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"To Catch a Thief" — (Bullz-Eye DVD Review)

April 1, 2009


He was “the master of suspense,” but not all of Alfred Hitchcock’s films even tried to be particularly suspenseful. After the success of “Rear Window” in 1954, a tightly plotted, darkly comic suspenser shot entirely on a single extraordinary soundstage, Hitch seems to have wanted to take a break and make more relaxed and expansive films. And so it was that his next picture was a tale of light intrigue set against the majesty of the French Riviera, where the suspense/mystery element presented the thinnest veneer of camouflage against both commercial considerations and Hollywood censorship. The director often referred to his films as “slices of cake” and, with this film, three ingredients were on the baker’s mind – sex, romance and more sex.

That may be why “To Catch a Thief” fails as a suspense film – but many viewers don’t care. Indeed, this enjoyable mixture of wit, low voltage intrigue and highly charged attraction is really about the appeal of its two great stars and the beauty of its seaside setting, captured in stunning Technicolor and large-frame VistaVision. This is not a film to watch on the edge of your seat, but one to enjoy while (if possible) sipping your favorite cocktail in the close company of your favorite person. What it lacks in storytelling velocity, it largely makes up for in wit and beauty.

Read the rest at


And for an exercise in subtle symbolism….

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