To Catch a Thief (1955), Alfred Hitchcock’s frothiest entertainment, stars Cary Grant as a reformed jewel thief on the French Riviera who immediately comes under suspicion when a cat burglar goes to work on the rich and famous staying in the local luxury hotels. Heiress Grace Kelly decides to play detective the best way she knows how: by romancing the charming rogue.
Hitch applies his touch in a few key scenes (fireworks never felt so erotic) but otherwise favors the lavish sets, classy locations, and unbearably beautiful stars to any pretense of suspense. It’s all about the sparkle of glamour and the romantic smolder of seductive stars playing cagey characters who play at romance with all of their charm.
Jessie Royce Landis co-stars as the flighty Kelly’s down-to-earth mother and steals one scene simply by stubbing out a cigarette in a fried egg on expensive china: American pragmatism amidst the posh pretentions of European elegance.
It won an Academy Award for Robert Burks’ cinematography.