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To Catch A Thief - 1955

To Catch A Thief - 1955 Poster

To Catch A Thief - Released Aug 3, 1955. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock

Hitchcock takes it easy on Cary Grant (as John Robie) in this film, though Grant gets chased by an airplane (like in North by Northwest) and he has to deal with tricky females (as in Suspicion and Notorious). In this case, though, the 'tricky female' is Grace Kelly, so the chase is stylish and peppered with light comedy moments while the characters are surrounded by scenic views of the French Riviera, Monaco and other locales along the Mediterranean coast.

There is a secondary troublesome female (Brigitte Auber) and there's Grace Kelly's character's mother (Jessie Royce Landis) on hand (and she has the best dialogue in this script by John Michael Hayes). But whether they're on Cary's side or not, they all adore him.

The real trouble afoot is finding the unknown cat-burgler who is pretending to be Cary, stealing jewels along the coast, and a very British insurance adjuster (played by John Williams) who is trying to put a stop to the red ink on his companies's ledger. Williams' plays possibly the most daring and ethically-flexible insurance adjuster in the history of film, quite different from Eddie Robinson's taciturn insurance adjuster (with a clue-finding stomach) from Double Indemnity.

Halfway a visual vacation on the Mediterranean, and also a (sometimes) tense game of cat-and-mouse, Hitchcock presents a lighter but visually rich tale from his oeuvre, in color with an excellent pairing of two of the biggest stars from the 1950s.


Original Page July 2016

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