WWII Resistance Fighter Clears His Name

To Catch a Thief is one of Alfred Hitchock’s most visually impressive films and a just-released Blu-ray transfer delivers the goods and makes the south of France locations look more spectacular than ever.

Cary Grant plays John Robie, an American expatriate who gets busted for high-end burglaries before the war. After the Nazi invasion, Robie and his fellow prisoners escape from prison and fight bravely in the French resistance. That bravery earns the men a parole after the war but Robie (who somehow kept his money) lives a life where he’s the first suspect every time a burglary happens on the French Riviera. A string of high-end jobs brings down the pressure and Robie decides to solve the crimes to clear his name.

Don’t let the trailer image quality fool you. This movie looks amazing (1955 Oscar for cinematography) and it really captures the insane beauty of the south of France. Even the obvious rear-projection driving scenes look amazing.

It’s a little hard to believe Grant as an American, but that’s a recurring theme in his career and he’s so good (again) that you don’t really care. Grace Kelly flirts beautifully and the double-entendre dialog is about as racy as anything you were going to get away with back then.

The mystery isn’t particularly mysterious and the suspense doesn’t come anywhere close to what Hitchcock accomplished with Grant in North by Northwest just a few years later.

The extras and commentary are all recycled from the last version of the DVD but this new transfer is so spectacular that it’s almost like seeing the movie for the first time if you’re not old enough to have seen in properly screened in a theater back in the 1950s

 

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