To Catch A Thief

This film won an Oscar in 1955 for Robert Burks, for Best Cinematography beating Oklahoma and Guys and Dolls! One almost wishes one could see it on the big screen once more in it’s glorious Vista-Vision. However seeing on more modern screens one can’t help but notice how many back-projected scenes there are in this film. Not that they haven’t been used to best effect; most memorable is a scene which we see our hero in a boat preparing for the approaching police plane that is to fly over them with perfect timing between dialogue and background projection. The scene was reminiscent of North By Northwest, in which Burke was again Director of Photography. Indeed, Robert Burks collaborated with Hitchcock on 12 of his films, including Rear Window, Vertigo, Dial M for Murder and The Birds!

The film is harmless enough, telling the story of a former jewellery cat-burglar called “The Cat” who’s tracing down a copy-cat cat burglar, whom also steals from fat cats…..paws for thought!

Ok, so the storyline isn’t incredible, nor does it contain enough meaty twists which you’d usually expect from a Hitchcock (I guessed the ending half an hour from the end) but it is a story told well. And Cary Grant and Grace Kelly are hardly eyesores to watch. But it’s not as good as it’s predecessor Rear Window and I can’t help wondering how different the film may have been with James Stewart in the main role.


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