To Catch a Thief 27.10.17 [PG]

To Catch a Thief is a 1955 American romantic thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock, starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly. Based on the David Dodge novel, the film won an Oscar for Best Cinematography and was nominated for five further awards, including Best Costume Design and Best Written American Comedy.

When a new wave of jewellery robberies take place in the French Riviera, all heads turn to John Robie (Grant), a reformed cat burglar living handsomely in a French villa. He, ‘the Cat’, is the chief suspect of the police, but he manages to dodge them.

He revisits his former gang of ex-cons from the French resistance, who are angry with him because their lives are jeopardised by the latest spate of burglaries, but Danielle (Brigitte Auber), the daughter of the wine steward Foussard (Jean Martinelli) helps him escape again when the police catch up with him in the restaurant managed by Bertani (Charles Vanel).

Determined to prove his innocence, Robie seeks the help of the Lloyds of London insurance agent, H. H. Hughson (John Williams), to try and pinpoint where this copycat thief will strike next. He ingeniously befriends a potential key victim, American widow Jessie Stevens (Jessie Royce Landis), whose withdrawn daughter (Kelly) also takes a shine to him and helps in his search for the real burglar.

The story is loosely based on the proverb “It takes a thief to catch a thief”.

To Catch a Thief, shot on location in the French Riviera, is perhaps one of the most stylish movies in the history of cinema, with Kelly’s beautiful costumes designed by Edith Head. The film was famous for its commercial success and its ability to revive Grant’s career. It was chosen by Queen Elizabeth II for the annual Royal Command Film Performance in 1955 and the film also inspired a television series It Takes a Thief, which starred Robert Wagner and was broadcast from 1968 to 1970.

The production of the film cost approximately $2,847,000 – roughly $500,000 over budget.

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