Saturday, 4 July 2009

To Catch a Thief


Alfred Hitchcock based his famous film To Catch a Thief on a book by the American crime writer David Dodge. It’s the story of jewel theft on the Riviera and it stars Cary Grant and Grace Kelly, who combine together splendidly. To use a term that wasn’t around when the film was first shown, it’s a ‘feelgood movie’.

Grant , who plays John Robie, lives quietly in a lovely villa. He was once a famous jewel thief, but worked in the Resistance during the war, and has now renounced his old criminal ways. But when wealthy women of the south of France suffer a fresh series of jewel thefts which seem to bear all his hallmarks, Robie is the inevitable suspect. His old friends don’t believe in his innocence, let alone the police. Danielle, daughter of a former comrade who is now a wine waiter, urges him to take her to South America with his ill-gotten gains. But Robie decides to prove that he is innocent by catching ‘the Cat’.

This brings him into enjoyably close contact with Grace Kelly, playing the daughter of a scoundrel’s widow whose jewels make her an obvious target for ‘the Cat’. Kelly’s lustrous beauty and the couple’s developing relationship are more memorable than the actual plot. This is one of Hitchcock’s lighter movies, and the plot is scarcely complex, but even so, it offers a couple of hours of pleasant entertainment.

6 comments:

David Cranmer said...

And I've become a fan of David Dodge thanks to Hard Case. Plunder of the Sun and The Match Game are two other terrific Dodge novels.

Bill Crider said...

Worth watching just for Grant and Kelly. I've never read the book, but I suspect it's pretty good.

Keanan Brand said...

I own this film on DVD, and it has afforded much enjoyment over several viewings. My family used to live in Oregon, the state which Robie employs in his "cover story" while cozying up to the widow and her daughter.

Not a deep story by any means, "To Catch a Thief" is a lot of fun.

Martin Edwards said...

Hi David, can you tell us more about those two Dodge titles?

Martin Edwards said...

Bill, and Keanan - yes, 'fun' is the right word for it. A real treat to watch, even now.

pattinase (abbott) said...

She was ethereal, wasn't she? A shame being a princess became more important to her. Doesn't seem like that life worked out very well.