Thursday, November 10, 2016

Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief

When people hear the phrase "Hitchcock blonde", chances are good that Grace Kelly may be the first actress that comes to their minds. She starred in three Alfred Hitchock's fillms, all three of which might number among his most iconic. She first worked with Mr. Hitchcock in Dial M for Murder (1954) and then again with him on Rear Window (1954). Their final film together was To Catch a Thief (1955), which also starred frequent Hitchcock collaborator Cary Grant.

In To Catch a Thief Grace Kelly played Frances Stevens, daughter of wealthy widow Jessie Stevens (played Jessie Royce Landis). Cary Grant played retired jewel thief John Robie, AKA "The Cat", who must prove his innocence when a string of thefts start occurring on the French Riviera. The film was a significant one for Cary Grant, who briefly left the film industry after his career experienced a slump in the early Fifties. Alfred Hitchcock actually had to lure him out of retirement. Like Rear Window and, to a lesser degree Dial M for Murder, To Catch a Thief was in some respects a significant film for Grace Kelly. Arguably it cemented her place in many peoples' minds as the Hitchcock blonde.

Much like Rear Window, To Catch a Thief arguably featured Grace Kelly in some of her best known costumes. In the case of both films, the costumes were designed by the legendary Edith Head. For To Catch a Thief Miss Head was nominated for Best Costume Design, Colour.  Grace Kelly and Edith Head weren't the only veterans of Rear Window to work on To Catch a Thief.  John Michael Hayes had also written the screenplay for Rear Window and, following To Catch a Thief, would work on the screenplay for The Trouble With Harry (1955) and The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956).

A portion of To Catch a Thief would be filmed in Monaco, the postage stamp kingdom of which Grace Kelly would soon become its princess. While shooting Miss Kelly saw a beautiful, walled garden she wanted to visit. Unfortunately, arrangements with  its owner, Prince Rainier of Monaco, could not be made. It would only be seven months later that Grace Kelly would marry Prince Ranier and retire from acting. She only made two more films after To Catch a Thief: The Swan (1956) and High Society (1956).

Below are some of Edith Head's costumes worn by Grace Kelly in the film.

1 comment:

Virginie Pronovost said...

Yes, Gracie was THE Hitchcock blonde par excellence!

Thanks for your great article and your participation to the blogathon!