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

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Writers: Michael Hayes, David Dodge, Alec Coppel
Staring: Carey Grant, Grace Kelly, Jessie Royce
Release Date: August 5, 1955
Where To Watch: Amazon Prime

I am contemplating making me New Years Resolution to watch every single Alfred Hitchcock movie. Why would I want to deny myself that great time?

To Catch A Thief is a romantic thriller centering around American John Robie (Carey Grant) living a high style life in the Riviera. Robie used to be an art thief in his prior life, and he does not shy away from this fact. However this former lifestyle comes back to bite him, for an impersonator of his robbing style is now ravaging the rich and famous. These new robberies force Robie to vacate his mountain home and reenter a world he thought he had left forever. Robie must proof his innocence in his own way. However to make things interesting, a beautiful young women by the name of Frances Stevens (Grace Kelly) begins stealing the heart and attention of Robie and his quest for innocence.

The first thing that stands out about To Catch A Thief is the unfair chemistry that Carey Grant and Grace Kelly have together on screen. Can we just say that it is unfair? There are moments where Hitchcock relies a bit too much on the pair’s excellent connection, but can you blame him? Grant is the classically handsome “everything is easy for me” guy and Kelly is the effortless kind of beauty that Disney strives to pin on its princesses.

The scene that most encapsulates the sheer sexiness of John Robie and Grace Kelly, both tangibly and intangibly, takes place in the ocean amidst a lovers triangle. Frances has just asked to spend the day with Robie at the beach, but it is hard for Robie to hide in a land where he knows so many people. Alluring him to the wooden pier is the short-haired and beautiful Danielle Foussard, played by Brigitte Auber.

Danielle is a daughter of one of Robie’s former art thief buddies, but it is fairly obvious that she looks at him as more than just a father figure. Danielle is flirting very obviously with Robie and he is just trying to deflect it every which way all of a sudden Frances swims up between them and creates a wonderfully awkward experience. Frances oozes the confidence that her character exhibits and completely disarms both Robie and Danielle. Grant acts wonderfully bouncing back and forth between the women and from that point on you know what each of these characters are best at.

Besides Carey Grant and Grace Kelly being cheat codes at this whole attraction and acting thing, we should pay notice to the fact that To Catch A Thief was nominated for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Costume Design and won for Best Cinematography (Color). Hitchcock shot this entire movie in France and man-oh-man does it show. It is gorgeous. To Catch A Thief is the most artfully shot Hitchcock movie I have seen. The only one that comes near it is North By Northwest (1959). It’s use of beautiful people, beautiful garb, beautiful vistas and quick-witted dialogue can remind someone (maybe if they are squinting) of a classic James Bond movie.

To Catch A Thief is worth a watch on many levels. Let the stars wash over you and let the views transport you. Sure the plot may fall by the wayside to the star power of the actors and director, but the story isn’t what you’ll be remembering at the end.

STANKO RATING: B (3.5/5 Stars)


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