RV!: To Catch a Thief (1955) Dir: Alfred Hitchcock Date Released: August 1955 Date Seen: August 15th, 2009 Rating: 3.75/5
Even for a formal exercise, To Catch a Thief remains an exciting, though emotionally uninvolved, thriller. For Hitchcock, the film is a means of showing off his love of visual games, drawing the viewer's attention through various playful but never tense chases scenes, like the opening flight from Cary Grant's villa filmed from distant helicopters or the flower market chase. The flowers, the countryside, the women and of course the fireworks are more pressing than the absolution of Grant's wrongfully accused master thief. Grant's character is not a harried victim but rather an expert joueur, making capture never really imminent. It's why Hitchcock lingers a little bit at the end of several scenes prominently featuring the non-chalantly embroiled, leathery Brit, to prove that he'll never be caught by a woman or the police. He, like Hitchcock, will keep playing unencumbered by opposing players, making the memorable scene where Grant incredulously eyeballs Hitch a coy act of self-recognition.