To Catch a Thief (1955) - Rotten Tomatoes

To Catch a Thief (1955)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: It may occasionally be guilty of coasting on pure charm, but To Catch a Thief has it in spades -- as well as a pair of perfectly matched stars in Cary Grant and Grace Kelly.

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Movie Info

A jewel thief is at large on the Riviera, and all evidence points to retired cat burglar Cary Grant. Escaping the law, Grant heads to the Cote D'Azur, where he is greeted with hostility by his old partners in crime. All of them had been pardoned due to their courageous activities in the wartime Resistance, and all are in danger of arrest thanks to this new crime wave. But Grant pleads innocence, and vows to find out who's been copying his distinctive style. With the reluctant aid of detective John Williams, Grant launches his investigation by keeping tabs on the wealthiest vacationers on the Riviera. One such person is heavily bejeweled Jessie Royce Landis, who is as brash and outspoken as her daughter Grace Kelly is quiet and demure. But "still waters run deep," as they say, and soon Kelly is amorously pursuing the far-from-resistant Grant. Part of Kelly's attraction to Grant is the possibility that he is the thief; the prospect of danger really turns this gal on. Being Cary Grant, of course, he can't possibly be guilty, which is proven in due time. But by film's end, it's obvious that Kelly has fallen hard for Grant, crook or no crook. Occasionally written off as a lesser Alfred Hitchcock film (did we really need that third-act fashion show?), To Catch a Thief is actually as enjoyable and engaging now as it was 40 years ago. Though the Riviera location photography is pleasing, our favorite scene takes place in a Paramount Studios mockup of a luxury hotel suite, where Grant and Kelly make love while a fireworks display orgasmically erupts outside their window. And who could forget the scene where Jessie Royce Landis disdainfully stubs out a cigarette in an expensive plate of eggs? Adapted by frequent Hitchcock collaborator John Michael Hayes from a novel by David Dodge To Catch a Thief won an Academy Award for cinematographer Robert Burks.

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Cast

Cary Grant
as John Robie
Grace Kelly
as Frances Stevens
Jessie Royce Landis
as Jessie Stevens
Jesse Royce Landis
as Mrs. Jessie Stevens
Brigitte Auber
as Danielle Foussard
John Williams (II)
as H.H. Hughson
Roland Lessaffre
as Jean Hebey
René Blancard
as Commissioner Lepic
William "Wee Willie" Davis
as Big man in kitchen
Dominique Davray
as Antoinette
Guy de Vestel
as Detective
Edward Manouk
as Kitchen Help
Russell Gaige
as Mr. Sanford
Marie Stoddard
as Mrs. Stanford
Lewis Charles
as Man with milk in kitchen
Aimee Torriani
as Woman in Kitchen
Don Megowan
as Detective
Bela Kovacs
as Detective
Guy de Vestal
as Detective
George Adrian
as Detective
Alberto Morin
as Detective
Leonard Penn
as Monaco Policeman
Michael Hadlow
as Monaco Policeman
Margaret Brewster
as Cold Cream Woman
Adele St. Maur
as Woman with Bird Cage on Bus
Eugene Borden
as French Waiter
Philip Van Zandt
as Jewelry Clerk
Jean Hebey
as Mercier
Steven Geray
as Desk clerk
Albert Pollet
as Croupier
Paul Newlan
as Vegetable Man in Kitchen
George Paris
as Croupier
Manuel Paris
as Croupier
Louis Mercier
as Croupier
Gladys Holland
as Elegant French woman
Barry Norton
as Frenchman
Jeanne Lafayette
as Frenchwoman
Loulette Sablon
as Frenchwoman
Nina Borget
as Frenchwoman
Alfred Hitchcock
as Man on Bus
Martha Bamattre
as Kitchen Helper
Cosmo Sardo
as Frenchman
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Critic Reviews for To Catch a Thief

All Critics (42) | Top Critics (5)

It is a significant dud, and Grace Kelly's role has the virtue of making clearer the quality which excited so much attention in previous roles.

Full Review… | January 23, 2013
The New Republic
Top Critic

Grant gives his role his assured style of acting, meaning the dialog and situations benefit. Kelly, too, dresses up the sequences in more ways than one.

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Variety
Top Critic

One of the most lightweight (and not even particularly deceptively so) of Hitchcock's comedy-thrillers; a retreat from the implications of Rear Window into the realm of private jokes and sunny innuendo.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

To Catch a Thief does nothing but give out a good, exciting time. If you'll settle for that at a movie, you should give it your custom right now.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Alfred Hitchcock's fluffy 1955 exercise in light comedy, minimal mystery, and good-natured eroticism (the fireworks scene is a classic).

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

A bubbly and effervescent Alfred Hitchcock romantic-suspenser that finds the Master in a relaxed and purely entertaining mood.

Full Review… | August 13, 2014
TV Guide

Audience Reviews for To Catch a Thief

I'm not sure there's anything extra special about this film, but compared to a great many, its craft and its plot are excellent. The colours are beautiful, and Grace Kelly absolutely shines. The suspicion cast on Cary Grant's character keeps you watching - and of course, guessing - right to the very end, constantly ratcheting up the tension in the way only Hitchcock can. It's one of the director's least disturbing and most accessible works, and unlike a lot of his early stuff, it doesn't feel dated - justifiably called a classic.

Daniel Perry
Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer

This is once again Hitch making a film that's a mix of romance and thrills, although here the focus is more on the romance. That's really not a bad thing though. The film is really straight forward, but it's still solid and good. I mean, it's about a jewel thief on the loose, with the prime suspect being a reformed cat burglar trying to move on with his life. He tries to start up a relationship with an heiress, who, despite having feelings for him, is still very suspicious of him. What really makes the film stand out are the strong performances (decent overall, but not the best work for the performers), and the stunning cinematography, which was at least nominated for an Oscar. The locations are good too, but really come alive just for the wonderful camera work. All in all, a solid, entertaining Hitch romp, though in the grand scheme of things, it's in the middle of his filmgraphy in terms of greatness, but that also basically means that if another director made it, it would probably be at the top of their list.

Chris Weber
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Not the best, but when you have Cary Grant AND Grace Kelly, it's hard to hate it.

Jennifer D
Jennifer D

Super Reviewer

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