American expatriate John Robie living in high style on the Riviera is a retired cat burglar. He must find out who a copy cat is to keep a new wave of jewel thefts from being pinned on him. High on the list of prime victims is Jessie Stevens, in Europe to help daughter Frances find a suitable husband. The Lloyds of London insurance agent is using a thief to catch a thief. Take an especially close look at scene where Robie gets Jessie's attention, dropping an expensive casino chip down the décolletage of a French roulette player. Written by
Dale O'Connor <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In an early shot, a newspaper article called "Europe's Lighter Side" by Art Buchwald speculates on whether "the Cat" is on the prowl again. Buchwald actually wrote a column by that title for the New York Herald Tribune's European edition early in his career. He left school and moved to Paris in 1948, seven years before this film was released. See more »
When John Robie and H.H. Hughson are having lunch together at the villa, the hand of Robie is under the table when we see his back and on the table when we see his face. See more »
Cary Grant, former resistance hero and gentlemanly cat burglar, is now retired from the trade. But there's someone out there who's using all his old cat burglar tricks and putting him in one big jackpot. Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but Cary ain't flattered. With the French Surete and the English insurance company breathing down his neck, he'd better find out who the culprit is and fast.
He's got one ally, John Williams of the insurance company who has a sense it ain't really Cary. He's also got to contend with spoiled rich girl Grace Kelly who's taken a fancy to him. How much help she is is a dubious proposition.
Unlike a lot of Alfred Hitchcock films this one doesn't have all that much mystery to it. In fact early on you should be able to figure out who's stealing Cary's tricks. But the color photography which won an Oscar of the French Riviera is breathtaking and Cary Grant and Grace Kelly play the whole thing with such style that you really don't care.
My favorite in the film is Jessie Royce Landis who is Kelly's mother. She's rich, but remembers when she was poor. She takes to Cary and sticks with him when Grace has doubts and gives her quite a lecture on men. She knows her subject well.
Sadly life imitated art in this one. Grace Kelly met her future husband Prince Rainier on the set and on the road where she takes Cary Grant for a speeding car ride is the same one she had the automobile accident that took her life a generation later.
But don't dwell on the morbid here. Appreciate To Catch A Thief for the fine entertainment it is.
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