1 hr. 47 min. | Rated G |
Starring: Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, Jessie Royce Landis, John Williams, Charles Vanel
To Catch a Thief – Hitchcock at his most witty, elegant and insouciant.
The south of France is resplendent in all its cynicism and discretion. Diamonds are what the movie worships amid the sapphire-blue of the Mediterranean and cloudless skies; Hitchcock wittily begins by disrupting those tourist images with a scream of horror from a woman whose valuables have been swiped. Cary Grant is John Robie, the reformed cat burglar living quietly on the Côte d'Azur, under suspicion for carrying out a spate of daring jewel thefts in Nice and Cannes. He can only clear his name by collaring the real culprit – and while on this person's trail, he encounters the beautiful heiress Francie: the stunningly ice-blond Grace Kelly, pampered, bored and turned on by John's reputation. Her own jewels are glittering symbols of sexual unavailability, and there is something almost outrageously metaphorical in their verbal fencing in her suite at the Carlton hotel, as the fireworks explode outside. Francie finds something inauthentic in Robie: "like an American in an English movie". Well, yes, perhaps. But Grant's debonair and oddly unlocatable mid-Atlantic identity is absolutely right for the part.