Blu-ray reissue: To Catch a Thief ***1/2

By Dennis Hartley

(Originally posted on Digby’s Hullabaloo on June 30, 2012)

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To Catch a Thief – MGM Blu-ray

This is one of those Hitchcock films that’s more about the romance, scenery and clever repartee than the chills and thrills, but that makes it no less entertaining.

Cary Grant is “retired” cat burglar John Robie, an American ex-pat and former Resistance fighter living on the French Riviera. A string of high-end jewel thefts (resembling his M.O.) put the police on Robie’s back and raise the ire of some of his old war buddies. As Robie tries to clear his name and find the real culprit, his life becomes more complicated when a love interest enters the picture (Grace Kelly).

To be sure, it’s fairly lightweight Hitchcock, but holds up well to repeated viewings, thanks to the  chemistry between Grant and Kelly, intoxicating location filming and the delightful supporting performances (particularly from Jessie Royce Landis, as Kelly’s mother).

The witty, urbane screenplay is by John Michael Hayes (who also scripted Hitchcock’s Rear Window, The Trouble with Harry and the 1956 The Man Who Knew Too Much remake). MGM’s Blu-ray transfer is sparkling, doing justice to Robert Burks’ colorful, Oscar-winning cinematography.

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