To Catch a Thief - Blu-ray Review
By Jeff Swindoll Mar 8, 2012, 0:56 GMT
The world could do with more high-def releases with Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, or Alfred Hitchcock. The trio is sumptuously represented in To Catch a Thief and it is certainly a title that film lovers will want to catch and put in their collections.
John Robie (Cary Grant) is retired. The problem is that he’s a retired jewel thief, known as the Cat. The police have come looking for him since robberies that seem much like his own have been recently staged. He gives the cops the slip but wants to catch the thief that has caused him all this trouble.
H.H. Hughson (John Williams) is an insurance agent and acquaintance of Robie’s restaurateur friend Bertani (Charles Vanel). Robie enlists Hughson to give him a list of his clients and Hughson, rather reluctantly, does so. So now Robie has to stake out Jessie Stevens (Jessie Royce Landis) and her daughter Francie (Grace Kelly) and wait for the imposter Cat to try and steal Mrs. Steven’s jewelry.
However, Francie begins her pursuit of Robie and faces the ire of Danielle (Brigitte Auber), who is the daughter of an old friend of Robie’s and has a crush on him. The Cat still manages to steal jewels and all the while Robie is getting the blame and deeper into trouble.
An elegant, suave Cary Grant – check, a stunning and sexy (and soon to be royal) Grace Kelly – check, and masterful direction by Alfred Hitchcock – check. Cue fireworks. What more could you ask for? There’s not much suspense but To Catch a Thief is breezy fun on the Riviera and features some grand turns by its two stars whose chemistry makes the screen erupt into fireworks.
The film may not pop to the top of critic’s list of most influential Hitchcock films but it certainly won over mainstream audiences. What stuns this time around is the high definition transfer.
It’s as stunning as the two stars and fans will certainly think they’ve stolen a jewel with the Blu-ray - especially when you consider the disc’s low MSRP. Clarity and colors are delicious.
To Catch a Thief is presented in a 1080p high definition transfer (1.85:1). Special features, standard definition unless noted, include a commentary by Hitchcockian historian, the 23 minute “A Night with the Hitchcock’s” where Casper hosts a Q&A with Hitch’s daughter Pat Hitchcock O’Connell and granddaughter Mary Stone, the 11 minute “Unacceptable under the Code” is a history of the production code and how Hitch snuck around it, the 6 minute “Behind the Gates: Cary Grant and Grace Kelly” is about the two stars work on this picture, the 9 minute “Writing and Casting to Catch a Thief, the 7 minute “Alfred Hitchcock and To Catch a Thief: An Appreciation,” the 17 minute “The Making of To Catch a Thief,” and the 13 minute “Edith Head: The Paramount Years” profiling the iconic designer. You also get, in high-def, the 2 minute trailer, an interactive travelogue of the French Riviera locations, and photo galleries.
To Catch a Thief is both magnificent in its fun filmmaking and this new edition presents a handsome transfer. If you have time after cruising the Riviera or cat-burglering then you’ll want to rush out and steal this one (not that I’m promoting thievery mind you).
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