DVD Review To Catch A Thief - 2-Disc Centennial Collection
Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock Cast: Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, Jessie Royce Landis, John Williams Running Time: 1 hr 46 mins Rating: Not Rated Due out: 3/24/09
Plot: A reformed jewel thief (Grant) must find out who is behind robberies similar to his old style before he is pinned with the crimes themselves.
Who's It For? Lovers of Hitchcock and Cary Grant fans - but if you're either of those, you've probably already seen this.
Movie: There's nothing like a good Hitchcock film, especially with an iconic coupling like Cary Grant and Grace Kelly. The action here is exciting. It's fun, intelligent fare from a director more than capable of giving us a wonderful, twisting tour of the French Riviera. This adventure film won an Oscar for Best Cinematography, and rightfully so - sometimes you'll stop staring into Grant's eyes and will be even more awestruck by the beautifully photographed landscape behind him. The famed director has many classic films, and To Catch A Thief is certainly one of them.
Movie Score: 9/10
Writing and Casting To Catch A Thief: This extra explores the history and theory behind the script, without telling stories that get obnoxiously laudatory. The storytelling by close relatives of Alfred Hitchcock adds a nice personal touch to this topic and others explored in the DVD's extras.
Alfred Hitchcock and To Catch A Thief: An Appreciation: The personal touch continues with this extra, which features his daughter and granddaughter reflecting on Alfred Hitchcock as extraordinary director and father. Some of their stories add clues to his authorship - watch this extra to find out why Hitchcock hated fried eggs!
Unacceptable Under the Code: Film Censorship in America: A fascinating history lesson that is relevant to the risque nature of this Hitchcock film and some others. It is interesting to see how the moral code morphed, and even more amusing to learn how directors like Hitchcock danced around it.
Edith Head: The Paramount Years: Eight-time Oscar winning costume designer Edith Head gets her own extra that examines all of her work, not just what she did for To Catch A Thief. The mini-documentary is narrated primarily by her enthusiastic biographer, who is able to share his excitement about this incredibly important figure of Hollywood.
The Other Extras:
A Night With The Hitchcocks The Making of To Catch A Thief Behind the Gates: Cary Grant and Grace Kelly If You Love To Catch A Thief, You'll Love This Interactive Travelogue Galleries Original Theatrical Trailer
Extras Score: 9/10
To Catch A Thief may be an iconic scene or two short of something as renowned as North by Northwest, but it will also remain as probably one of Cary Grant's best films. But regardless of how classic this movie is, is it worthy of three different packagings in only seven years? I raise this question because this DVD, new from 2009, takes many of its extras from a version released in 2002. Though this DVD is packed with plenty of mini-documentaries and interesting videos, it is still a product of slightly greedy marketing. Basically, if you already own one version of this film, don't worry about this new release. One can do without a spare amount of quirky extras, especially since it's mysterious which ones are actually brand new. Besides, a fourth re-release will probably come out in another three years, and this nicely packaged centennial collection might then become uber cheap in some sales bin. Now that'd be a steal.
Final Score: 9/10