Not every film requires a Blu-ray transfer. While high-definition certainly improves picture and, most especially, sound quality, there are still plenty of titles that look plenty impressive in DVD format when enhanced through the simple act of watching them on a Blu-ray player. There are, however, a number of titles that demand a Blu-ray transfer, and Alfred Hitchcock’s “To Catch a Thief” is most certainly one of them.
Shot in Technicolor, presented in VistaVision, filmed at some of the most gorgeous locations on the planet, and starring two of the most beautiful people ever created by the movie gods, this Blu-ray transfer is so eye-poppingly gorgeous, the colors so rich, and the textures so detailed – you’re in for an entirely new viewing experience.
Cary Grant plays John Robie, a reformed cat burglar who earned a parole fighting for the French Resistance during World War II. Today, he lives a cultured, comfortable life on a vineyard located along the French Riviera. When we first meet Robie, his past has returned to haunt him when the police arrive to question him about a string of recent burglaries committed using his infamous methods.
After a clever escape, Robie realizes that the only way he can clear his name is to catch the impersonator on his own. With the help of a Lloyds of London insurance man who’s just as eager to catch the thief likely to cost him millions, Robie attempts to profile the next set of likely victims in order to get close enough to spring a trap.
As luck would have it, the next likely victim’s daughter is Francie (Grace Kelly), an astonishing Middle American beauty who’s eager to interrupt her life as a member of the idle rich with a little adventure. Smitten by Robie, Francie eventually puts two and two together and points the finger at him as the very same jewel thief everyone’s talking about. She doesn’t care, though, because she doesn’t care about jewels or money. What she really wants is to turn the tables on Robie– to seduce this seducer.
“To Catch a Thief” is far from Hitchcock’s greatest film, but it’s about as perfect a piece of cinematic candy as you’ll ever come across, and it contains all the classic ingredients you’ve come to expect from the master director: An innocent man on the run, exotic locales, a number of iconic shots, brilliantly suggestive dialogue, more eroticism and sex in subtext than you’ll find in the text of any porn film, and Hitchcock’s funniest cameo (courtesy of a classic Cary Grant double-take).
Hitchcock serves up a feast of classic elegance (the cinematography won a no-brainer Oscar) starring two legends whose beauty literally takes your breath away. “To Catch a Thief” is really a tale of seduction, with the much younger Kelly determined to land Grant (who wisely insisted in his middle age that his onscreen love interests chase him), and when she does it’s with an explosion of fireworks presented in the kind of high-def glory no one’s experienced since the film was first released over 55 years go.
“To Catch a Thief” is available at Amazon.com.