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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Friday, October 29, 2010

Hitchcock Month - To Catch a Thief

To Catch a Thief (1955)
Starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock

There's a winking sensibility on display in To Catch a Thief.  It's a little caper that Hitch doesn't take too seriously which is evident when Cary Grant mugs to the camera, looking at it straight on several times, implying to the audience to just have fun with this one with his suave demeanor.  I don't know if it's just Hitchcock (or Cary Grant or Grace Kelly) fatigue at this point in the Hitchcock Month or not, but I couldn't get into this film in the slightest.  It took multiple sittings simply to get through this one in spite of (or perhaps because of) the two leading stars.

There's an incredibly simple plot.  A retired jewel thief, John Robie (Grant) is accused of a new string of robberies along the French Riviera.  He ends up setting out to prove his innocence, along the way meeting a lovely woman, Francie (Kelly), who quickly discovers Robie's shady past, but ends up falling for him regardless.

One of the problems is that the plot just doesn't go anywhere.  It takes forever to get started and it never manages to pick up any steam.  The finale is probably one of the most boring of any of the Hitch films I've watched, and the supposed "surprise" reveal of the actual thief is easily projected from the very beginning.  Ultimately, the script goes a little more comedic than thriller, but the double entendres (including a ridiculously laughable "fireworks exploding = sex" scene) are just silly rather than sexy.

It certainly doesn't help that I never got any sense of connection between Cary Grant and Grace Kelly.  I never bought that the lovely Kelly would ever fall for the aging Grant.  Funnily enough, Grant and Eva Marie Saint in North By Northwest probably had the same age gap as Grant and Kelly, but I never bought into the relationship in To Catch a Thief, whereas the duo in North was kind of sexy.  When your movie is essentially rooted in a romance between two characters and you don't feel any sex appeal, your film simply isn't going to work...and that's the case here.

Unfortunately, despite the desire to like the flick because of its two main actors, I simply couldn't find a whole lot to like about this one in the slightest.

The RyMickey Rating:  D+

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