Wednesday 2 October 2013

Film Club - 10 Reasons To Watch - To Catch A Thief

To Catch A Thief - 1955 - Alfred Hitchcock

This film is a favourite of many and there are many, many, far more than 10 reasons to watch this film. Again.

1. Grace Kelly - not just for the beautiful ice blond but for the behind the scenes story too. This is the film that made her a Princess, she met Price Rainier on location.

2. Edith Heads design - each and every dress is breathtakingly Hollywood. Draped chiffon's, embroideries, start contrasts, They are all fabulous.

Edith said this of the film in her Biography 'Edith Head's Hollywood' .....
"When many people ask me who my favourite actress is, who my favourite actor is, who my favourite director is, and what my favourite film is, I tell them to watch To Catch A Thief and they'll get all the answers"

3. Cary Grants dressing - Cary Grant dressed himself as he did in many films and purchased his elegantly styled French wardrobe in Canne. His first outfit, the fine striped navy sweater, the red polka dot cravat all wonderfully fitted is the height of mens true style.

3. Vista Vision - created by Paramount in 1954 and used to full effect by Hitchcock with wide landscape shots of the Cote d'Azure. Beautiful picture postcard shots is great high res quality and colour were the result and sadly only used in a small number of films until 1961.

4. Technicolour - The blues, reds and the flowers market scene are spectacular. The colours aren't completely saturated and softer, more elegant than my favourite starkly contrasted films. Soft pinks, dusty blues and pastel yellows, all the colours of a 1950s rose garden along with a Parisian black and green for the night.

5. The first look at Grace Kelly on the beach - dressed in a yellow swimsuit and matching hat. She sits in the background long limbed and screen stealingly devine.

6. That black and white outfit - Edith Head said of this outfit "When Grace went to the beach, she wore a huge sun hat and the most beautiful black and white sun costume that I've ever done. It was striking - almost too striking."

7. The white dress - this is the dress that recently inspired the dress I designed for Nicole, The Niagara dress. It's a finely draped chiffon dress that wraps tightly around the body, is shaped in fine chevrons at the waist and then floats like a dream. One of the perfect white dresses in history.

8. Brigitte Auber - Yes, Grace is the there stealing the screen with her perfect beauty like an angel but the second female in this story is Danielle. So French, so chic and just gorgeous. She didn't get the beautiful dresses but did dress wonderfully defining European youth style.
Cleverly dressed in the red version of Cary Grants stripe sweater at the start with a rose red skirt giving the audience the biggest clue of the story.

9. The Gold Dress - made in a gold mesh and so huge and so expensive they had to be ever so careful to keep the dress perfect during filming. Hitchcock told Edith that Grace was to look like a Princess. The Marie Antoinette dress seems to float as she dances like a doll in a music box, it's so over the top but on viewing against the midnight blue sky of the ball its so very magical.

10. Hitchcock - he said about the dressing of the film " we are now in France. People dress here. It's the place style is created - so do it" Edith Heads Hollywood
He is the man who used Vista Vision, the man who directed and produced this beautiful film paying so much attention to detail as always and the man who I like to think made Grace Kelly a Princess. Awhh.

To Catch a Thief: 1955 
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Cinematographer: Robert Burks
Technicolour Consultant: Richard Mueller
Starring: Grace Kelly, Cary Grant, Jessie Royce Landis, Brigitte Auber
Costume Design: Edith Head 

Time to Watch - On a Monday night to inspire you for the rest of the week.