This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger
To Catch a Thief is neither the best Alfred Hitchcock movie of all time nor the best Cary Grant movie of all time but I believe it is the best Grace Kelly movie of all time and that includes Rear Window and Dial M For Murder. It showcases all of her great talents, the hot baby-face, her great sex appeal, her charm, her wit, and her dramatic abilities. She was the perfect actress for Alfred Hitchcock because he wanted serious movies that were humorous. Cary Grant was perfect for him as well.
Cary Grant plays John Robey, a retired jewel thief living on the French Riviera. He was so successful as a jewel thief that he doesn't have to work anymore. Every time there's a string of jewel robberies in his new home, law enforcement suspects him, which is exactly what happens in this movie. A new cat burglar strikes Mediterranean France, the legal authorities bring him in for questioning, and he escapes from them.
Robey concludes that the only way to get out of this is to find the real burglar himself. Thats where Grace Kelly comes in. Her character, Francy, is the daughter of a woman who owns a lot of very expensive jewelry and they just happen to be vacationing in the south of France at the time of these new jewel robberies. Robey needs them to play decoys to get the cat burglar to strike again. He befriends them, believing they are the next targets.
John Robey's plan here is to catch the real cat burglar when this person strikes his target so he can get in the clear and move on with his life. There are a lot of great suspense and action scenes in this movie as well as Cary and Grace taking a lot of humorous verbal shots at each other. Once she learns that Robey was a cat burglar, she believes he's still in business and tries to use this to start a romance with him but his goal is to catch the real thief, even if that means using innocent people like this mother-daughter duo.