Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Retro Review: TO CATCH A THIEF (1955)

Hello film lovers!!! I hope all of you are getting ready for a fun-filled summer. This past week, I've been contemplating the question, What makes an iconic film? There are several correct answers to this question. However, I think that the chemistry between the two lead actors is vital to the success of any film. It certainly was to the film I'm reviewing in this week's RETRO REVIEW, which is Alfred Hitchcock's TO CATCH A THIEF from 1955.

The lead actors of this film, Cary Grant and Grace Kelly, definitely had wonderful chemistry onscreen. I recently found out that there was a 26 year age difference between them, yet they stayed close friends.

One of the reasons I enjoyed this film was because of its scenic location. It was filmed in the south of France, which looks lovely onscreen. The car chase was wonderful to watch through the French countryside. However, it's not just beautiful actors and a lovely location that made this film wonderful. It's well-written and boasts a talented cast.

To Catch A Thief  has a great plot that consists of a cat burglar, stolen jewels and romance on the French Riviera. Redeemed cat burglar John Robie, played by Grant, is tending vineyards and has left his former life of crime behind him. However, someone is stealing jewels and trying to pin it on him. As Robie tries to clear his name, he meets Francie and things get complicated.

One of the best scenes of the film is when Robie meets widow Jessie Stevens and her daughter Francie, played by Grace Kelly. The widow is very friendly towards Robie, while her daughter is aloof towards him. However, her aloofness is all an act as she is well aware of who Robie is. The scene sets the stage for the rest of the film and is the start of the tentative romance between Robie and Francie.

The car chase scene was also great to watch. Francie and Robie were on their way to have a picnic when they started being followed by some interesting characters. They were able to elude them thanks to Francie's great driving skills!

To Catch A Thief  wasn't as dark as some of Hitchcock's other films. It has superb comedic timing and charm. This film was an important event in Grant's and Kelly's lives. Grant's career was revived because of it and Kelly became familiar with Monaco, her future home. Although, she did not meet her future husband, Prince Rainier, until after this film was released.

Rotten Tomatoes gave the film an approval rating of 95% and most critics found the film charming and lighthearted. It also had plenty of sexual innuendo, ie. fireworks going off when Robie and Francie are in her hotel room.

Now, I've never been to France. However, it looks beautiful onscreen and is a marvelous place to do a movie. Grant and Kelly were perfectly matched for their roles. They had great onscreen chemistry and that made the film even more charming.

If you're looking for a lighthearted romantic comedy that leaves much to the imagination, then this is the film you've been looking for. Enjoy!

Lisa's Score: 9.5/10 

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