Best Movies by Farr

To Catch a Thief

The Rundown: "To Catch a Thief"

What's It About
On the sun-drenched French Riviera, someone is relieving rich women of their precious jewels, and all the evidence points to retired cat burglar John Robie (Grant). Reluctant to sit still for questioning, "The Cat" evades investigators who show up at his lush villa and — with the help of London insurer H.H. Hughson (Williams) — cozies up to wealthy American widow Mrs. Stevens (Landis), who he believes may be the thief's next victim. Robie's only hope for clearing himself will be to expose his imitator; that is, if Mrs. Stevens's knock-out daughter Francie (Kelly) doesn't distract him too much!
Why we Love it
Filmed in VistaVision by Oscar winner Robert Burks, Hitchcock's swanky, breezy suspense film takes a simple idea — one cat burglar on the tail of another — and spins it into cinematic gold. With his customary wit and sexual innuendo, the director positions tanned star Grant on a collision course with the resplendent Kelly, who never looked more ravishing as spoiled heiress Francie, especially in a wide-brimmed white sun hat and bathing outfit Jackie O. might have coveted. When they kiss, there are literally fireworks on-screen, a technique Hitchcock used to keep the censors from snipping his film. You'll have a lot of fun catching this "Thief."

Where can I find the movie?

Available on Amazon
DVD, Digital Download
1 hour 47 minutes

FarrNotes: Secret Behind the Scenes Trivia to Wow Your Guests!

  • "To Catch a Thief" was the film that lured Cary Grant out of retirement (he announced he was done with acting in February of 1953). After this film, he would continue working for 11 more years.
  • Did you find Alfred Hitchcock? Hitch's signature cameo can be found here about 9 minutes in, sitting next to Cary Grant on a bus.
  • Grace Kelly was killed in a car accident driving home in Monaco on September 14, 1982 — on the same road as her famous chase scene in "To Catch a Thief," and even more incredible, not far from where she and Cary picnicked in the movie.
  • Keep an eye out for subtle shots of a black cat during John Robie's (Grant) first few appearances. The stealthy thief Robie's nickname was "The Cat."
  • Talk about art imitating life — John Robie mentions he was formerly part of a traveling trapeze group in his youth. In turn, Cary Grant had been a member of a traveling acrobatic group that toured Europe (back when his name was still Archie Leech!).
  • Although the script describes Cary Grant's character as 35, he was 50 at the time of filming — 26 years older than his love interest, Grace Kelly.
  • Jessie Royce Landis plays Cary Grant's potential mother-in-law Mrs. Stevens. Just 4 years later, she would play his actual mother in "North by Northwest"!
  • Danielle, played by Brigitte Auber, speaks at length in the film about how much younger she is than Grace Kelly's character, Frances. In actuality, Auber was a year and a half older than Kelly.
  • Who doesn't love a little improv? The famous exchange during the picnic scene - Frances asks John "Do you want a leg or a breast" and he responds, "You make the choice." — was completely made up on the spot!
  • We know you want to know — Grace Kelly is driving a Sunbeam Mark Alpine Roadster.


Summer Ratatouille Tartines with Burrata and Honey-Balsamic Drizzle

  • Courtesy of: Domesticate Me
  • A modern twist on a Provence-Côte d'Azur classic.

Simple Tarte Au Citron

  • Courtesy of: NatBatNat
  • Welcome to the French Riviera! Where the food is divine and every backyard has a lemon tree.

Drinks & Cocktails


Cocktail courtesy of We Are Never Full.

The ONLY apéritif in the South of France.

  • Fill a highball glass up with a general shot of Pastis (we recommend Ricard).
  • Add cold water until glass is ¾ full. Watch the liquid change to a milky pastel yellow.
  • Add a lump or two of ice, and drink! Tastes like licorice and the sun of Southern France.

What's The Score?

The perfect soundtrack for your movie night!

  • Only the signature tenor of Charles Aznavour — the French Sinatra and one of the country's most iconic singers — can truly set the mood of 1950s France.

What to Wear?

The Best Movies by Farr Wardrobe Department

The one and only Edith Head — 8-time Academy Award winner for Best Costume — was in charge of wardrobe for "To Catch a Thief," so that means the general style was simply spectacular. Grace Kelly's Frances wears exclusively unique ensembles meant to garner attention and interest; Cary Grant's Robie is the picture of 1950s male sophistication. Ladies, you can capture the spirit of Grace Kelly on the Côte d'Azur with a large hat, neck scarf and period sunglasses. Men, go for a linen sport coat or an ascot — if you dare!

Shop the Look
  • Eugenia Kim Sunny Hat
  • $415
Get it at Bloomingdales
  • Armani Collezioni Linen Blend Blazer
  • $795
Get it at Bloomingdales

PS. Don't forget to share photos of your big night on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with #BestMovieNights!

Summer Ratatouille Tartines with Burrata and Honey-Balsamic Drizzle

Ingredients (yields 4 tartines)
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1 mediums summer squash, diced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ small eggplant, diced
  • 12 ounces (or 1½ dry pints) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½-1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (depending on how much heat you like)
  • Kosher salt
  • Coarse black pepper
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced basil
  • 4 slices whole wheat sourdough (or bread of your choice)
  • 8 ounces burrata cheese, sliced (or torn with your hands)
  1. Place the balsamic vinegar and honey in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for about 10-12 minutes until it has reduced by half and become nice and syrupy. Set aside until ready to use.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add the diced zucchini, squash, red onion and bell pepper. Cook for about 7 minutes until the vegetables are just tender.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a small pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the eggplant and cook for about 5 minutes until tender. (We're cooking the eggplant separately because it needs a little extra oil and TLC so that it ends up melty and tender instead of spongy and gross, okay?)
  4. Add the cooked eggplant, halved cherry tomatoes, and minced garlic to the vegetable mixture. Stir in the crushed red pepper and a good pinch of salt and coarse black pepper, and cook for two minutes. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice.
  5. Remove the cover, stir in the thinly sliced basil, and cook for two more minutes. Taste and season with extra salt and pepper if necessary.
  6. Now it's time to toast your bread. You can pop it in the toaster if you like, but I like to grill mine. If you’d like to follow my lead, heat a lightly oiled grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the bread and grill for 1-2 minutes on each side until those glorious grill marks appear.
  7. To assemble the tartines: Divide the burrata among the four pieces of toast. Top each tartine with ratatouille, and drizzle with honey balsamic reduction. Serve immediately.

Tarte au Citron

  • 1 blind-baked sweet shortcrust pastry
  • 2 freerange, organic eggs + 2 extra egg yolks
  • 130g organic cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 Tbs sour cream
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • a smidgen of vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 6 T unsalted French butter, cold
  1. Place the lemon zest and sugar in a pan and rub together until thoroughly imbued.
  2. Pour in the lemon juice and heat. Whisk the eggs and stream in the hot liquid to temper.
  3. Pour the egg mix back into the pan and add the vanilla, sour cream.
  4. Cook over low heat until thickened. Cool and whisk in the butter.
  5. Strain to remove the zests and bits of cooked eggs, if any at all.
  6. Fill the tart shell and smooth over the top.
  7. Bake in an oven preheated to 160C until just softly-set, about 7 mins.
  8. Cool, slice and eat!

BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"