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With: Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, Jessie Royce Landis, John Williams, Charles Vanel, Brigitte Auber, Jean Martinelli, Georgette Anys
Written by: John Michael Hayes, based on a novel by David Dodge
Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 106
Date: 08/03/1955

To Catch a Thief (1955)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Jewel of Denial

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

The plot of Alfred Hitchcock's To Catch a Thief is merely a formality after you take into consideration Cary Grant, Grace Kelly and the French Riviera, but here goes: Grant plays a famous, supposedly retired cat burglar who attracts new attention when a rash of jewel thefts begins. With Kelly's help, he must attempt to clear his name, which will be difficult since her jewels have been stolen as well. Like North by Northwest, it's one of Hitchcock's lightest and most purely enjoyable exercises.

I was always under the impression that this was Hitchcock's only film in 'Scope widescreen (1 to 2.35 aspect ratio) but I was wrong. It's the same as all his other, later films, more like 1 to 1.85. Regardless, it's great to have this colorful, opulent romance letterboxed on Paramount's new DVD, since it's one of the master's most scenic films.

Cinematographer Robert Burks won an Oscar for his work, and the art direction and costume design received nominations. It was the second of four movies written for Hitchcock by John Michael Hayes, and the pair made The Trouble with Harry the same year.

DVD Details: I reviewed Paramount's 2002 DVD, but in 2009 they released a new two-disc "Centennial Edition" special edition with all the same extras plus a few more: a commentary track by Dr. Drew Casper, and several featurettes. And putting the bonuses on the second disc, of course, leaves more disc space for the movie itself. A Blu-Ray edition followed in 2012.

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