Showing posts with label Jessie Royce Landis. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jessie Royce Landis. Show all posts

Sunday, 18 May 2014

To Catch a Thief

A beautiful if underwhelming film, Alfred Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief marked the director’s third and final picture starring Grace Kelly. Joining the actress is another actor in his third Hitchcock movie, Carey Grant. Grant plays John Robie, a once jewel thief turned French Resistance fighter who now retired, tends to his vineyards high above the Côte d'Azur. When a series of robberies which display Robie’s hallmarks are committed, the police come looking for the man known as ‘The Cat’ and in order to clear his name, he gets hold of a list of potential targets in the hope of out witting and out manoeuvring the real thief. First on the list are Mrs. Stevens (Jessie Royce Landis) and her daughter Francie (Kelly).

To Catch a Thief lacks some of the dramatic tension and edge of the seat thrills of Hitchcock’s finest films but what it lacks in tautness, it makes up for in other ways. Hitchcock cleverly gets passed the Hays/Breen censors with some fantastic sexual innuendo and half hidden imagery. The romantic side of the plot is much more developed than the dramatic side and Hitch wows his audience with sexual fireworks (literally) and a John Michael Hays script which while leaving little to the imagination, somehow feels clean and moral. Coupled with the spectacular beauty on display, this is a movie which is worth investing time in.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

North by Northwest

Alfred Hitchcock’s tale of mistaken identity and Cold War spying has gone down as one of the most highly regarded films in history. It was nominated for three Academy Awards, is ranked at 55 in the AFI’s 100 Years 100 Movies ranking and holds an 8.6/10 on IMDb. Carey Grant plays Roger Thornhill, an Ad Man who is abducted by James Mason’s ‘Townsend’ character under the suspicion that he is the spy George Kaplan. Thornhill is chased across America from New York to South Dakota via Chicago by the Police and Townsend, meeting the seductive Eve Kendall (Eva Marie Saint) along the way. In this next sentence I’m going to say something that will probably draw a lot of negative comments along the lines of “You don’t know what you’re talking about” or “You mustn’t have been watching it right” but not only do I not think North by Northwest is a great film but I personally believe it is the worst Alfred Hitchcock film I’ve seen so far. The film undoubtedly features some great stand out moments but as far as suspense and thrills go, this one left me cold.