To Catch A Thief Centennial Collection DVD review


Cary Grant and Grace Kelly in To Catch A Thief
Cary Grant and Grace Kelly in To Catch A Thief

To Catch a Thief is now available in a beautiful new two-disc set, including an eight-page collectible booklet and additional all-new bonus material. The new release is part of Paramount’s ongoing Centennial Collection, which launched in 2008, and features digitally mastered compilations of some of the studio’s most prized films from it’s nearly 100 year history.

Alfred Hitchcock’s entertaining and light caper To Catch a Thief, revolves around “retired” cat burglar John Robie (Cary Grant), who seeks to clear his name amid a string of high profile jewelry thefts in the South of France that closely resemble his style. After evading the French police, he immediately seeks refuge with his old gang from his days in the French Resistance, a group of ex-cons whose patriotic work led to their freedom, subject to them keeping their noses clean.

To Catch A Thief Centennial Collection DVD cover
To Catch A Thief Centennial Collection DVD cover
Meanwhile, a beautiful and pampered heiress named Francie Stevens (played by the breathtaking Grace Kelly), who initially is convinced that he is actually guilty, attempts to help Robie prove his innocence. To Catch A Thief was Kelly’s last Hitchcock role before becoming the Princess of Monaco.

To Catch a Thief is a brisk and fun tour of the beautiful French Riviera, punctuated by the charms of Cary Grant and Grace Kelly, in one of the master’s more accessible features.

The DVD is presented in stunning quality, preserving the color and detail of the original presentation. Hitchcock film historian, Dr. Drew Casper, provides a new Audio Commentary that’s enjoyable and informative, providing an entertaining historical context for the film and the time it was made.

The second disc is packed with a number of bonus features. The Making of To Catch A Thief, which appeared on an earlier DVD release, goes into thorough detail on the production, from the novel by David Dodge the film was based on, through post-production. Writing and Casting To Catch A Thief discusses how the script was developed, and the casting of the film’s major roles, including Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, Jessie Royce Landis, John Williams, Charles Vanel and Brigitte Auber. These featurettes, along with Alfred Hitchcock and To Catch A Thief: An Appreciation and Edith Head: The Paramount Years, are all entertaining featurettes, but recycled from previous releases.

Three new featurettes include the fascinating Unacceptable Under The Code, which examines the strict censorship that U.S. filmmakers had to deal with during the 1950’s. Behind The Gates is a 6 minute featurette revolving around the charisma that Cary Grant and Grace Kelly displayed on screen. A Night With The Hitchcocks excerpts a Q & A between two of Hitch’s family members and the Hitchcock class at the University of South California. It’s filled with enlightening trivia about Hitchcock and his own favorite projects.

The special features are rounded out by the Original Theatrical Trailer, an Interactive Travelogue and Photo Galleries from the film, the set and publicity shots.

To Catch a Thief is presented in widescreen format enhanced for 16:9 televisions with Dolby Digital English 2.0 Surround; English, French and Spanish Mono; and English, French and Spanish subtitles.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Writers: John Michael Hayes, David Dodge (novel)
Cast: Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, Jessie Royce Landis, John Williams, Charles Vanel, Brigitte Auber, Jean Martinelli, Georgette Anys

Original Release Year: 1955
DVD Release Date: March 24, 2009