Alfred Hitchcock’s 1955 film To Catch a Thief is a light, fluffy picture that differs in content from much of the suspense masters’ other pictures. Cary Grant stars as a former thief, and patriot of the French Resistance, who is currently suspected of a new series of crimes. Grace Kelly plays the beautiful daughter of a rich American woman who is high on the list of possible victims of the new cat burglar.
The plot is all cotton candy. Shot in the French Riviera, Hitchcock allows his camera to take all of the beauty in. There are lots of lovely traveling shots of the location. Hitchcock follows cars driving the streets in high crane shots, simmers through the sea on a boat ride, and stops to take in the view of Cary Grant and Grace Kelly at a picnic overlooking a stunning valley.
Cary Grant is playing Cary Grant at this point, but that’s perfectly fine since there are few actors I enjoy more. Grace Kelly is simply gorgeous. Hitchcock’s camera is as admiring as a new suitor. Their interplay is fun, witty, and sensuous. A famous scene between them intercuts their developing romance with fireworks and is pure sizzle.
If you are looking to write a thesis on the genius of suspense then you should look elsewhere. But for a beautifully shot, light-hearted romance for a Saturday night, it would be difficult to find a better picture.