To Catch a Thief
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|To Catch a Thief|
Original film poster
|Directed by||Alfred Hitchcock|
|Produced by||Alfred Hitchcock|
|Screenplay by||John Michael Hayes|
|Based on||To Catch a Thief
by David Dodge
Jessie Royce Landis
|Music by||Lyn Murray|
|Edited by||George Tomasini|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Running time||106 minutes|
|Box office||$4.5 million (US rentals original release)
To Catch a Thief is a 1955 romantic thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock from a screenplay by John Michael Hayes, which was very loosely based on the 1952 novel of the same name by David Dodge. The movie stars Cary Grant as a retired cat burglar who has to save his reformed reputation by catching a new "cat" preying on the wealthy tourists of the French Riviera. Grace Kelly stars opposite him as his romantic interest in her final film with Hitchcock.
John Robie (Cary Grant) is a retired infamous jewel thief or "cat burglar". When the gendarmes suspect him of a series of thefts in the south of France, Robie decides that the only way to clear his name is to catch the copy-cat Cat. With the assistance of staid insurance agent H.H. Hughson (John Williams), Robie gets to know Mrs. Stevens and her daughter Frances (called Francie), who are in town and positively dripping in jewels. He poses as an American lumber man & strikes up an acquaintance with them — delighting Mrs. Stevens even as Francie offers a pretense of modesty. Francie guesses who he is and seems quite thrilled with his dangerous and exciting life until her mother's jewels are stolen. She calls the police but Robie escapes.
With the help of Jessie and Francie Stevens and Mr Hughson, Robie finally unmasks the real jewel thief after a sumptuous fancy dress party, attended by many rich and bejeweled guests. The final scene on the roof of the villa is a treat, and the new "Cat" is caught. 
Robie returns to his home and Francie races after to convince him that she has a place in his life. He agrees, but seems less than thrilled that she intends to include her mother.
The costumes were by Edith Head, including Kelly's memorable golden gown for the film's costume ball.
In the original screenplay, Bertani is arrested for masterminding the crimes, John and Danielle forgive each other, and she is then taken into custody before the police drop the charges against John. Although Hayes fought to keep this ending intact, Hitchcock cut to the last scene as soon as his innocence is established.
To Catch a Thief is the only Hitchcock film released by Paramount that is still owned and controlled by Paramount. The others were sold to Hitchcock in the early 1960s and are currently distributed by Universal Studios; the exception to the "reversion to Hitchcock" rule was Psycho, which Universal bought directly from the director in 1968.
- Best Cinematography (Robert Burks)
- Best Art Direction (Hal Pereira, Joseph McMillan Johnson, Samuel M. Comer, Arthur Krams)
- Best Costume Design (Edith Head)
- De Rosa, Steven (2001). Writing with Hitchcock: The Collaboration of Alfred Hitchcock and John Michael Hayes. Faber and Faber. ISBN 0571199909.
- Orengo, Nico (2006). La Guerra del Basilico (The Basil War (in Italian). Einaudi. ISBN 880618296X.
- Spoto, Donald (1999). The Dark Side of Genius. Da Capo. ISBN 0-306-80932-X.
- "Two Interviews About To Catch a Thief" by Tifenn Brisset, Film International magazine Vol. 11, No. 6, 2013, pages 13-21. Interviews with French script supervisor Sylvette Baudrot conducted September 2011 and actress Brigitte Auber, September 2011, March 2013, regarding their work on the film and with Cary Grant and Alfred Hitchcock. Discussion of a different ending and script differences. Twelve color photographs, nine pages.
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- To Catch a Thief at the Internet Movie Database
- To Catch a Thief at AllMovie
- To Catch a Thief at the TCM Movie Database
- To Catch a Thief at Rotten Tomatoes
- To Catch a Thief Eyegate Gallery
- Historic reviews, photo gallery at CaryGrant.net