To Catch a Thief (1955)
Genre: Crime Mystery Romance Thriller
Starring: Grace Kelly (Rear Window; Dial M For Murder), Cary Grant (North By Northwest; Notorious)
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock (Rope; Easy Virtue)
Overview: A retired jewel thief is accused of going back to his old ways, and decides to capture the perpetrator himself to clear his name.
Acting: Cary Grant in a Bohemian-striped burglar shirt serving quiche Lorraine and speaking French is more a test of his manhood and courage in the face of poofterdom than a study of his talent. Even Grace Kelly seems to sink below herself by resorting to an all too common woman unworthy of her particular style. What bother me most of all is the 27-year-old woman portraying the 17-year-old girl. Both Girlfriend Of Squish and I were all "uh there's no way she's 17." Hey, morons, why not cast an actual 17-year old? There's a frikken idea.
Cinematography: Maybe it was the print of the film I was watching but holy jumping Jesus, Technicolor suffered for a while huh? Eek. It's colour but it's so damned in your face! I'll admit I did like the composition of the love scene with the fireworks in the back, and the rear projection keeps improving, and the long drives down the Riviera were exciting, but it's like Hitchcock was doing this one with a hooker under each arm as they fed him grapes... just not all there, you know?
Script: The best part of the film was the witty repartée and the individual motivations. This plays out like some dry English comedy, making you laugh at the way the characters think, but it's not a comedy because that aren't trying to be funny. When you accept the premise that there people are actually this jaded, this colourful and this cynically embittered, you'll enjoy what's in store. You might as well just find a script of this and skip the rest.
Plot: Girlfriends have a way of showing you that you're too into something by leaving when the premise gets too impalpable. Stoic resolve is something you need to get through the foundation of this story: Jewel thief proves he's not the culprit by committing himself to finding the person who's using his M.O. You know the logical thing to do would be say, oh, "Hey cops who've come to arrest me? Let's keep this out of the papers, you hide me for a while, and when the thief strikes again in a couple days, you'll know it wasn't me, deal?" No, instead let's go all high adventure for no reason whatsoever.
Mood: There is nothing in the world that I hate more than cops who shoot at unarmed people when they have them surrounded. Using a method of drama and thrill that involves policemen shooting at silhouettes on rooftops while droves of people in the buildings are put at risk don't make for a dramatic ending, they make for a totally killed mood. Thanks Hitchcock, your hatred of the police made a laughable movie even worse. Were you high?
Grace Kelly is super alluring, yes indeed, but you lose a touch of respect when she hooks up with a man twice her age who talks like a gameshow host...
Overall Rating: 68% (Stole a Couple Hours I Want Back)
Aftertaste: No, officially it's not that bad a movie. It's nowhere near as detestable as Champagne, but I have these expectations now. If it's one thing I've realized it's that we have a set amount of time to do things and if you want to change the world as a director, then you do it your way, especially when you're established the way this guy was. It's like Hitchcock pissed his life away doing what he wanted to rather than being an innovator... Even heard of challenging yourself? Bah, waste of this man's talent!