Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Movie Matinee Monday: To Catch a Thief (1955)

My opinions on the poster:

We've got Cary Grant and Grace Kelly, looking lovely as usual.  The bottom portion features a scene straight out of the movie; I like that the poster uses this scene, as it shows the mystery of the film.  I don't understand where there's all the blue up top.....and why just Cary's and Grace's heads are on there.

The stars:

Cary Grant ~ as John Robie (the Cat)
Grace Kelly ~ as Frances (Francie) Stevens
Jessie Royce Landis ~ as Jessie Stevens
Brigitte Auber ~ as Danielle Foussard
John Williams ~ as H.H. Hughson

The critic's opinions:
4.5/5 stars

This is undoubtedly one of my favorite Old Hollywood films.  Everything about it is perfect.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.  John Robie (Cary Grant) used to be a notorious cat burglar working for the French Resistance.  But now he just wants to live peacefully in his house and vineyard....but that's not going to happen.  After a string of robberies that closely parallel his former thieving style occur, the police are quick to put the blame on him.  But Robie escapes (with the help of his former Resistance buddies, especially Danielle Foussard) and heads to the Riveria, where he enlists an insurance salesman, H.H. Hughson, to help him save his reputation and catch the real 'Cat'. Things get complicated when the list of people worth stealing jewels from includes Francie Stevens (Grace Kelly) and her mother (Jessie Royce Landis). But Francie likes John very much, and is more than willing to help him catch the Cat.  Who really is the Cat?
One of my favorite Old Hollywood actors, Cary Grant, is fabulous as John Robie.  He's perfect for the role, and who doesn't enjoy seeing him and Grace on the French Riveria?  It's a lovely setting, with plenty of beautiful costume opportunities for Grace.  This film includes some of my favorite movie costumes of all time.  The suspense/mystery portion of the plot is intriguing and fun, with a dash of suspense.  This is my kind of mystery film: no bloodshed or yucky stuff, just sneaking around on roofs (dodging gunshots) and trying to catch the to cat burglar!!  Landis is hilarious and amusing as Francie's mother...and she actually couldn't care less about her jewelry!  "They're insured!" she informs Francie with a wave of her hand.  Grace really made very few films while in Hollywood, but this one is near the very top of the list as a favorite.  It's funny, suspenseful, romantic, and beautiful all in one neat little package.

The bottom line:

Please do not miss this film.  It's an amazing watch, and perfect for viewing with a big bag of popcorn and a cozy chair (for gripping the handrests!! ;-). ). I believe it's one of the best Old Hollywood films ever, and wholeheartedly recommend it.  It's high on my list for movies to own on DVD.

My favorite film moments {I try to stay spoiler-free}:

~ The ending

~ The costume ball....laced with a aura of suspense, with beautiful costumes all over the place!  Francie's ball gown is ridiculous and crazy, but it's lovely all the same.

~ The drive along the Riveria; Francie is a rather ruthless driver, but also a very capable one.



Movie trailer:

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