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To Catch A Thief (Bruin Crimeworks) Paperback – August 22, 2010
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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Cary Grant is excellent as well. This is from the latter part of his career, and he had that suave demeanor down cold by the time he did this. His character is supposed to be smooth, and so he's perfectly cast. And of course, he is nicely directed by Alfred Hitchcock, a good candidate for best director of all time. Plus we have Jessie Royce Landis to deliver some of the best lines and keep this mystery/thriller on the light side.
I liked all the special features, but the one on Edith Head stood out. Part of Grace Kelly's charm in this movie is her elegant wardrobe, and Edith Head did elegance better than anyone in Hollywood - ever. If you are interested in the craft of moviemaking, the special features are definitely worth your time.
Footage from a night at USC with the daughter and granddaughter of Alfred Hitchcock.
A discussion (or mini doc, if you will) about censorship in films at the time.
Commentary by Dr. Casper, a film historian that specializes in Hitchcock films.
And a few other bonuses. My favorite being, the ability to watch the film as it would be presented in theaters in 1955 (previews, a news reel, one short and two cartoons, before the main feature).
The film itself is presented well, with good PQ and AQ.
OK, now on to the review. While I am not, in general, a big classic movie buff, I do have my favorites and I do love me some Hitchcock. I've had the very poor quality DVD transfer of Hitchcock's classic thriller "To Catch a Thief" for quite a long time and my wife and I had started watching it recently (while I gritted my teeth at the terrible picture quality on my wonderful 65" plasma) when I decided to check to see if it was ever going to be released on Blu-Ray. Of course I discovered it was already OUT on Blu-ray and I ordered it right away (we also turned off the DVD and decided to wait).
So, how good of a job has the studio done with this classic? They have done an outstanding job and I don't say that very often. Color and contrast look remarkable for a film of this age (nearly 60 years!), in fact, this film looks much better than many much much newer blu-ray releases.
I see virtually no dirt or scratches on the print, and while a few shots intentionally have soft focus, I don't see signs of edge enhancement on the numerous shots that have razor sharp focus of the principal actors. You've never seen Cary Grant and Grace Kelly look quite this good before folks. If you want a real visual treat, go straight to the "party scene" near the end of the film... my jaw was literally open for about 10 straight minutes because it looks THAT GOOD on my calibrated television.
So, why did I ding this a star? I don't feel that the audio track got quite the same treatment. While it is evident that some work was done to clean up hiss and improve the audio fidelity, the audio in general sounds flat for a release of this caliber. I would have really liked it, if in addition to the original 2-channel mix, they treated us to a new multi-channel mix to fully exercise our surround sound systems. I think that this film in particular would have benefited here.
All in all though, it's almost impossible to find any fault... this is an absolute MUST HAVE if you are a Hitchcock fan, a Grace Kelly or Cary Grant fan, or if you simply want some amazing reference material to use to show off the picture quality of your TV or projector.