Alfred Hitchcock

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        To Catch a Thief (1955)
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        to catch a thief dvd

        • Dvd Release Date: 07-05-2007
        • Region: 2 (UK & Europe)
        • Number of Discs: 1

        • Catalogue Number: PHE9221
        • Studio: Paramount

          Barcode: 5014437849533

          All you need to know about this film that, I think, falls into the Hitchcock-lite category


        To Catch a Thief (1955)
        D A V I D  D O D G E


        In fact, rather more of David Dodge's original novel made it to the screen than he would have people believe. Dodge was an American accountant who had become a writer almost by accident when his wife bet him $5 that he couldn't write a better mystery novel than the one he was reading. He won the bet and created worls about expatriate private investigator Al Corby. The latter enabled him to engage in his great love of travel: rather than travelling to find something to write about, Dodge wrote to enable him to afford the then still high cost of foreign travel. It was when his travels took him to the French Riviera that Le Chat was born.

        Published in January 1952, To Catch a Thief was partially inspired by the exploits of real-life cat-burglar Dario Sambucco. It proved an instant hit with critics and readers alike. Writing in the New York Times Book Review, Anthony Boucher applauded the:

          'high ingenuity in plotting and suspense... It's rumoured that the novel has been bought before publication for a film by Alfred Hitchcock; if it hasn't, it should be.'

        Hitchcock had indeed bought the rights himself and put the project on the fast track to production at Paramount Studios. More than satisfied with John Michael Hayes' work on Rear Window, Hitchcock hired him to adapt the novel, even sending the screenwriter and his wife to the Riviera for two weeks so that he wouldn't have to constantly describe the locations to him!


        L E G A C Y

          Is it really the classic movie some film critics would have you believe?

        Here's a weird one. What to make of this film? You wonder whether Hitchcock's heart and soul was really behind the making of this film for it has a feel of filming by numbers about it. It's as though Hitch, then in his mid-fifties, was looking back at his catalogue of films and, with a view to his legacy and posterity, decided there wasn't enough light romantic mysteries in it and decided with this film to address the balance. Pure conjecture on my part but with a classic like Rear Window just a year or so before this film, there has to be a reason behind the great man's sudden though fleeting loss of form.

        Moreover, although a thread of sophisticated eroticism runs through this romantic - comedy thriller, it remains an unconvincing tale of a reformed jewel thief attempting to catch his imitator. Otherwise, it's one long MacGuffin, lacking suspense and credibility, and another reason behind it's relative failure may have been that this was no more than a hasty vehicle cobbled together to team his current blonde obsession, Grace Kelly, with his old favourite, Cary Grant. The real star, however, is the French Riviera, captured, along with an Oscar, by cinematographer Robert Burks.

        Unlike most of Hitch's films, time has not been kind to this one, but the leads remain an eyeful of elegant beauty, and there is the odd moment of wit, mostly provided by Jessie Royce Landis. Some French dialogue.


        A supposedly reformed cat burglar, out to prove himself innocent of a recent crime spree, tries to capture the thief who's terrifying the French Riviera. The greatest of all light-romantic leads, Cary Grant, is devastatingly elegant as the former thief, John Robie, and charming enough to attract the attention of the lovely Frances Stevens (Grace Kelly), a wealthy and spoiled American traveling the Riviera with her widowed mother (Jessie Royce Landis). However, things do not begin on a romantic note. Robie is more interested in clearing his name than in pursuing the beautiful American, but the two will not go their separate ways so easily. When Mrs. Stevens has her jewels stolen, the snubbed Frances puts the police on Robie's trail. Now the dashing Robie will have to win the confidence and assistance of Frances if he is to ever set things right. The stars are radiant together, with an entrancing chemistry that sparkles, especially in the impromptu ad-libbed dialogue of the picnic scene. A series of elaborate set pieces combined with dramatic Riviera scenery make the film an enduring glamorous spectacle, featuring a fireworks kissing scene that is truly a classic.



        • 1955: Best Color Cinematography
        • Nominations: Best Color Costume Design, Color Art Direction


      • Actors:
          Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, Jessie Royce Landis, John Williams, Charles Vanel, Brigitte Auber, Jean Martinelli

      • Dir/Prod:
      • Scr:
          John Michael Haves, from the novel by David Dodge
      • Cost Des:
          Edith Head
      • Ph:
          Robert Burks
      • Ed:
          George Tomasini
      • Mus:
          Lyn Murray
      • Art Dir:
          Hal Pereira, Joseph MacMillan Johnson



        Dvd Special Features

          [] Writing & Casting
          [] Making of
          [] Alfred Hitchcock--An Appreciation
          [] Edith Head: The Paramount Years
          [] Photo and Poster Gallery

        Dvd Technical Details

          Format: 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen
          Sound: Dolby Digital mono
          Languages: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish
          Subtitles: English for the hearing impaired, English, Arabic, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, Serbian Theatrical trailer

        July 2014: back in stock.

        Below are scans from the UK. Useful to look at back cover for details such as subtitles and special features sometimes missed in the text above. Click on each for bigger scans. This release I have also scanned the To Catch a Thief card which is enclosed with the Dvd and features Scene Selection on the reverse.

        Condition: Used - very good.


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      • Price: 5.99 UK Sterling
        (Shipped from UK) (Price includes UK postage & packaging only. Outside UK here)

        July 14: back in stock. Used - very good.

        Payment can also be made to Lenin Imports by cheque, po, money order, bank transfer. Please enclose title of item ordering and return address.


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      • Price: $22.99 US Dollars.
        (Shipped from UK) (Price includes Outside UK Air Mail postage & packaging only.

        This is a Region 2 UK & Europe Dvd and will probaly not work on a US Dvd player. It should work on an Australian one but wherever you are outside Europe please check your Dvd player can play Region 2 Dvds.

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