DVD Review: To Catch a Thief Centennial Collection DVD
Cary Grant and Grace Kelly star in the French Riviera thriller To Catch a Thief, an Alfred Hitchcock classic. The movie is being released by Paramount in an all-new DVD Centennial Collection on March 24, 2009.
To Catch a Thief is about a retired jewel thief named John Robie who was once known as “The Cat.” When a new rash of gem thefts occur at some nearby luxury hotels, however, the police immediately suspect Robie, forcing him to go undercover and determine the truth himself. He soon hooks up with the beautiful heiress Frances Stevens and as their relationship develops, loyalties and honesty are questioned. Is Robie truly innocent, or is he just using Frances to get to her mother’s riches?
Despite being 60-years old, To Catch a Thief still holds its own for the most part; the movie looks great, the performances are solid and the story is interesting. Grace Kelly looks as good as ever, and the chemistry between her and Grant is believable.
As a mystery-thriller, though, To Catch a Thief does feel a bit dated. Hitchcock takes an incredibly long time to get to the point, and the build-up tends to drag after a while. When Grant and Kelly are on screen together, the movie works, but you wait and wait and wait for something exciting to happen without that much payoff.
Furthermore, Grant’s adversary and Kelly’s competition in the picture is rather bland; she was meant to be a sexy foreigner with a wild streak, but Brigitte Auber is just a poor casting choice. Hitchcock seems to want to set her up as a rival love interest, but her character is neither developed nor interesting enough to give this a chance. What made me laugh is a scene where Auber says Kelly “looks old,” even though Kelly looks younger and is a thousand times sexier.
To Catch a Thief does suffer from a few problems, specifically some slow plodding and odd casting choices, but it is still a well-made movies. There are a couple classic Hitchcock moments found throughout, specifically a car chase scene that is masterfully done (the shots of Grant grabbing his knees out of fear is great) and a rooftop climax that far exceeds expectations.
This Centennial Edition DVD offers the following special features:
- A Night with the Hitchcocks (new)
- Unacceptable Under the Code: Film Censorship in America (new)
- Writing and Casting To Catch A Thief
- The Making of To Catch A Thief
- Behind the Gates: Cary Grant and Grace Kelly (new)
- Alfred Hitchcock and To Catch A Thief: An Appreciation
- Edith Head: The Paramount Years
- Original Theatrical Trailer
- If You Love To Catch A Thief, Youâ€™ll Love this Interactive Travelogue