Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|To Catch a Thief |
The Centennial Collection
Actors: Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, Jessie Royce Landis, John Williams, Charles Vanel
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Paramount Home Video Release Date: 03/24/2009 Run time: 106 minutes Rating: Nr
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Yes, It's Better Now!
Tom S. | New York City | 05/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After reading the gushing, swooning review from the DVD critic in last Tuesday's NY Times, I immediately ordered the "Special Collector's Edition" of TO CATCH A THIEF from Amazon. When it arrived, I compared it to my original Paramount "Widescreen Edition" from 2002. Well, the critic was right--there's simply no comparison. This new version has a 2.0 Dolby Surround soundtrack (in addition to the original mono version) and a cleaned-up, enhanced, crystal-clear picture, start to finish. It looks like they took the drab, blurry, faded old stock and actually washed it, removing years of dirt and grime and smoke and hair and whatever else was there, not to mention a computerized removal of virtually all scratches and glitches. The result is astounding.
As for the color, see for yourself. Pay close attention to the first car chase down the mountain, the meeting in the flower market, and the costume ball near the end. Not to mention the many night scenes on rooftops, where everything is now much more visible than before. And Grant and Kelly? Well, the two most beautiful people who ever lived look even more beautiful. Wait till you see the famous fireworks scene now!
I don't have to tell you that this film is wonderful, no matter which version you have. But I can guarantee you that this newly restored version makes it seem better than ever. If you're as nuts about Hitchcock as I am, it really is worth the upgrade. Enjoy!
Update (11/8/2009): The new To Catch a Thief - The Centennial Collection (1955) (2pc) is essentially the same as the 2007 "Special Collector's Edition," with the same upgraded print. This review applies to both editions."
Cary and Grace on the French Riviera
Bobby Underwood | Manly NSW, Australia | 10/18/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This travel brochure to adventure and romance is one of Alfred Hitchcock's most entertaining films. The gorgeous vistas of the French Riviera are matched perfectly by the stunning duo of Cary Grant and Grace Kelly. Robert Burks' cinematography was nominated for an Academy Award and Edith Head gives Grace Kelly the look of an American princess. A fine screenplay from Michael Hayes based on a novel by David Dodge, and a light romantic score from Lyn Murray combine with all the other elements to make this a true film classic.
American John Robie (Cary Grant) has been living well in a beautiful villa on the French Riviera for the past 15 years. Once the most notorious thief in France, the man known as "The Cat" has been quiet for many years. He was in prison during the war when the Germans bombed it. He chose to stay and fight with the French Resistance upon his escape, and became a legend. It led to his parole, which is rather precarious now that a string of jewel robberies mimicking his exact style are occuring on the rooftops of the rich.
The French police want him for it, and his old pals are angry that he's brought them this unwanted attention after all these years. Since the only way to clear himself is to catch the thief himself, he hooks up with an insurance agent whose company is paying out the claims on all the robberies and begins a game of cat and mouse with the thief. The cheese in the trap is the delicious Grace Kelly.
Francie Stevens (Kelly) and her mother, Jessie (Jesse Royce Landis), are vacationing on the Riviera. Robie, posing as a lumber tycoon from Oregon, wants to keep they and their diamonds company until the thief strikes. Francie throws off his game, however, when she learns early on who he really is and displays a wild enthusiasm for helping him steal! Robie isn't there to steal, of course, but has trouble convincing Francie of that when her mother's jewels are stolen. Coming on the heels of a romantic interlude between the two, it is especially insulting.
That evening together is framed beautifully by Hitchcock, cutting back and forth between the fireworks outside on the Riviera and the fireworks going on inside. Kelly is like a playful kitten with a gleam in her eye, and Grant the older cat, who's seen her kind of kitten before and isn't sure he wants to play. There is a wonderful chemistry between the two, who seemed to be made for each other on the screen. A wild ride in her sports car along the coast that has Robie a little worried and a picnic in elegant dress are a treat to watch.
Complicating matters is another sexy kitten, Danielle Foussard (Brigitte Auber). She is the daughter of one of his old pals (Jean Martinelli) and would like nothing better than to run off with Robie to South America. But she is a different kind of kitten, perhaps harder to handle than Francie. When her father is murdered and pegged as the thief, she lashes out at Robie at his funeral. By this time, Francie's wise mom has set her straight about Robie, and together they set a trap for the real thief at a posh costume ball.
It will lead to an exciting and entertaining chase on the rooftops as Robie unmasks the imposter. Since he's enlisted Francie's help this time, he is forced to admit he may not be the lone wolf he thought he was. There is a terrific conclusion as everyone gets what they want, especially the viewer. Look quick for Hitch on the back seat of the bus Grant uses to evade the police! This is elegant escapist entertainment that you can't help but fall in love with. A marvelous film to get lost in on any weekend."
Ron S. Daschmans | Sacramento, CA | 05/09/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Is there a difference in this latest version of this DVD release? Or is it simply a marketing "repackage"? There is a difference!
In my opinion, the DVD transfer of this "Special Collector's Edition" is far superior to the original DVD release. In a side-by-side comparison, I was amazed to see the job that was performed on this restoration. While, the original DVD contains plenty of dirt, scratches, conversion-related distortion/noise, etc., the Special Collector's Edition looks nearly pristine.
There are plenty of scenes in the movie where I experienced, how can I describe it, the illusion of depth and/or three-dimensional effect.
This version will certainly replace my original copy."
Fernando Silva | Santiago de Chile. | 04/12/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What a great experience it has been to watch this long-cherished Hitchcock film, on DVD format, thus watching it in full glory, Widescreen (Vistavision), with crisp, sharp images, brilliant colors, etc....after of years of watching faded, full screen prints on TV. On top of this, you get excellent bonuses: excellent documentaries, comments, still galleries,... What more can I say? Paramount is doing its best with their classics!...Top performances by the very attractive two leads' (Kelly and Grant)....in fact Kelly never looked so ravishing and gorgeous than here, only perhaps in "The Swan" (1956)....being one the most sensual, elegant and beautiful women of all time....a Real Goddess-come-to-earth.....How can someone so perfect did ever exist!And besides talented!Grant his usual man-of-the-world, excellent timing, top actor and comedian.Great support by the wonderful character actor John Williams and by everybody's favorite sophisticated mother: Jessie Royce Landis (although here she plays a woman of humble origins who became rich because of Oil being found in her Oklahoma Ranch-anyway she looks and behaves like a Queen) and by French grand actor Charles Vanel.And what about those great landscapes of the South of France (Cannes, Monaco, Côte D'Azûr,...), breathtaking!!Vintage Hollywood Classic."