Netflix February 2017_day.24 – To Catch a Thief (1955)

_At this point in Netflix February, I’m at that place where there’s all these movies I want to get to, but find myself with not enough days to watch them all. Before it starts, I do a rough outline of what I’ll watch and when I’ll watch them, I try to get a good amount of different genres and actors and different eras represented, try to get some rewatches in, and I feel good with what I have. Then plans change, I watch something and think to myself “I need a thematic shift tomorrow” and move something up or down or take thing off completely, or I’ll finish a movie and it’ll recommend something and I’ll go “I thought I scoured everything how did I not know this was on instant?!” and try to cram it somewhere and suddenly, it’s the end of the month and I think to myself “Shit, I can’t watch all 10 of these,” and “I want to watch this and this, but…4 rom-com’s in a row? That’d be a bit much…” or “Maybe this…but…I feel like I watched a lot of family movies already…” The start of the month is so easy, with so many possibilities, but now? Too many choices, not enough time, man.

Suspected in a new series of heists in the hotels of the French Riviera, a reformed jewel thief sets out to clear himself — and catch the real thief.

It’s almost but not quite Coolio’s first album. To Catch a Thief.

_Cary Grant stars as John Robie aka The Cat. So named because we was once a renowned cat burglar. He hasn’t stolen anything in 15 some-odd years, though, but when a new string of jewel thefts starts up again with his M.O., the police naturally turn to him as the prime suspect. The only solution? To immerse himself back into the game to catch the real thief himself.

_So last year, I watched Charade, with a near 60 year old Cary Grant getting his mack on with an early 30’s Audrey Hepburn. Here, we have a 50 year old Grant putting the movies on a mid-20’s Grace Kelly. That guy had the romantic lead on lockdown for a really long time.

_As far as the plot, the movie is pretty light. There’s a ton of fluff, but the film shines with everybody just oozing charm. The way the cat tells the insurance agent his backstory as a burglar is the kind of thing that would make the character unlikable in so many other hands, but Grant flashing a wry smile and going “Nope, no hard luck story, I just put my agility to use ;-D” makes you go “Hah, what a scamp, he’s was just doing what he was born to do!” Grace Kelly starts to fall for him and you go “That bastard, lying his way into her heart” then she goes “I knew you were the cat the entire time” and you go “Oh Grace, you’re much more clever than I thought you were!”

To Catch a Thief reminds me a lot of some of the more recent David O. Russell movies, where any of the writing problems they have are made up by a bunch of actors acting their faces off. I’d imagine the direction is just “OK, now in this scene, be captivating aaaaaaand action.”

_You want to talk about a random cover story? “I’m a Oregon lumber industrialist.” If it’s me, I’m never seeing through that one. I’m not about to go “Lumber…tell me about different kinds of wood, Mr. Burns, since you must be knowledgeable on the subject and we’ll see if you pass muster!”

_The car scene reminds me that I haven’t really watched anything with a good car chase this month. I should look into fixing that…

_It’s amazing how being critically lauded can change perceptions. If Albert Hitchcock wasn’t a good director, cameo’ing in all of his own movies would probably seem gratuitous and self-indulgent. But we like him, so we just toss our heads back and give a hearty laugh and go “Oh, that guy!”

_Stop by tomorrow, where we’ll watch a movie about serious cooking. The God of Cookery. See you then~


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