To Catch A Thief (1955)

A retired cat burglar joins forces with an insurance agent to catch a copycat thief who is casting suspicion onto him.

To Catch A Thief lacks the darker edge that marked Hitchcock’s best, but this film epitomises the the kind of Hollywood glamour that is still to be equalled. Highly aspirational, it is set in capitalist heaven where beautiful people exist in beautiful surroundings and the wealthy are all either charming sophisticates or refreshingly down to earth and untainted by their riches. The mystery element to the plot takes a virtual back seat to the irresistible pairing of Cary Grant and Grace Kelly; he the soul of suave as the gentlemen thief and she radiating classical femininity to the point where every time she was described as “pretty” it nettled me as ludicrous understatement. It’s all pure fantasy of course, but therein lies its charm and the sparkling dialogue and sumptuous surroundings transport the viewer to an era that is bygone – if it indeed ever existed at all.

Hitchcock at his least cynical.



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