dry wit about them. "Thief" certainly has a lot of it. The number of double entrendres could fill a book. Watching the film today, the chemistry between Grant and Kelly is tame, yet I caught myself rewinding the DVD just to catch some of the lines. There were some real gusty exchanges for that era, and even today, they're a bit risqué! Hitchcock was incredibly clever in going around the Production Code of the era, and I admire him for that.

Grant and Kelly are forever cemented in film lover's minds as a beautiful on-screen couple. Grant was just such a sophisticated leading man that both men and women could admire the guy's charm and wit. He was confident, dashing, daring, and always could make an audience smile. Is there an equal today? Some magazines have mentioned George Clooney as the modern day Cary Grant. But to me, Clooney is more style than he is captivating. Grant could be both stylish and capivating in his roles.

Grace Kelly really was not only a stunning lady, but a very good actress. Looking at her biography on iMDB, it's surprising how few major films she actually made before retiring. Only in her 20s, she was very confident and seductive in this film. Hitchcock clearly had admiration for her beauty and acting ability. She wasn't merely eye candy, but a much deeper kind of actress we don't see much of today. You're stuck by her, yet there is a smart woman underneath that beautiful exterior.

The film is a fun mystery which never takes itself too seriously. This is one of those rare films from the 1950s that was shot a lot on location. The shots of southern France are simply remarkable by cinematographer Robert Burkes' VistaVision cameras. He won an Oscar for his work.

The film has been around for years now, and it's certainly considered a favorite among Hitchcock fans. And who can blame them? Hitchcock. Grant. Kelly. A mystery. France? Amour!           

Bill Kallay

Special thanks to Click Communications

Photos: © Paramount Pictures. All rights reserved.
DVD Quick Glimpse


Hitchcock goes to France!

Director: Alfred Hitchcock  

Cast: Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, John Williams 

Second disc features a lot of great material on the film

Not rated

Picture: Good
Sound: Good

The location scenes are breathtaking

Aspect Ratio (1.85:1)

Dolby Digital 2.0

March 24, 2009
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