DVD Review: To Catch A Thief (Special Collector’s Edition)

Paramount Home Entertainment

To catch a Thief is a strange bird. On the one hand, it features a master director, arguably the most brilliant one of his time, with two huge stars in a fairly predictable, lightweight romantic thriller. On the other hand, it is a hoot to watch.

To Catch a Thief has, in the past, been criticized as being one of Mr. Hitchcock’s weakest films, an accusation I disagree with. But let us think about that complaint for a minute: this film is being attacked because it does not stand next to some of the greatest films of all time. Some filmmakers (Hello Mr. Schumacher) should be so lucky.

TCAT features Cary Grant as John Robie, a notorious burglar that went by the moniker The Cat. Mr. Robie has gone straight but somebody is emulating his style, thus putting in the crosshairs of the police.

With the assistance of a beleaguered insurance agent, whose superiors are upset at having to pay out for all of the missing jewels, Robie sets out to catch the imposter.

His plan is to stake out millionairess Jessie Stevens, whom he views as the likely next target of the New Cat. While he has his eyes on Jesse, her daughter Francie (Grace Kelly) has her eyes on Robie. Francie knows Robie’s identity and finds that all the more exciting. This leads to fun and games until Jessie’s jewels disappear.

This turn of events makes Robie’s situation all the more precarious. He has one last chance to catch the thief and clear his name.

While lacking the tension and suspense of Hitchcock classics such as Rear Window and Vertigo, To Catch A Thief features a certain amount of playfulness that is not common in his films. TCAT does it’s job in that it entertains the viewers and lets you sit back, relax and enjoy a leisurely romp through the French Riviera.

For extras, we get a commentary track featuring director/film critic Peter Bogdanovich and film historian Laurent Bouzereau. The commentary reveals nothing profound, but is fun and interesting. Bogdanovich gives the unique insight of a director and talks about his various encounters with Hitchcock.

The other extras are carryovers from the previous DVD release. Three of them are standard fare, giving us a look behind the scenes and talking about taking an idea and bringing it to the silver screen. There is a fourth that is about costumer Edith Head and her work at Paramount. She is responsible for the styles of Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn and Gloria Swanson, among others.

If you don’t already own this film, you owe it to yourself to pick this up.

Jeremy Lynch
For more reviews by myself, and the rest of the Crimespree crew, check out the index of reviews.

Click here to order To Catch a Thief – Special Collector’s Edition from Amazon.