In 2010 I saw 100 different movies in 100 different theaters. Here are the details.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

To Catch a Thief

Alameda Theatre and Cineplex

(Previously reviewed)

I'm not sure that I've mentioned before just how comfortable the seats are at the Alameda.  These seats are C-O-M-F-Y!  Just the right height, just the right recline angle and spring, and I can sink into them.

You probably didn't know this, but Red Vines are the Cary Grant of snacks.



To Catch a Thief (1955)

Cary Grant is so tan I had to put sunblock on my eyes just to look at him without getting melanoma.  In this marvelously flippant tale, Grant stars as John Robie, a retired cat burglar famous for having been sent to a French prison for his exploits, freed by accident during the German invasion of France in World War II, and then joining with his fellow prisoners as part of the French resistance against the Germans.  With that honorable addition to his career, John was pardoned and now lives in quiet isolation in the hills above the French Riviera.  Years later, his solitude is threatened when a string of copycat burglaries against the Riviera's rich-and-famous suggests to the police that John has come out of retirement.  John begins to case a resort's bejeweled clientele, in the hopes that he might catch the real thief and clear his name.

Along the way, John is brazenly courted by oil heiress Frances Stevens (Grace Kelly, twenty-five years Grant's junior).  She kisses him, invites him swimming, takes him on a picnic, and brings him home with her.  John has seen enough action to be somewhat immune to seduction, frustrating Frances but further enticing her as well.  It's soon revealed that she knows John is the cat burglar, and it doesn't hurt his appeal.  She practically invites herself along for his next heist.  Soon John is trying to fend off Frances, keep his cover, and catch the real thief before the police decide he's good enough.

Despite their age difference, and Grant looking like a piece of leather, Grant and Kelly have chemistry.  Grant delivers his trademark charm, Kelly is beautiful, and the writers are generous in giving witty lines to everyone.  Frances's mother, concerned that her daughter is too nice, laments, "I'm sorry I ever sent her to finishing school.  I think they finished her there."  Frances tells John, "The man I want doesn't have a price," to which John replies, "That eliminates me."  There is a bit of mystery about the identity of the burglar, but mostly we're just along for the fun ride.

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