To Catch a Thief

images (11)This 1955 Hitchcock thriller won an Oscar for Best Cinematography and although I don’t know what the competition was like, it’s not difficult to see why it won such  an accolade. It is a beautifully shot movie; one where  colours pop, where  a three dimensional feel is  so real that despite the fact that I was watching it on a cold wet winter afternoon in Ireland, is there any other type you might ask, the heat  that radiated off the screen  warmed  me, and the cerulean water of the Mediterranean  was so vivid  a2b046ddcdc29b9a12a64a87523f1751end  inviting,  I began to wonder where my swimsuit was. Not that I’d necessarily want to find myself on the same  beach as Grace Kelly,who sporting large, white-framed sunglasses, a chic  headdress  with matching lemon bathing suit, looks simply stunning. Edith Head was the  film’s costume designer, need I say more?  No, I didn’t think so. Anyway back to the movie. The basic plot is simple; a cat burglar is on the prowl and the police think it’s Cary Grant, who as a former jewel thief, is having a tough time proving his innocence. He embroils Kelly, or rather her jewels, as the bait to catch the mouse, or in this instance “The Cat”. Cue speeding cars, bumbling policemen and angry flower sellers.

Grant and Kelly look good together  and despite the age gap, she was 26 he was 51, there is some sizzle, some actual sexual tension, between them which is not often the case in old movies.

images (12)Grant’s wardrobe rivals Kelly’s and although he is usually too sauve, too clean cut for me, there is something very appealing about him in this role. Maybe it is all the fancy footwork on the darkened rooftops, maybe it is the tanned, toned body emerging Aphrodite-like from the azure waters of the Riviera. Perhaps it was Kelly, who he admitted was his all-time favourite actress to work with, or Hitchcock who said of Grant that he was ‘the only actor I have ever loved in my whole life’.  Suffice to say after watching it if you were not a Grant fan you will become one, and if you are one already , you’ll just  feel smug and further convinced of your own superior taste. And Kelly, well she’s sublime and certainly lives up to her as title of the ‘most elegant woman in cinematic history’.

To-Catch-a-Thief_600_1So pour a glass of white wine, a sauvignon blanc perhaps?,  sit back and escape to the French Riviera; to glorious sunshine, shimmering blues and sparkling gems.